“What the hell are Pirin tablets?!”

I chose an opening clip from The Birdcage as representative of camp. Overall, the scene is very over the top. First, the aesthetic of the Albert’s dressing room where the scene takes place shows what Dryer describes as “camp as sensibility.” The decor is a very exaggerated semi-victorian style that is almost gaudy with ornamentation. Additionally, the scene plays on the contrast between Albert’s hyperfeminine and hysterical state and the masculine necessity of shaving his face and chest. This reveals “a relish for the exaggeration of sexual characteristics and personality mannerisms” (Sontag 56) that is distinctly campy. Finally, the “pirin tablet” only further amplifies the absurdity of Albert’s hysterical state and adds to the humor of the scene.


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