Transgressive aesthetics in Edward De Los Santos Cabagnot's The Theatre of Director Julius Opus

Date of Publication


Document Type

Bachelor's Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Literature


College of Liberal Arts




Awarded as best thesis, 2008

Thesis Adviser

Ronald Baytan

Defense Panel Member

Gerardo Z. Torres
Maria Lourdes L. Jacob


This study analyzes the character of director Julius Opus and the importance of his theatre as a site for sexual politics, power dynamics, and transgressive aesthetics. The analysis is divided into three parts. The first part unmasks Opus of the images he covers himself with in order to reveal what he really is and his desires really are. On his part of the study, Opus is seen as a negative and oppressive figure - the way people in our culture would usually see him. The second part reads and understands Opus using Jonathan Dollimore's Sexual Dissedence and J. Neil C. Garcia's Philippine Gay Culture. As we found out in the study, the misture of the two radical concepts of essentialism and anti-essentialism enables the character to deploy the transgressive aesthetics. With the help of the theatre as a site where identifies can be negotiated and sexual desires articulated, transgressiveness reinscription is achieved in the form of perversion of sexual acts between the characters. The theatre proves itself as a crucial part of transgressiveness aesthetics as it also acts as a big closet where homosexuals can move freely in. Camp and cross-dressing are also discussed in terms of their potentials and limitations because of the context. Because the two concepts combined are radically opposite, the transgressive potential is limited as well. The essentialist ideal proves to be more comfortable in our context and can altogether cancel out the perversion where it is conveniently endorse under. With the inability of the homosexual character to sustain the aesthetic, the homogenizing concept of essentialism that became dismissive of his sexuality, plus his internalized homophobia and the negative articulation of his identity: the transgressive potential is lost. The play ends having quite an achievement with its aesthetics and sensibilities but the homosexual character is left as a mere stereotype of homosexual artists in the eighties. The theatre, on the other hand, maintains its stature as a site for different possibility.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

[7], 128 leaves ; 28 cm.


Philippine literature--History and criticism; Homosexuality in literature--History and criticism; Homosexuality and literature--Philippines; Gay men in literature--History and criticism

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