"You and I Have Begun to Blur": The Double and Queer Monstrosity in Bryan Fuller's Hannibal

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"You and I Have Begun to Blur": The Double and Queer Monstrosity in Bryan Fuller's Hannibal
Fowler, Megan J
University of Florida
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Master's ( M.A.)
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University of Florida
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Narratives ( jstor )
Movies ( jstor )
Fear ( jstor )
Unknown ( sobekcm )


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This thesis explores the double as a trope of queer desire in the television series Hannibal. I focus on the way in which the series visually and narratively establishes consulting FBI profiler Will Graham and cannibal psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter as doubles of one another. While previous books and films in the Hannibal franchise use queer-coding to convey pathology, the show reclaims Gothic and Hollywood horror tropes that convey queer subtext to depict an explicitly queer relationship. Hannibal realizes the potential of these conventions to disrupt heteronormativity and create alternative spaces for queer futurity. For example, the erotic triangle between Hannibal and Will and their shared love interest Alana Bloom, which would traditionally be used to convey Hannibal and Will's queer desire with Alana as a heterosexual conduit, ends in each member of the love triangle paired off into a same-sex couple. Visually, the show conveys Will and Hannibal as doubles through scenes depicting their bodies as actually conjoined, breaking down the physical boundaries of the body to suggest their identities are blending. In addition to the paralleling of Will and Hannibal, the series reproduces dialogue and framing from other entries in the franchise of Hannibal's love interest Clarice Starling, but with Will Graham in her position. Hannibal uses these deliberate allusions to the couple Clarice and Hannibal in the relationship between Will and Hannibal to critique heteronormativity and reveal the constructed nature of gender. The series utilizes the double to break down normative binaries and deconstruct gender and heteronormativity.

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2 To Jackie Elliott, my fellow colleague who spent many an hour on her couch screaming about Hannibal with me.


3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank the members of my supervisory committee Barbara Mennel and Kim Emery for their extraordinary guidance and mentorship. I would also like to thank my professors, colleagues and friends who continue to inspire me to think in new and creative ways. Finally, I would like to thank my parents Danny and Maureen Fowler for their love and sup port without which I would not be where I am today


4 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................. 3 LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................... 5 ABSTRACT ..................................................................................................................... 7 1 INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................... 9 2 HANNIBAL LECTER SERIES ................................................................................. 11 3 GENDER PERFORMANCE AND HETERONORMATIVITY THROUGH ADAPTATIONAL DOUBLING ................................................................................. 20 4 DOUBLE AS TRANSFORMATIVE QUEER DESIRE ............................................. 35 5 BLURRING BINARIES, THE EROTIC TRIANGLE, AND QUEER FUTURITY ....... 49 6 CONCLUSION ........................................................................................................ 60 REFERENCES .............................................................................................................. 62 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................................................ 65


5 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3 1 Julianne Moore, Hannibal Film, MGM, 2001. ................................ .................... 23 3 2 Hugh Dancy, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. ................................ ......... 24 3 3 Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Hannibal Film, MGM, 2001. ........................ 25 3 4 Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2015. .............. 26 3 5 Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Hannibal Film, MGM, 2001. ........................ 26 3 6 Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2015. .............. 26 3 7 Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Silence of the Lambs Film, MGM, 1991. ......... 28 3 8 Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2015. .............. 28 3 9 Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2015. .............. 31 4 10 Anthony Hopkins, Silence of the Lambs Film, MGM, 1991. ............................... 37 4 11 Hugh Dancy, Hann ibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. ................................ ......... 37 4 12 Edward Norton, Red Dragon Film, Universal, 2002. ................................ .......... 38 4 13 Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2013. ................................ ... 39 4 14 Anthony Hopkins, Red Dragon Film, Universal, 2002. ................................ ....... 39 4 15 Hugh Dancy, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2013. ................................ ......... 39 4 16 Hugh Dancy, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. ................................ ......... 41 4 17 Hugh Dancy, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. ................................ ......... 41 4 18 Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. ................................ ... 41 4 19 Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. ................................ ... 41 4 20 Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. .............. 44 5 21 Katharine Isabelle, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2015. ................................ 50 5 22 Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2015. .............. 51 5 23 Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. ................................ ... 53


6 5 24 Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. .............. 54 5 25 Hugh Dancy, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. ................................ ......... 54 5 26 Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas, Hugh Dancy, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. ................................ ................................ ................................ 54 5 27 Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2015. .............. 57


7 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts HANNIBAL By Megan Fowler May 2016 Chair: Barbara Mennel Cochair: Kim Emery Major: English This thesis explores the double as a trope of queer desire in the television series Hannibal I focus on the way in which the series visually and narratively establishes consulting FBI profiler Will Graham and cann ibal psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter as doubles of one another. While previous books and films in the Hannibal franchise use queer coding to convey pathology, the show reclaims Gothic and Hollywood horror tropes that convey queer subtext to depict an explicitly queer relationship. Hannibal realizes the potential of these conventions to disrupt heteronormativity and create alternative spaces for queer futurity. For example, the erotic triangle between Hannibal and Will and their shared love interest Alana Bloom, which would traditionally be used to convey Hannibal and love triangle paired off into a same sex couple. Visually, the show conveys Will and Hannibal as doubles through scenes depicting their bodies as actually conjoined, breaking down the physical boundaries of the body to suggest their identities are blending. In addition to the paralleling of Will and


8 Hannibal, the series reproduces dialogue and framing from other entries in the franchise of Hannib Hannibal uses these deliberate allusions to the couple Clarice and Hannibal in the relationship between Will and Hannibal to critique heteronormativity and reveal the constructed na ture of gender. The series utilizes the double to break down normative binaries and deconstruct gender and heteronormativity.


9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION This thesis 2015 televisio n series Hannibal particularly within the long lineage of queer narratives in horror and Gothic texts. Hannibal Hannibal Lecter series. The show follows FBI consultant Will Graham, an i ntensely empathetic forensic profiler who is brought in by the FBI to track down serial killers with his unique ability to assume their point of view. Over the course of the series, Will develops an intense relationship with Hannibal, the infamous cannibal psychiatrist. In there is no supernatural narrative in Hannibal the series utilizes Gothic and horror conventions such as the erotic triangle and doubling to depict the madness, monstrosity, and desire within the characters. Hannibal primarily explores queerness through narrative and visual doubling both within the series and intertextually. The television series utilizes a complex system of visual and narrative doubling between characters in order to dramatize the desire be tween Hannibal and Will. In the show, the motif of doubling functions as a queer mode in two primary ways the doubling of Will and Hannibal. The show uses deliberate a llusions to the romantic relationship between Clarice and Hannibal rewritten over the relationship bet ween Will and Hannibal to critique heteronormativity and reveal the constructed nature of gender. In addition, the series focuses on consulting FBI profil er Will Graham and cannibal psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter as doubles of one another. Much of the visual doubling in


10 from reality. The series employs mirrored shots and nonlinear cross cutting to portray the interiority of the characters, emphasizing their identification with each other. These Doubling in the series thus becomes a m eans of breaking down strict binaries of space, the body, and identity. In this way, Hannibal uses horror and monstrosity as modes for deconstructing the strict binaries of gender and sexuality. Horror and Gothic texts have a long standing legacy as narrat ives that explore queerness but ultimately restore the heteronormative status quo Hannibal portrays monstrosity as a much more permanent disruption of heteronormativity than most of classic horror. The classic Hollywood monster typically threatens sexual normativity by disrupting the heterosexual couple. However, Benshoff notes that most films end with a the Monsters in the Closet Monsters in the Closet 37). However, Hannibal does not resolve with this restoration of normalcy. Instead, Han nibal utilizes narrative conventions of horror and Gothic texts and realizes their queer potential by permanently disrupting heteronormativity and hegemonic binaries. Through this subversion, Hannibal offers a potential queer futurity that realizes the pro mise of m onstrosity as a queer disruptive force. The series offers an exploration of non normative sexuality and deconstructs gender, reclaiming the metaphorical queerness the monster has long represented. Thus, I argue that Hannibal realizes the queer pos sibility present in horror as a genre.


