Tag Archives: sex

Sexing Isabella and Angelo

There’s a wonderful chapter from Ewan Fernie in the recently released volume Shakespeare and I, about Angelo in Measure for Measure and the yearning to ‘sin in loving virtue,’ which Fernie feels is central to the play. But my incessant re-readings of the play – I’m researching it in relation to Wagner’s opera of it […]

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Published by Oxford University Press in February 2012

Shakespeare’s Many Moods of Love

The great actor Sir Ian McKellen, who is also well-known as a gay activist, was recently quoted in the press as saying that Shakespeare himself was probably gay. Invited to comment on this, I pointed out that there was nothing new in the idea, which for a long time has been frequently expressed especially because […]

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Photo by Moldy 1972

Shakespeare and Revolutionary Sex!

It might seem odd to think about Shakespeare in relation to Richard Wagner, but the nineteenth-century German dramatist read Shakespeare during his formative years, pointing to him as one of his three big influences (the other two being the Greek tragedians and Beethoven). He also made an opera of Measure for Measure, Das Liebesverbot (“The […]

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Rosebud by Mexicamax http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=rosebuds&f=hp

Shakespearience 3: Helena’s Fantasies (Part 1)

I promised last time to discuss a female character’s fantasies, and the character I had in mind was Helena from All’s Well that Ends Well. In the curious first scene of that play, Paroles (a posturing soldier) asks her with a leer, ‘Are you meditating on virginity?’ Helena’s reply suggests a witty wench on the […]

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'Expectation whirls me round'

Shakespearience: Troilus’s Fantasies

It behoves me no doubt, after my last blog, to give an example of the way any moment in Shakespeare might open like a flower, calling for dedicated appreciation and attention, offering its own very singular pleasures. So let’s, please, look at one of Troilus’s speeches from Troilus and Cressida: I am giddy; expectation whirls […]

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