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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: February ::
Re: Shakespeare and Sex
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0434  Friday, 15 February 2002

[1]     From:   Jeffrey Myers <
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        Date:   Thursday, 14 Feb 2002 09:49:04 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 13.0428 Re: Playboy 1970 Pictorial

[2]     From:   Karen Peterson <
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        Date:   Thursday, 14 Feb 2002 07:59:51 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0428 Re: Playboy 1970 Pictorial

[3]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Thursday, 14 Feb 2002 18:26:08 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Shakespeare and Sex


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jeffrey Myers <
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Date:           Thursday, 14 Feb 2002 09:49:04 -0500
Subject: 13.0428 Re: Playboy 1970 Pictorial
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.0428 Re: Playboy 1970 Pictorial

> Shakespeare without sex is not
> Shakespeare at all,
> don't you think?  Am I obsessed?
>
> SAM SMALL

My students think I am.  Several of them commented on their evaluations
of my Medieval-Renaissance survey that they had learned that all of
literature is about sex.

So, what do you want to talk about, Sam?

Jeff "one sexy American" Myers

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Peterson <
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Date:           Thursday, 14 Feb 2002 07:59:51 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0428 Re: Playboy 1970 Pictorial
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0428 Re: Playboy 1970 Pictorial

> All of which brings to mind an absence of sexual
> discussion on this
> list.

Out of curiosity, I have just been to the SHAKSPER website's search
page.  I typed in "sex," and got 527 hits.  Hardly an absence, or a
void.  True, there hasn't been much in 2002, but the year is yet young.

Incidentally, the second hit on the list (with four stars!) was a 2000
posting from Mr. Small on Taymor's *Titus*.

Cheers,
Karen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Thursday, 14 Feb 2002 18:26:08 +0000 (GMT)
Subject:        Shakespeare and Sex

Anything anyone wants to talk about on the subject of Shakespeare and
sex is okay with me. However, if I may be permitted to generalize rather
widely, I think Shakespeare is more interesting on the subject of
sexuality and gender than on the subject of sex per se. We should not
confuse bawdry in dialogue with the occasion of sex itself within the
drama. What, besides perhaps Measure for Measure, might be interesting
on this subject? (By the way, there is good recent book on sex
regulation and this play by Debora Shuger.)

For more direct occasions of sex, look to Shakespeare's
contemporaries--Middleton (A Mad World, My Masters, especially act 3),
Fletcher and Massinger's The Custom of the Country, Four Jacobean Sex
Tragedies published by Oxford (The Insatiable Countess, The Second
Maiden's Tragedy, The Tragedy of Valentinian, and one other I can't
recall [Maid's Tragedy?]), Marlowe's Edward II. On sex, Shakespeare is
indeed tamer than his contemporaries.

Jack Heller

P.S. Perhaps even in the sonnets. I find Spenser's Amoretti to be more
erotic than Shakespeare's sonnets.

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