11 CHAPTER 2 I will series within the broader franchise surrounding the character of Hannibal Lecter to understand how Hannibal functions within the horror seri es that precedes it. Given my focus on the queer double depicted in Hannibal I discuss the often controversial rel ationship the Hannibal franchise has had with all valences of queer representation, including the depiction of gay, lesbian, and transgender characters in nearly every entry and adaptation of the franchise. My analysis begins with the infamous portrayal of the primary antagonist Jame Gumb in Silence of the Lambs and the backlash the film incited, then throughout the Lecter book series. Although the Silence of t he Lambs film adaptation is the most well known case of drawing backlash from the queer community in the franchise, underlying elements of both homophobia and homoeroticism are present in s relying on queer coded tropes and his own representations of homosexuality frequently containing troubling undertones. Of the numerous books and film adaptations in the franchise, the 1991 film version of The Silence of the Lambs received the most ada mant backlash. The film caused an outcry amongst LGBT activists, including the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation, who openly protested against it (Phillips 41). Reaction to the film was polarizing, creating a division between groups of feminist a nd queer activists. Village Voice brought together critics across the queer


12 it between LGBT and feminist activists became even more blurred when several gay male activists outed Jodie Foster as a lesbian (Staiger 142). Protests broke out outside the 1992 Academy Awards ceremony, as Silence of the Lambs took home five awards, inclu ding Best Picture (Phillips 39). The volatile reaction to the film in part stemmed from the political and cultural moment in which the film was produced, at the height of the AIDS crisis, with many queer activists fearing even more violence would be direct ed at the community in response to the film (Staiger 142; Tasker 36). The objection by the queer community solidified into a protest. Janet Staiger writes that activists felt that, even if the film was not intended to be homophobic, its reliance on images associated with stereotypical altho ugh moments in the series attempt to separate pathology from queerness, ultimately the reliance on queer coding just reinforces the connection. The response to The Silence of the Lambs fear...that others might see gay male sexu and thus from the queer coding frequently associated with pathology. Some of the relationship with Hannibal Lecter through the long standing motif of cannibalism as a metaphor for queer sexuality (Crain 28). Caleb Crain constructs Bill and Hannibal as be transsexu al) serial killer, almost never speaks. The viewer...only uncovers him by passing first


13 through the mind of Hannibal Lecter, the cannibal... Bill has the cannibal's tattoos and pierced body parts, and The Silence of the Lambs utilizes the Gothic and horror trope of the cannibal and the double to evoke queerness thus associating not only Gumb but Hannibal with queer coding. This metaphor becomes explicit in the Hannibal television series through desire for Will Graham. In addition to the cannibal narratives of gender confusion, as he abducts women to create a female skin as a means of transforming out of his own fractured identity. Simultaneo us with drawing upon these tropes, the rhetoric of the novel and the film consistently attempts to distance Buffalo Bill from a transsexual identity. In the novel, Hannibal mentions that Buffalo Bill is not transsexual three times in the text, as does Clar director Jack Crawford once ( The Silence of the Lambs 164, 165, 169, 181). In fact, every mention of transsexuality in the book centers on discounting Jame Gumb as transsexual. The novel uses voices of hegemonic authority to diagnose Gum identity FBI agent Jack Crawford, former psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter, and the John Hopkins Hospital, which denied Gumb gender reassignment surgery ( The Silence of the Lambs 322). Here, Harris borrows from narratives in which queer individuals have bee n told that their desire or identity is false, thus tapping into the historical construction of queerness as pathological. The narrative attempts to distance Gumb from a transg ender identity; however, the novel employs this separation primarily through med ical channels, thus depicting queer identity as diagnosable.


14 from a heterosexist posi heterosexist culture has to offer Skin Shows 167) gender for a Skin Shows 168 9). Harris does make attempts to ty as diagnosa ble and thus draw on a long history of characterizing queerness as pathological, reinforcing this association through queer coded tropes. who explains to Lecter th Jame is not really gay, you know, The Silence of the Lambs 172) in a moment in which the text sharply separates identity from act, implying that the sex Gumb has with male partners does not necessarily make Gu mb himself a queer man. However, the moment also draws on troubling associations of queerness w ith the culture of prison rape. The utilization of queer coding for characters presented as having a false queer identity also created the controversy around the film adaptation of Silence Yvonne Tasker writes that many of those opposed to the film felt that the presentation of Buffalo deviance and of gay male identity as psych opathic yet effeminate. Crucially, this is a 37). By appropriating iconography and narratives that are typically queer coded while


15 attempting to distance a monstrous fig between The Silence of the Lambs and queer representation is uneasy, failing to deconstruct homophobic coding due to its reliance on those tropes. Harris began associating his villains with queer coding an d queer monstrosity in his debut Lecter novel Red Dragon In the case of Francis Dolarhyde, the titular antagonist of the novel, this queer homosexual panic. Dolarhyde, who bites his victims, quickly earns th e nickname in the Tooth Fairy. What could be more inappropriate? Red Dragon 131). In order to try and trap Dolarhyde, the FBI has tabloid reporter Freddie Lounds interview Will Graham about Dolarhyde. During the interview, Will uses extremely derogatory language and preys dnapping him. When discussing what Will should say to enrage Dolarhyde, psychiatrist Alan Bloom concludes us Red Dragon 197). Here, the text links Eve Sedgwick has described homosexual panic as a f orm of heteronormative polic ing, Between Men be read as a manifestation based on homophobic manifestations rather than true queer th


16 hom o erotic description of his attack of Lounds once he has him captive. Dolarhyde bites Lou nd s mouth, mutilating his face. Harris uses erotically charged language to describe Red Dragon 218). Here, as with Gumb and Hannibal, the book associates Dolarhyde with cannibalism, coding his violence with a subtextual queer valence. Instead of depicting his charact er having a potentially repressed queer identity. Although Dolarhyde can be read as a homophobic rather than queer villain, the text ultimately reinforces his pathology as queer through the hom o erotic way in which his violence manifests itself. inal novel Hannibal engages with multiple homophobic valences and depicts an explicitly queer character for the first time in the series. The novel provides a of Paul Kren fartsy stuff. Chamber music and te a Hannibal sexuality play into stereotypical perceptions of gay men as refined or cultured, a nd he regards Clarice in her position as a FBI agent with the same homophobic contempt. Krendler often makes derogatory references to Clarice being queer, a reaction to


17 roo Hannibal Hannibal Margot Hannibal 302). Krendler even experiences a moment of homosexual panic that comes from his homophobia and heterosexist policing of his sexual identity. When thinking of his animosity to Clarice, Krendler imagines a sexual encounter with a woman who looks like some kind of queer?some kind of queer?some kind of queer? Hannibal 382). Again, this moment revisits some of the ambiguities between hom o erotic desire and homosexual panic at play throughout moment reads as primarily based around homosexual panic and a fear of being perceived as queer, since Krendler do es not experience any explicit same sex desire or have any hom o erotically charged encounters with other men. The novel condemns Krendler as he directs his homophobia at Clarice and Hannibal, the two protagonists of eat his brain in an intense moment of revenge and comeuppance. Ultimately, although the b ook presents neither Hannibal nor Clarice as having a queer sexuality, one of the ultimate acts of the consummation of their relationship is the queer coded act of cannibalizing Krendler. Although the Hannibal novel vilifies Krendler, the book still inflec concluding their narratives on an ambivalent note.


