Shakespeare, Sex and Love, By Stanley Wells
Revealed: The Bard behind closed doors
Sunday 04 March 2012
The OUP has to get punters in somehow, and how better than with a sexy title?
It mirrors Stanley Wells's accessible approach, although his extensive historical knowledge and sensitive readings of the poems and plays always win out. So we learn that: Shakespeare was one of two Elizabethan sonneteers to write explicitly about sex (long-forgotten Richard Barnfield is the other); the sonnets reveal his own adultery, and picture a "flawed" object of desire for the first time; and the later plays depict tension between "raw sexual desire" and "virtuous, God-given desires". Wells establishes all this not to say something new about Shakespeare, but to emphasise the impact of the writer's life on the work.
Arts & Ents blogs
Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch 'first sexy Holmes', says Mark Gatiss
Jared Leto: Best Supporting Actor Oscar sparks backlash from transgender community
In Kony's shadow: Shocking photographs reveal brutality of Lord's Resistance Army
Jessica Alba interview: From Hollywood superwoman to household product CEO
Captain Phillips actor Barkhad Abdi struggles financially despite Oscar nomination
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Channel 4 announces two-hour TV show to be broadcast 'Live from Space' later this month
- 4 Man stabbed with Legend of Zelda Master Sword in serious condition
- 5 Study suggests that 'gaydars' are real - at least for women