shakespeare.to-go.biz

all about William Shakespeare

 

Compare Prices at compari.co.ukCompari UK - Compare Prices

 

Home

Early Life

London

Later Life

The Plays

Who Wrote It

Reputation

Authorship

Religion

Sexuality

Style

Complete works

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shakespeare's Sexuality

As with many aspects of Shakespeare's life, there is little direct evidence with regards to Shakespeare's sexuality aside from the fact that he was married to Anne Hathaway and fathered three children. Circumstantial evidence suggests Shakespeare's wedding to Hathaway was hurried because she was already pregnant. Evidence for this is that their first child, Susanna, was born six months after the marriage ceremony on May 26, 1583. In addition, a marriage license was issued for the couple after only one reading of their intent to marry (the reading was normally done three times in order to give local residents a chance to voice any legal or other objection to the marriage).

It is possible that Shakespeare felt trapped by this marriage, speculation supported by the fact that he left his family and moved to London after only three years of marriage.

While in London, Shakespeare may have had affairs with different women. One anecdote along these lines is provided by a law student named John Manningham, who wrote in his diary that Shakespeare had a brief affair with a woman during a performance of Richard III. While this is one of the few surviving contemporary accounts about Shakespeare, scholars are not convinced it is true (although the story may have helped inspire the 1998 film Shakespeare in Love). Possible evidence of other affairs are that twenty-six of Shakespeare's Sonnets are love poems addressed to a married woman (the so-called "Dark Lady").

In recent decades some scholars have taken another view of Shakespeare's sexuality, stating that possible homoerotic allusions in a number of his works suggest that Shakespeare was bisexual. While twenty-six of Shakespeare's Sonnets are addressed to his Dark Lady, one hundred and twenty-six are addressed to a young man (known as the "Fair Lord"). The amorous tone of the latter group, which focuses on the young man's beauty and the writer's devotion, has been interpreted as suggestive evidence for Shakespeare's being bisexual. For example, in 1954, C.S. Lewis wrote that the sonnets are "too lover-like for ordinary male friendship" (although he added that they are not the poetry of "full-blown pederasty") and that he "found no real parallel to such language between friends in the sixteenth-century literature." Nonetheless, others interpret them as referring to intense friendship rather than sexual love.

 

Contact Us | Bookmark this Site | Links | Links to Us

Site Links

Isambard Kingdom Brunel | London | Tower Bridge | UK Hotels