18 However, in the case of Margot, the only openly queer character in the book, Harris relies on numerous lesbian stereotypes and homophobic narratives about queer identity. The book often refers to lesbian penis envy and the potential of the lesbian phallus. U receded enough to make Starling wonder if she took steroids and had to tape her clitoris Hannibal 62). By having Clarice, who is one of the major protagonists of the book, react homophobic readings of her and undercuts the condemnation of his homophobia. When his i mmediate response reads like possible homosexual panic or queer confusion due attraction to men. But Margot for all her muscles was clearly not a man, and he liked Hanniba l 361). The Hannibal books contain moments to critique homophobic narratives throughout. However, through his reliance on queer coded tropes, Harris fails to realize the subversive potential in motifs of queer monstrosity, instead merely reinforcing stereo typical representations and the association of queerness and pathology. as in the case of Paul Krendler. However, often these homophobic characters also have moments of homose xual panic that read as potential repressed queer desire, such as explicit queerness contains homophobic undertones. The very act of using queer coding


19 of antagonists in the series also inscripts queerness as uncanny or unsettling in some way. Contextualizing queerness in previous entries of the Hannibal franchise provides a means of understanding some of the ways in the television series moves beyond the precedents set b y the Hannibal franchise. The show creates new meanings from the framework of the previous books and films, a product unique to adaptations within franchises which create critiques through alterations to their original source material (Marazi 240). In the case of Hannibal the series makes allusions to previous entries in the franchise in order to deconstruct heteronormativity and gender norms. Where relationship betwee n queer coded narratives and homophobic representations, the Hannibal TV series realizes the subversive potential within these stereotypical narratives of monstrous queerness, creating new queer modes of futurity.


20 CHAPTER 3 STAB OF HUNGER FOR YOU, AND FIND DECONSTRUCTING GENDER PERFORMANCE AND HETERONORMATIVITY THROUGH ADAPTATIONAL DOUBLING The Hannibal TV series creates new queer meanings from the original franchise through the intertextual doubling of Clarice Starling and Will Graham. The show both the book and film adaptat ions in the Hannibal series and replicates them in the dynamic between Hannibal and Will. This doubling creates a space for critique of both heterosexist and queer narrative conventions. This critique is unique to the mode of ence adaptations as palimpsests through our memory of Hannibal relies on allusions to the ur text specific to the mode of adaptation to locate subversive potential in queer co ded narratives and critique the homophobic and gendered constructions of the previous texts in the franchise. By utilizing parallel scenes between itself and other entries of the franchise, the Hannibal series creates a queer romantic dynamic between Will and Hannibal. The parallels between Clarice and Will indicate the romantic nature of Will and more sexual than between Will and Hannibal. For instance, Clarice and Hannibal kiss in the novel and the film franchise. By contrast, Will and Hannibal never kiss on screen or lack of sexual consummation, t he TV series lifts scenes from previous entries in the his relationship with Clarice.


21 Clarice in the Hannibal novel and Will in the series after an extended p eriod of separation: Hannibal 522) Hannibal: If I saw you every day, forever, Will, I would remember this Both encounters illic it a response of longing and desire from Hannibal, a seeming reunion with his beloved from whom he has been long parted. Both moments indicate the intensity with which Hannibal is enamored with Clarice and Will, singling out the importance of this moment w This comparison allows viewers of the series to recognize the queer desire between Will and Hannibal in spite of the absence of a sexual encounter. In this way, Hannibal operates similarly to de pictions of queer desire in classic horror cinema. In early Hollywood horror film, a system of coded signifiers emerged as understand how a narrative ellipse could signify an off Monsters in the Closet 35). By creating Will as a double of Clarice, the series builds on a long tradition of using parallels to fill in these ellipses with queer desire, drawing on the fluidity of shared identity common in early horror film, in which there was often between t Monsters in the Closet 67). However, Hannibal feelings for Will as subtextually romantic, confirming the romantic nature of his feelings and thus deviating from the depiction of queer desire in early horror films. In another instance of parallelism, the Hannibal series solidifies the romantic Hannibal an adaptation of the novel of asks


22 feel a stab of hunger for her and find nourishment in the very sight of her? I think so. But reaction to and analysis of the sonnet, but more importantly as an obvious metaphor for his own feelings for Clarice, which he f ears may be one any notion that the dynamic is purely platonic rather than romantically queer. This of this queer longi ng as reciprocal. Through this confirmation, Hannibal reclaims the queer desire at the heart of subtextual constructions in early horror. By applying the romantic framework of a heterosexual relationship onto a sexless dynamic, Hannibal complicates the cor relation between romantic and sexual desire, dynamic as asexual while still depicting them engaging in sexual relationships with women problematizes queer representation in the show. However, the asexual nature of romantic as automatically sexual, queering the traditional romantic sexual dynamic The series uses the previous well known relat ionship between Clarice and Hannibal as context for establishing the queer dynamic between the two male protagonists. Such


23 also critiques the heterosexist dynamic between Clarice and Hannibal through imitation. By exactly reproducing dialogue and visuals that formerly depicted Clarice and Hannibal in the queer dynamic of Will and Hannibal, the series highlights not only the performativity of heterosexuality but als o gender as well. There are two scenes in the television series which borrow heavily from visuals of the Hannibal film in order to create direct parallels between Will and Clarice, placing Will into a highly feminized position. The first is from the Hannib al long pseudo seduction has been a ploy to betray him to the FBI. This scene directly doubles a sequence at the end of the Hannibal film, in which Clarice attempts to recapture Hann ibal to turn him over to the FBI. The acting in this scene plays an important role in the mirroring between adaptations, as Hugh Dancy, who plays Starling. Figure 3 1 Julianne Moore, Hannibal Film, MGM, 2001.


24 Figure 3 2 Hugh Dancy, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. Hannibal: ...You would deny me my life, wouldn't you? Clarice: Not your life. Hannibal: Just my freedom. You'd take that from me. ( Hannibal film) Hannibal: You would deny me my life. Will: No, not your life, no. Hannibal: My freedom then, you would take Both scenes are nearly identical. The dialogue repeats. Hugh Dancy mimics Julianne highlighting the deliberate decisio n by the creative team of the TV copying feminized overtures in his mimicry ; he closes his eyes, unable to look at Hannibal in this moment of betrayal, and he is clearly overwrought with emotion that he is trying to elicits from Clarice and Will, even in a moment of betrayal. gestures that have previously been coded in the franchise as feminine. This moment again evokes the slippery nature of identity between male and female objects of desire in horror ( Monsters in the Closet 67), using shared gesture as a means of breaking down boundaries between gendered bodies. The act of doubling here serves as a critique which highlights gender performativity, through the performan ce of an actor imitating an actress. This act disrupts constructions of gender


25 reveals these feminized gestures are not inherent to one particular gender, but rather but gender is a kind of imitation for which there is no original ...a kind of imitation that produces the very notion of the original as an effect performance replicates that of the female love object in the heterosexual relationship Hannibal film in his male object of queer desire in the television series adaptation. In doing so, the series also reveals the ways in which adaptations inflect the at the urtext is in fact an intertextual constructions of the original hetero normative framework to blur the boundaries between masculine and feminine gestures, indicating the constructed nature of such binaries of separation. Along with this scene, the Hannibal series reproduces another sequence from the film that even more clear ly highlights Will Graham as a feminized figure by na rrative of this scene in the TV series exactly parallels the film, with Hannibal saving Clarice and Will from Mason Figure 3 3 Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Hannibal Film, MGM, 2001.


