Was Shakespeare gay? Row breaks out between experts on playwright over whether lines from the sonnets reveal his sexuality
A new debate has broken out between some of the world’s top Shakespeare experts over whether the playwright’s sonnets prove he was attracted to men.
Sir Brian Vickers, a visiting professor at University College London, began the row by condemning a book review which suggested Sonnet 116 appears in a ‘primarily homosexual context’.
In a letter to the Times Literary Supplement, he said the claim was ‘anachronistic’ because scholars now accept there were forms of rhetoric that allowed men to express love without implying sexual attraction.
He also said that any attempt to find biographical information in the sonnets was doomed because Shakespeare was a professional who wrote under the identity of a ‘poet-persona’.
Fellow academics have since hit back at Mr Vickers’ comments, accusing him of promoting ‘one…
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