To begin; good day to all those people out there that hoped to begin reading this to find an article spouting hateful ignorance. Apologies for my lack of consideration here- maybe I should have been a little weaker as I grew up. Maybe my parents should have been wankers to placate you.
“Wankers to placate”- welcome to samsywoodsy.com- the home of very, very really good writing.
As for why it matters if Shakespeare was gay, the answer is twofold.
Firstly, we are extremely fortunate.
Shakespeare lived in a time when homosexuality was lethal.
A ‘cure’ for the condition would have been seen appropriate if the subject were murdered so as to cleanse the rest of the population.
Had his supposed homosexuality been discovered- he would have summarily and excruciatingly murdered by the state and his neighbours, whilst his works would have been as likely to have been recalled as our contemporary equivalent of Jimmy Saville programming being aired.
If William Shakespeare was gay; he was fortunate to survive the 17th Century with as many limbs or as little pain as he did.
Though likely he would have been burned for his ‘crimes’, and his poems, plays, sonnets and even correspondence would have been just as likely to live on as if they were wrapped in a parcel atop the burning pile at his feet.
Therefore, if William Shakespeare was homosexual then we, as the ever grateful audience, must be thankful that we have what we have- it may have been maliciously lost.
The second importance of the suggestion that Shakespeare was gay is as follows.
It matters if William Shakespeare was gay, if it mattered to William Shakespeare.
This is to say: as it may have been an inspiration for what must have been an already inspired soul.
His appreciation of love, hate, brotherhood, hate, death, womanhood and manhood, not to mention unrequited love, would have been exacerbated by the fact that he was living in a time when the world accused him of evil and his nature plead him to be himself- and yet he could not.
Perhaps Shakespeare found love, and was compelled to keep it secret, or perhaps the love was for another man with whom he could not bring himself to confess of his love to. The guys wore tights all the time back then- shapely legs were on display and erections were ridiculous to attempt to hide- unless you pretended it was some kind of prop.
Shakespeare may have been an entirely different subject for us had he been heterosexual. Perhaps he would have been dull, uninterested in the world and uninspiring in prose.
That being said- I find no suggestion that he may have been homosexual, but perhaps that is a natural thing.
Why should I be able to?
Shakespeare, of men, loved to write about the bright young things.
Take Prince Hamlet. Clever, upper-class, great sense of humour but…what can I say; Norway.
Then, let us examine Lysander and Demetrius of A Midsummer Night’s Dream fame.
Demetrius. A man of formal haircut with some sort of sensible-recommended birth to his name, likely military and with starch in his shirt collar, his thin moustache, and his wallet. Altogether a starchy male. Demetrius would agree with the statement: “Sit up straight and you have a better life”. I told that to a child once. I was only partly right.
Then you have Lysander. Likely confused yet politely grinning, with a Hugh Grant ‘Flopsy’ of a hairstyle (which his mother always SO adored) and, if he is wearing something, it is probably all of it undone.
Summarising, as I tend to towards the end, if Shakespeare was gay then it matters as follows.
If it mattered to him; it matters. As an inspiration for his talent and for forging his soul into what seems as though otherworldly appreciation of love, hate, fear, brotherhood, friendship and all other grand components of all tales- in a time when homosexuality was lethal.
Secondarily, if Shakespeare was gay, then we are extremely lucky to have his work survive, for had is nature been discovered then he would not have lived to astound us via quill; his words and thoughts would not have survived the 17th century.
This is why it matter if Shakespeare was gay; because it may have made him who he was and we love the man and his work at least to the fairly moderate degree of hoping he lived long-enough to avoid execution.
A fairly reasonable level of love in my opinion.