26 Figure 3 4 Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2015. Figure 3 5 Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Hannibal Film, MGM, 2001. Fig ure 3 6 Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2015. In both Figure 3 3 and 3 4, Hannibal carries Clarice and Will, the respective objects of his desire, away from a scene of danger in his arms bridal style. The composition reverberat es wi th the gendered and heterosexual visual of the husband carrying the bride over the threshold into marriage. The body language here draws upon long traditions of swooning maidens who must be saved by a strong male hero. By placing Will, the male protag onist of the show, into this ordinarily feminized position, the series questions the long standing heterosexist construction of women as the weaker gender


27 Figure 3 6 eroti cizes his body in a way usually reserved for depictions of sensual femininity. Hannibal offers a critique common in the gender inversions of hom o erotic horror films, exposing the 142). Writing this extraordinarily feminized body language onto male cop Will Graham draws attention to the performative nature of gende r in film as well as complicating Hannibal TV series to reveal the ways in which Clarice had been traditionally feminized in previous adaptations and thus expose the heterosexist dynamics of other entries in the franchise. In addition to critiquing the heterosexist narrative conventions formerly at play in the franchise, doubling in Hannibal serves as a means of deconstructing the boundaries of identity, body, and space, thereby utilizing t he double to meditate on alternative queer forms of being. As I will discuss in greater detail later in this thesis the Hannibal TV series is extraordinarily preoccupied with portraying Will and Hannibal as doubles of one another and utilizing this doubl ing to depict queer desire between the two men. However, this doubling does have a more muted precedent in the original Hannibal Lecter novels, between Hannibal and Clarice as the two Gothic romantic leads. The romance between the pair draws upon conventio ns of monstrous doubling and desire associated with the Gothic, such as transformation and blurring of identity boundaries between two characters. As Tasker writes of the relationship between Hannibal and Clarice in The


28 Silence of the Lambs the film borro ws from a typical narrative of doubling between cop even a clich of crime fiction and (Tasker 75). There are numerous in stances of doubling and the blurring of boundaries between Hannibal and Clarice in the series. Most strikingly, the film adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs highlights this visually, as can be seen in Figure 7, by separates them. Figure 3 7 Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Silence of the Lambs Film, MGM, 1991. Figure 3 8 Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2015. As can be seen in Figure 3 8, the Hannibal TV series reproduces this same technique, and does so exhaustively. Figure 3 s via his reflection in the glass. Of the six episodes that make


29 By using superimposition and reflection to create this effect, both shots create the dissolving bou ndaries between Hannibal and both Clarice and Will respectively, double but also as a figure whose separate identity from his two objects of desire is rapidly blurri ng into one, no longer existing as a physical entity outside of them but rather conjoined to their bodies. Halberstam writes of Silence disappear altogether, becoming as transparent as the glass that (barely) divides Lecter and Starling. Lecter illustrates to perfection the spooky and uncanny effect of confusing boundaries, inside and outside, consuming and being consumed, watching and being Skin Shows 164). The blurring of normative boundar ies is a threat posed by [does] not so much...threaten to overrun the boundaries rather than being directed at an object, forms around excessivene ss and transformation. desire for Clarice and Wil l ultimately forms from the queer coded horror at the heart of his own identity him. Cannibalism functions parallel to distinctions between identity and desire; between self and other; between what we want, what we want to be, and what we Because cannibalism involves consumption of human flesh, the act breaks down the barriers separating human bodies.


30 boundaries, and his cannibalism metaphorically refle cts his intention to transform Clarice and Will into reflections of himself. However, rather than achieving this by cannibalizing the objects of his desire, he intends to break down these boundaries by transforming them into cannibal doubles of himself Th is transformative excess often threatens hegemonic binaries, including gender and sexuality (MacCormack 255). this monstrous desire for transformation and the rapid merging of identities. In the case of Hannibal the dissolution of identity threatens not only the physical heterosexuality. As stated, these sequences of Will and the imprisoned Hannibal Insane, take place after a six year time jump within the series. In these scenes the pair e since he last saw Hannibal, including you choose [your family]? Ready made wife and child to serve your needs. A stepson or daughter? A stepson absolves you of any biological blame. You kn ow better than to By placing these intense identification with Hannibal with his heteronormative relationship, and thus highlights the similarity of and tension between his marri age and his bond with


31 than a normative construction, a doomed attempt by Will to deny his true nature. Thus, Hannibal builds upon these doubling shots, lifted from a he terosexual relationship in Silence not only to break down normative binaries of physical separation but also The blurring of boundaries of identity between Clarice and Hannibal continues thr oughout the book series. This narrative is reproduced in the show in Will and en he is incarcerated. The books and television series imply that Clarice and Will inhabit this space with him. building as well. It shares some rooms -he has discovered her in there several Hannibal 543) Hannibal to Will: Your memory palace is building discovered you there, victorious. In Hannibal e speaks of them sharing a memory palace, encountering each other within their own minds. He says the same to Will after they have re ven more explicit earlier in the season. Figure 3 9 Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2015.


32 In the shot in Figure 3 home in an attempt to understand him more thorou ghly, Will imagines a conversation with Hannibal. This encounter occurs simultaneous with scenes of Hannibal in Florence, projection of Hannibal as genuine, as if thei r conversation actually occurred in reality. This sequence fully realizes the encounters that the Hannibal dialogue to Will in the series hint at, indicating that both Clarice and Will share psychic space with Hannibal. Hannibal invade s both Will and Clarice mentally, inhabiting a place with them that exists outside of the corporeal, thus dissolving the boundaries of identity mentally and physically. In addition, both texts also engage with the idea of Hannibal transforming Clarice and Will, one of the primary effects and motivations of monstrous desire. This mutation primarily manifests as the breaking down of binary boundaries, with Hannibal influencing Will and Clarice to move beyond the normative modes of being. However, description of such metamorphoses seems to indicate that he is not entirely in control of their transformations, complicating the agency monstrous figures typically possess. His motivations seem to b e primarily centered on mu tation and rebirth rather than control. caterpillar, he could whisper through the chrysalis; what hatched out followed its ( Hannibal 523) Hannibal to Will: I can feed the caterpillar, and I can whisper through th e chrysalis, but what hatches follows its The above passages are concerned with the transformation of Clarice and Will under


33 situation. He is as much a part and participant in the transformation as he is the orches of doubling, blurring identities, and transformation, muddling the boundaries between them. The television series lifts these motifs directly from previous adaptations and ap plies them to the relationship between Will and Hannibal, replicating the monstrous desire for transformation from the original heterosexual relationship and thus casting doubt on the naturalness of heteronormativity. By drawing parallels between Will Gra ham and Clarice Starling, Hannibal show draws attention to the eroticization of Clarice in previous adaptations, revealing the gendered associations of sensuality to be a construction. In addition, the series mimics the romantic elements of a heterosexual relationship to create a queer romantic if asexual one. This doubling operates in the series in much the same way as queer perf ormativity does: as a means of revealing th e constructed nature of heterosexuality. According to Butler, repetition is the means by which heterosexuality claims originality. Thus, when queerness mimics heteronormativity, the act of performance reveals heterosexuality itself to be an imitation and t herefore disputes its claims to originality. This use of doubling as deconstruction separates Hannibal from earlier entries in the franchise. Whereas the previous books and adaptations in the Lecter series drew upon queer coding for heteronormative villain s and thus reinforced the idea of monstrosity stemming from queerness, the show imitates a heterosexual model in a queer relationship, deconstructing the notion of monstrosity as the product of same sex desire by revealing the ways in which heterosexuality can be monstrous. Hannibal


34 simultaneously embraces queer monstrosity while complicating the idea that this monstrosity stems exclusively from queerness. Instead, by duplicating dialogue and Fuller undermines the naturalization of heteronormativity, locating monstrous desire within a heterosexual relationship and thus revealing a shared element of the unnatural in both queerness and heteronormativity.


35 CHAPTER 4 TRANSFORMATIVE QUEER DESIRE In addition to doubling Clarice as a means of disrupting gendered norms throughout the show also replicates adaptations with Will In this case, theme of Hannibal and Will as doubles of one another, the motif the series uses to construct their queer desire for one another. The television series draws upon famous lines and iconography from pre vious film adaptations including Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon only have resonance if the viewer understands the allusions to the original series. In addition to paralleling Will with representations of Hannibal in other adaptations, the series repeatedly constructs Will and Hannibal as doubles of one another within the Traditionall y in Gothic texts, the double serves as a construction for representing the unspeakable repressed Other, an articulation of desires the protagonist has abjected. Thus, these texts largely construct the hom o erotic double as the threat of repressed queer desire, which the protagonist must inevitably reject ( Between Men 92). However, in Hannibal this intense visual doubling becomes a mode of reincorporation one anoth er, the series breaks down the strict boundaries between reality and fantasy, thus opening up an in between space for imagining alternative queer potentialities and modes of being.


36 One such instance of doubling within the series highlights the complex nat ure of Will as a double, as he acts as both double to Clarice and Hannibal simultaneously. In The Silence of the Lambs Hannibal explains his motivations for what he does in the following quotation, while in Hannibal Will Graham discusses his recent trans formations within the series into a much more monstrous figure, recognizably similar to Hannibal. Starling. I good and evil for behaviorism, Officer Sta The Silence of the Lambs 21 2). Will: You can't reduce me to a set of influences. I'm not the product of anything. I've given up good and evil for behaviorism Hannibal: Then you can't say that I'm evil. Will: You're destructive. Same thing. By giving the dialogue of both Hannibal and Clarice to Will during this homage, the series highlights the ways in which Will acts as a double for both of the characters. This scene also blurs the sense of identity in the show, since the dialogue meditates on d whether or not he can easily be defined as an evil figure. However, in the television series, Will begins by describing himself, before the conversation moves on to discuss Hannibal as an evil figure and how exactly he is evil. By constructing the doubli pretends to give into the same cannibalistic urges as Hannibal in order to seduce him into revealing his true nature. By directly quoting Hannibal from the original book series, Will acts as a mirror, reflecting back at Hannibal a version of himself existing within Will. That ability to reproduce sameness through his empathy is something that Hannibal finds attractive about Will, and the series emphasizes it by Will directly quoting


37 Hannibal. The series uses this intertextual doubling to emphasize not only Will as double of both Clarice and Hannibal, but also to further the narratives within the show of the c ontinually blurring separation of identity between Hannibal and Will. In addition to dialogue, the Hannibal series recreates some of the most infamous iconography associated with Hannibal Lecter, namely, the muzzle that has come to be the symbol for Hanni bal as a character. Figure 4 10 Anthony Hopkins, Silence of the Lambs Film, MGM, 1991. Figure 4 11 Hugh Dancy, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. As Figure 4 10 and 4 muzzle and places it onto the body of Will Graham, inscribing Will with a visual trajectory of the series, Hannibal t echnically takes place before any of the books in the series, with the exception of the origin story Hannibal Rising Thus, in the internal


38 occurs before Hannibal is ever captured, meaning that his parallels with the famous iconography associated with Hannibal chronologically precedes Hannibal being imprisoned or placed within the famous muzzle. The doubling thus makes Will the originator of these visual signifiers within the narrative temporality of the series, actually In addition to the striking visual doubling of Will and Hannibal through t he muzzle, Will also narratively and visually doubles Hannibal during his imprisonment for by sending him to the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane f crimes. In this instance, Will not only acts as a double for Hannibal, but the pair effectively switches places in a scene that reproduces the introduction of Hannibal Lecter as a character in the first novel Red Dragon Figure 4 12 Edwar d Norton, Red Dragon Film, Universal 2002.


39 Figure 4 13 Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2013. Fig ure 4 14 Anthony Hopkins, Red Dragon Film, Universal, 2002. Figure 4 15 Hugh Dancy, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2013. The images on the left, Figures 4 12 and 4 14, show the very first re encounter between Hannibal and Will in the film Red Dragon since Will captured Hannibal years before, an adaptation of the very first scene of Hannibal in the book series. Figures 4 13 a nd 4 15 are screenshots from the climactic scene of Hannibal Hannibal comes to visit Will for the first time since Will has been imprisoned. The Hannibal scene replicates the shots from the encounter in Red Dragon with Will an d Hannibal is also his. This sequence in Hannibal becomes an axle of intertextuality, as it doubles the scene from Red Dragon and also parallels a later sequence in the show, when Hannibal and Will first re encounter each other after Hannibal has finally been imprisoned. This scene not only creates a narrative set of doubled doubles, but also


40 reinforces the notion that Will has become even more purely Hannibal Lecter wit hin the series, their identities blurred. While Will is in fact doubling the Hannibal Lecter of other adaptations, within the timeline of the series, Hannibal is the one doubling Will, who stands as the original chronologically. This supplanting of the ori ginal mimics queer performativity and the relationship between queerness and heterosexuality, in that as osexual claim to Thus, the supplanting of the original through the repetition of doubling is in and of itself a queer act. In this way the series is queer in its very structure and assumes a queer position ality in relationship to the original franchise. In addition to these allusions to other adaptations, Hannibal exhaustively constructs Hannibal and Will as doubles of one another both narratively and visually within the series. The show utilizes this doubling as an articulation of the intense identification the men feel toward one another as well as a desire for unity that nd Will as doubles of one another through a series of shot reverse shots, but also indicates that the transformative nature of their desire is mutual, with Hannibal undergoing a metamorphosis alongside Will. Will and Hannibal have a conversation about the nature of God, death, and sacrifice in


41 Figure 4 16 Hugh Dancy, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. Figure 4 17 Hugh Dancy, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014 Figure 4 18 Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. Figure 4 19 Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014.


42 The scene begins with several standard shot reverse shots as the pair speaks facing one another, establishing the sp ace, their location in the scene, and their conversation. The camera shows Hannibal listening to Will, then cuts to Will in his established location 4 16, referring to the young woman that he and Hannibal had beco me father figures toward in the first season and that Hannibal had presumably killed in order to orchestrate his framing of Will for his crimes. The shot then cuts back to the reverse shot where Hannibal is sitting, but this time, Will sits in his place, s taring back at himself (Figure 4 sitting as he was in Figure 16. The camera cuts back to the reverse shot (Figure 4 18) returns to the original establishing shot of Will (Figure 4 16), but this time, as before, Hannibal has taken his place (Figure 4 and the sequence once again establishes the normal order of shot reverse shot, with each man back in his appropriate place. This sequence establishes the two men as doubles of one another. The scene indicates both that this conversation is directed internally, having the visuals show them speaking to themselves, as well as displaying the fact that each man sees himself in the o ther, that Will and Hannibal both recognize themselves as doubles of one another. The combination of dialogue and visuals indicates that Will feels in some ways responsible for the crimes that Hannibal has committed, as though they occurred at his own hand This motif continues throughout the show, with Will telling Hannibal in the season three


43 n, blending their identities into one. The scene also articulates that this identification is not mutually exclusive; while Will sees himself in Hannibal, Hannibal also sees himself in Will. This indicates that the transformation taking place between the t wo men via their queer desire for one another is not simply a metamorphosis orchestrated by Hannibal, transformation, this scene establishes that Hannibal lacks total c ontrol over the situation. Hannibal is a participant in the transition happening between them. While he attempts to change Will, he too changes. Will himself states that this is the case in the second season finale, when Hannibal asks him after his betraya show breaks the rules of shot reverse shot in order to depict the doubling taking place between Hannibal and Will, and in doing so visualizes the mu tual n ature of their transformation, a transformation that Hannibal does not control, but takes part in. blurring boundaries of separation between the two men. In the episod e, as part of a longer season arc in which Will has been effectively seducing Hannibal in order to get him to reveal his cannibalistic nature, Will pretends to have murdered reporter Freddie Lounds and brought her flesh as a meal for Hannibal and he to sha re. Although the


44 on his part. The final frame of the episode shows a close up of Figure 4 20 Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. hysical separation of their insert of this shot reappears later in the series, in the penultimate episode, when Bedelia tells Will after Hannibal has been imprisoned way in which t heir separate identities break down in to a unified singular one. The series represents this unity through the dissolution of bodily and psychic boundaries. Thus, this scene portrays Will and Hannibal as doubles whose desire for one another threatens the construction of normative binaries of se paration, such as physical and mental identity. separation with the object of desire by break ing down physical boundaries. Patricia MacCormack writes of this dissolution of boundaries as fundamentally queer, other collapses in on the self because it is neither same nor opposite, are queer and


45 queer theory i and Hannibal to be physically one, Hannibal realizes this collapse. The break down of corporeal boundaries dissolves the bodily constructions of identity, such as gender and sexuality, and disrupts these constructions to offer alternative modes outside normative binaries. This disruption signifies er to: the open mesh of possibilities, gaps, overlaps, dissonances and resonances, lapses and excesses of meaning when the constituent elements of anyone's gender, of anyone's sexuality aren't made (or can't be This visual convergence of Will and Hannibal occurs simultaneously with a presumed act of cannibalism, an articulation of the queer primary identity and the horror at the center of the transformation Hannibal desi res for Will. Their metaphorical physical merging occurs through an act which itself violates self....cannibalism and homosexuality....violate...that boundary. The ac t offers an ecstatic union; it offers to relieve the self of the burden of selfhood; it offers a chance to the case of Hannibal and Will, this union is not realized through c annibalizing one the pair is to violate the normative physical boundaries of others through the consumption of their bodies, with their own bodily dissolution occurrin g metaphorically through their shared identity as cannibals. Through this dissolution, the series opens up space for realizing alternative queer articulations of being and interacting that exist


46 between the hegemonic binaries. Hannibal uses the double to f urther explore this role as double with Chiyo a childhood friend of Hannibal Chiyo says to Will, the FBI set up a plan to fake p the Red Dragon serial killer. Will tells Bedelia his intentions for Hannibal killing with Hannibal and thus becoming one wi th him. flux rather than already concluded, signifies his queer desire toward Hannibal as offering an alternative existence not yet realized. Queer disruption opens up the potentiality o f this in progress form of being, constructing queerness as that which has not yet been realized, as Mu ...a


47 (9). Given that Mu oz constructs queerness as predicated on hope and thus utopia, this articulation of queer becoming within a horror text seems odd. However, Mu oz notes anticipation, and therefore existing as modes for articulating queer potentiality. and potential futures or alternative possibilities, adhering again to Mu episode of the third season, Will has a conversation with his pseudo adopted daughter Abigail that indicates the way his relationship with Hannibal occupies a position o f potentiality. In the previous season finale, Hannibal had planned to run away with Will Unbeknownst to Hannibal, Will planned with FBI agent Jack Crawford to a rrest Hannibal on that night. However, Will has reser vations about his original plan and ultimately confesses the plan to Hannibal just as Jack descends upon the house. Hannibal retaliates by attacking Jack and Will before fleeing the country for Italy at grasp what would have happened, could have happened, in some other world did with Hannibal occupies, with a consummation of their intense intimacy positioned as an alternative possibility that has not come to fruition in this world, but may have in another. Th eir desire for each other has the potential to open up new worlds and new modes of being.


48 This intimacy and desire exists as queer, articulated through the double which breaks down physical and mental boundaries. Thus, in Hannibal becoming one with Hannibal rests on the horizon, articulated in visual and narrative moments of doubling but not yet realized. As a genre, horror is largely predicated upon a fear of the disruption of normalcy. Therefore, the disruptive nature of horror provides a lens for imagining alternative constructions of gender and sexuality, and thus the perfect narrative structure for exploring queer possibilities. However, horror as a genre and the Gothic novel typically subsume the disruptive potential of the monstrous figure through death and a return to the heteronormative status quo. Hannibal on the other hand, more fully realizes the queer potential within horror narratives.


49 CHAPTER 5 BINARIES, THE EROTIC TRIANGLE, AND QUEER FUTURITY Hannibal dramatizes queer de sire through erotic triangles, follo wing a common Gothic narrative. The second season of Hannibal contains a love triangle between Hannibal, Will, and their mutual love interest psychiatrist Alana Bloom. This triangle offers the only dramatization of potential sexual desire between the two men in the series The show articulates this subtext through s equences set in the space of fantasy, disrupting the boundarie s of reality within the series. Hannibal follows many similar narrative arcs of articulating queer desire through erotic triangles in which the ationship in which the true partner is Between Men 26). However, the triangulation between Alana, Hannibal, and destruction. The final scene furthers this queer di sruption by implying that the pair has survived. Thus, the narrative blocks any possibility of restoring the heteronormative horror film defeat of the monster and res toration of the heteronormative status quo. Only one couple survives relatively unscathed from the wreckage of monstrous triangulation in the series: Alana and her wife Margot Verger, a former sexual partner of Will Graham. Margot adds an additional elemen t to the typical Gothic erotic triangle, and her presence helps to disrupt and subvert the typical sublimation of queer desire through heterosexual conduits, instead creating queer alternatives. The show also uses dynamic. Hannibal visually duplicates artistic sex scenes of Alana and Margot with Hannibal and Will, adding an erotic layer to scenes between them in spite of the


50 absence of sex. The triangulation between the fou r of them also concludes with the pairing off of two queer couplings: Alana and Margot in marriage, and Hannibal and Will in seeming death. In the case of Alana and Margot, the couple offers a queer l couple. Arguably two of the only characters in the series to get a traditional Hollywood happy ending, the series concludes with Alana and Margot alive, married, and raising a child. Thus, Alana and Margot offer an example of the way in which Hannibal qu eers traditional horror narratives. Hannibal scenes of Hanniba l and Will to not only eroticize also to demonstrate the way queer desire breaks down the b oundaries of the physical body in the show. The shot also indicates Margot sleeping with Alana as an encounter with herself, as though, like Hannibal and Will, she sees herself in Alana. Figure 5 21 Katharine Isabelle Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2015.


51 Figure 5 22 Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2015. encounter. The sex scene is shot in a highly stylized manner, as can be seen in Fi gure 5 21. The sequence uses overlays and superimposition to create doubled shots of conjoined bodies that represent the erotic encounter. For instance, in Figure 5 21, the faded fissure down the center joining the double d image together. This visual articulates same sex desire in the series as manifesting through the figure of the double. Hannibal uses this artistic sexual encounter to manifest the common metaphor for sex o f two bodies becoming one. The show then reproduces this conjoined shot later in the episode with Hannibal and Will (Figure 5 22). speech about soul mates from oined being with two heads and eight limbs before the gods severed them. This shot realizes the desired down the binaries of physically separate bodies to become one c onjoined being. By depicting a sex scene between Alana and Margot through this shot of their bodies conjoined, and then duplicating that shot in the same episode with Hannibal and Will in


52 tionship with explicit queer sex but also depicts the transformative desire between Hannibal and Will the desire to break down the barriers that separate them and morph into one as an erotic one As mentioned above, these two queer pairings actually form from a previous triangulation between all four. Unlike the typical function of an erotic triangle in Gothic fiction and horror where queer desire is sublimated into a heterosexual pairing that acts as a conduit, here the triangulation resolves itself into two separate queer couplings. Even prior to the triangle severing to establish the se queer dynamics, the show uses the erotic triangle to explore queer desire in an experimental sex scene between Hannibal, n. Hannibal uses cross cutting to construct an alternative place that brings all three parties of the erotic triangle together and reveals the numerous dynamics of this triangulation. Will and Alana share a flirtation in the first season of Hannibal shar ing a kiss before Alana insists that Will is too troubled to begin a romantic relationship. aborted kiss immediately after it occurs. In the following season, after Wi failed flirtation, Hannibal and Alana engage in a romantic relationship. Their relationship very much follows the standard pattern of erotic triangulation in which the female episode in which Hannibal and Alana start sleeping together, Hannibal specifically l scene in the


53 between Alana, Will, and Hannibal. The episode sets up two parallel sex scenes: one between Hannibal and Alana, and the other between Will and Margot Verger, a lesbian patient of Hannibal who attempts to get pregnant. The sequence utilizes cross cutting, fades, and grotesque special effects to blur the concept of reality and fantasy, breaking down the boundaries bedroom, the camera cuts to a close scene then cuts to a reverse shot of Alana looking up at him, creating a gaze between the two that transcends physical location. The sequence moves to a close up of Alana kissing Hannibal, then pans without cutting as she turns her head and kisses Will, creating the illu sion that the three of them are in the room together, transgressing their catches the gaze of the wendigo, a solid black form with antlers that Will frequently imagines as a between Will and each of the other members of the erotic triangle. Figure 5 23 Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014.


54 Figure 5 24 Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy Hannib al Television, Lionsgate, 2014. Figure 5 25 Hugh Dancy Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. Figure 5 26 Mads Mikkelsen Caroline Dhavernas, Hugh Dancy Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2014. The scene then furthers the identification between Hannibal and Will with a shot of Hannibal throwing his head back in a gesture of ecstasy that then fades into Will in the exact same position (Figures 5 23, 5 24, and 5 25). This fade indicates the blurrin g of disintegration of physical separation between them and violating the boundaries of the body.


55 The final shot of the sequence pulls back to reveal a frame of Alana, Will, and arms (Figure 5 26). This final shot emphasizes the intimacy between all three characters within the triangle, suggesting a sexual encounter not limited to the two potential heterosexual pairings of the triangle, but between all three of them. This portraying queer desire between the two men within the realm of fantasy. The portrayal of this sexual encounter within an imagined place not only disrupts the boundaries of relationship as potential between them not yet realized. The scene articulates this eroti cutting one. The simultaneous nature of these sex scenes creates ambiguity about reality in the seque nce, utilizing the visuals instead to portray the complicated dynamics within the cutting to transgress separation across physical locations, creating an explicitly sexual encounter that takes place within psy chic space. Thus, queer desire occurs in sequences which break down the traditional boundaries of space and the body. This transgression of boundaries offers a queer articulation of desire, poised within the gap between binaries. Hannibal uses cross cuttin g across separate locations to queer erotic triangulation Through this technique, the TV series opens up a place that parallels the geography, the notion of a body centered iden tity gives way to a model that locates


56 Queer Time & Place 5). Because the space created through this cross cutting is separate from physical reality seemingly taking place within the minds of the characters, via vision or explorations of queer eroticism unfold, as Halberstam describes between spaces and bodies, straddling normative parameters. The violation of the clear boundari es of setting within Hannibal much like the queer construction of the metaphorical space of the closet, represents the constant Epistemology of the Closet 71) implicit in queer identity. The construction of a new space between r eality and fantasy thus invites explorations of queer desire, as exposed queer identity exists within this alternative place "out of the closet, but into what? what new unbounded spatiality? the room, the den, the attic, the basement, the house, the bar, t he university, some new enclosure whose door, like Kafka's door, produces the expectation of a fresh air and a light of illumination that 309 ). This precarious spatiality is queer, as it is predicated on the potentiality of fantasy 309 ). Thus, this eroti c triangulation exists within a queer space, one which not only breaks down binaries but is also positioned precariously between them. The queer narratives of Hannibal are particularly suited for exploration within this place, as through the erotic triangl e the series ex plores sexual fluidity or bisexu ality, a queer experience that occupies the space between homosexual and heterosexual.


57 The climactic scene of the Hannibal realizes the queer potentiality that runs throu ghout the entire series, ending with the serial killer antagonist, on a cliff outside the safe house in which Hannibal and Will have Hannibal as a killer. He willingly kills the Red Dragon with Hannibal in a manic, animalistic fight which involves unleashing t he dark urges Hannibal has sought to ultimate identification with Hannibal; he has essentially become him, the transformation that propels his arc throughout the entire series. Figure 5 27 Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal Television, Lionsgate, 2015. e 5 27). He then slowly leans over the edge of the cliff, pulling Hannibal along with him, the pair still locked in a tight embrace as they fall to their presumed death in the waters below. This final sequence follows not only the horror tradition, but al so many early Monsters in


58 the Closet 37). In this way, queerness in the series embodies the death drive, embracing queer negativity (Edelman 3 4). However, an after credits scene complicates this queer negativity. The last sequence of the series reveals Bedelia sitting at a dining room table. A pan to her legs under the table reveals that one has been cut off, the table furnished with her missing leg as the entree. The table is set for three. Thus, the series ends ambiguously, implying that Hannibal and Will may have survived their fall. Unlike alternative future or no social order (4), this shot e nds Hannibal on a much more ambivalent note of possibility beyond death, thus imagining a potential queer future from the framework of death. Through these two final scenes, Hannibal both adheres to the narrative constructions set by early horror films an d other early queer texts that followed these models but also ultimately subverts them. Unlike these texts, through which queer potentiality can only be achieved in death, the ambiguity at the close of Hannibal allows for the possibility of a queer potenti ality for Hannibal and Will not yet explored. The narrative of the series gesture s to this potentiality manifesting through cannibalism, giving Hannibal and Will a shared identity that continues to break down bodily desire queer transformation for Will. In this way, Hannibal updates the queer horror conventions by not only permanently disrupting the heteronormative status quo, but also opening up space for a queer futurity not extinguished by death. Hannibal ous ending realizes the potentiality that Will indicated when he


59 heart of the seri es: the breaking down of separate identities so that the two men can finally become one, a metaphorical sex scene. Reviewers such as Jeff Jensen recognized this intentional romantic transformation, writing, Will fell into Hannibal heteronormative restoration, with Will disavowing his wife and stepson to finally embrace his queer nature. However, in spite of Will and Hannibal achieving the queer possibility of their e of Hannibal embraces negativity as a rupture for exploring and articulating new forms of queer desire. Thus, Hannibal fully r ealizes the potential of horror narratives as a lens for transgressing binaries, deconstructing gender and sexuality, disrupting heteronormativity, and imagining queer futures.


60 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION Hannibal utilizes Gothic and horror narrative conventions in order to explore alternative forms of queer desire. In particular, the series uses the trope of the double to deconstruct gender and imagine alternative queer futures. Through the parallels drawn between Will and Clarice, the series highlights the constructed nature of gender and heterosexuality. Unlike previous entries in the Hannibal franchise, which used queer coding to depict heterosexual villains and thus monstrosity as stemming from queerness, Hanni bal imitates a heterosexual relationship in a same sex one, dispelling present in both queer and heteronormative desire. The show also uses the romantic framework of H dynamic between Hannibal and Will. The doubling of Hannibal and Will serves as a means of transgressing the boundaries of the body and the mind, imagining instead an alternative mode of qu eer desire focused on blurring binaries. Hannibal uses monstrous transformative desire to break down the boundaries of the body, gender, and sexuality, revealing the subversive queer potential in this narrative. By dispersing the erotic triangle of Hanniba l, Will, and Alana into two queer couplings, Hannibal realizes the potential in a Gothic convention to permanently disrupt heteronormativity. In addition, the visual doubling of Hannibal and Will within this erotic triangle dissolves the boundaries of phys ical location, offering an alternative space that imitates the in between nature of queer experience. Through this gender and sexuality, establishing horror a s a useful lens for scholars and artists to


61 imagine alternative modes of being. Hannibal characterizes queer becoming as a precipice on the horizon, simultaneously embracing the negativity of monstrous queerness and the death drive while still utilizing th e potentiality for queer futurity. In a period in which same sex desire can be depicted on screen, Hannibal depicts a biromantic relationship and thus reclaims a metaphorical narrative that often stood in for queer experience at a time when that experience could only be dramatized through coding and subtext. Hannibal utilizes the subversive potential of queer coded tropes in horror, fulfilling the counter reading queer audiences have often brought to the monstrous other ( Monsters in the Closet 15). Rather t han returning to the normative status quo, Hannibal fully realizes the subtextual queer potential that has always been present in horror narrative conventions.


62 REFERENCES Filmography Hannibal: Season 3 Lionsgate, 2015. Hannibal: Season 3 Lionsgate, 2015. Hannibal: Season 3 Lionsgate, 2015. Hannibal: Season 3 Lionsgate, 2015. Hannibal: Season 2 Lionsgate, 2014. Hannibal. Dir. Ridley Scott. Perf. Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore. MGM, 2001. DVD. Hannibal: Season 2 Lionsgate, 2014. Hannibal: Season 2 Lionsgate, 2014. Hannibal: Season 2 Lionsgate, 2014. Hannibal: Season 3 Lionsgate, 2015. Hannibal: Season 3 Lionsgate, 2015. Red Dragon Dir. Brett Ratner. Perf. Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton. Universal, 2002. DVD. Hannibal: Season 1 Lionsgate, 2013. The Silence of the Lambs Dir. Jonathan Demme. Perf. Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster. MGM, 2006. DVD. Hannibal: Season 2 Lionsgate, 2014. Hannibal: Season 3 Lionsgate, 2015. Bibliography Benshoff, Harry. Monsters in the Closet: Homosexuality and the Horror Film Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997. Print. Cinema in the Twenty Speaking of Monsters: A Teratological


63 Ant hology Ed. Caroline Joan S. Picart and John Edgar Browning. New York: St. 265. Print. The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader Ed. Henry Abelove, Michle Aina Barale, and David M. Halperin. New York : Routledge 2012 307 321 Print. American Literature 66.1 (1994): 25 53. Edelman, Lee. No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive Durham: Duke University Press, 2004. Print. Halberstam, Judith. In a Queer Time & Place New York: New York University Press, 2005. Print. Skin Shows : Gothic horror and the Technology of monsters Duke University Press, 1995. Print. Harris, Thomas. Hannibal New York: Bantam Dell, 2006. Print. Red Dragon New York: Penguin Group, 2000. Print. The Silence of the Lambs Hutcheon, Linda. A Theory of Adaptation New York: Routledge, 2006. Print. Jensen, Jeff. Hannibal Finale Review: A Perversely Romantic, Totally Satisfying Last Entertainment Weekly Time Inc., 30 Aug. 2015. Web. 2 Feb. 2017. < /2015/08/30/hannibal series finale review >. Speaking of Monsters: A Teratological Anthology Ed. Caroline Joan S. Picart and John Edgar Browning. 265. Print. Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies 9.1 (2014): 229 242. Muoz, Jos Esteban. Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity New York: New York University Press, 2009. Print. Phillips, Kendall R. Controversial Cinema: The Films That Outraged America Westport: Praeger, 2008. Print. Plato. Plato's Symposium Trans. Benjamin Jowett. New York: Liberal Arts Press, 1956. Print.


64 Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire New York: Columbia University Press, 1985. Print. Epistemology of the Closet Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. Print. The Routledge Queer Studies Reader Ed. Donald E. Hall, Annamarie Jagose, Andrea Bebell, and Susan Potter. New York: Routledge, 2013. Print. Body & Society 2.1 (1996): 1 15. anings of The Silence of the Lambs Film Theory Goes to the Movies Ed. Jim Collins, Hilary Radner, and Ava Collins. New York: Routledge, 1993. 142 54. Tasker, Yvonne. The Silence of the Lambs London: British Film Institute, 2002. Print.


65 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Megan Fowler is a current English PhD student at the University of Florida. She attended the University of Mississippi and received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Classics in 2014. She then went on to pursue her graduate degree at the Universit y of Florida in 2014 where she received her Master of Arts in English. Her research interests include New Media Studies, Visual Rhetoric, Fandom Studies, Feminist & Queer ly, Supernatural published in the McFarland Press collection Supernatural and the Gothic Tradition As of 2016, she continues her studies at the University of Florida, persisting in her rese arch on the intersectional representations of race, gender, and queer identity in contemporary visual media.