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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: January ::
Campaign Asks Children to Consider Whether
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0141  Tuesday, 25 January 2005

[1]     From:   David Basch <
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        Date:   Monday, 24 Jan 2005 13:37:53 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.01230 Campaign Asks Children to Consider Whether
Shakespeare Was Gay

[2]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Monday, 24 Jan 2005 14:59:29 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.01230 Campaign Asks Children to Consider Whether
Shakespeare Was Gay


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Basch <
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Date:           Monday, 24 Jan 2005 13:37:53 -0500
Subject: 16.01230 Campaign Asks Children to Consider Whether
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.01230 Campaign Asks Children to Consider Whether
Shakespeare Was Gay

Al Magary did us all a good service by his posting that revealed a
jaundiced British academic establishment that wants to bring Shakespeare
into "politically correct" discussions about homosexuality ("Was
Shakespeare gay, children" - icBirmingham, 1.22.05). Al's letter
inspired the following letter which I wrote to the editors of this media
outlet, which I enclose below.

This happens to be an issue where what the poet is personally bears on
the meaning of his work. If this is the battlefield, then it is
important that Shakespeare the man and his thinking be truly revealed
for the benefit of all of us.

David Basch

icBirmingham

1.24.05

Dear Editors:

The campaign to inform children and the public about a gay Shakespeare
that was written up in an article in icBirmingham ("Was Shakespeare gay,
children" - 1.22.05) unfairly plunges the public into such an
unproductive  debate. Can the public be expected to do better on this
issue than the alleged learned, academic specialists who have dismally
failed in shedding light on this issue?
The conclusion that Shakespeare was gay does not arise from his
plays-there he displays highest respect and appreciation for women and
often reveals their inner life suffused with nobility and generosity,
hardly the attitudes held by homosexuals-but from his Sonnets. In the
latter, it is found that some of his most ardent love poems are
seemingly directed toward a male (or males). While this may seem good
enough to settle the issue on the poet's sexuality, this is not at all
the case since there are literary critics, like Northrup Frye, who have
read those poems as allegorical, not at all directed to flesh and blood
human beings.

Consider, for example, the great Sonnets 29 and 30, which are among the
most ardent of these love poems. When it is recognized that the male
addressed is none other than The Lord God, these same poems soar above
the level of human love to that of a man addressing his Creator with love.
In both these sonnets, it is the poet's thinking on his Friend that
transforms the poet's life from a circumstance of being a miserable,
inadequate "outcast" and of mourning friends lost to "death's dateless
night" into a condition of sublime satisfaction in which "all losses are
restored and sorrows end." Only the Lord can do that. What is more,
there are indications in these very sonnets (and in many others) through
subtle signs that this is indeed the One addressed.

Unfortunately, our academic experts have a constricted and wrong-headed
conception about what the greatest of poet's was about. Shakespeare was
not mean-spirited, dreaming of less things than there are in heaven and
earth. He recognized the mysteriousness of being and had the utmost
love, awe, and respect for "He that made us." This he showed in sonnets
of ardent love, whose true meaning has eluded many in today's academic
establishment.

These issues are explored in my book, THE SHAKESPEARE CODES, (check it
out on the internet) which directs attention to the meaning of the
allegory encompassed in the Sonnets. This shows these poems to be other
and more majestic by far than has been assumed-an inspiration to young
and old everywhere. It is about time that this message was explored and
enabled to reach the public rather than the wallowing in dismal,
inadequate speculations that have occupied the minds of too many
so-called experts.

Yours sincerely,
David Basch

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Monday, 24 Jan 2005 14:59:29 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 16.01230 Campaign Asks Children to Consider Whether
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.01230 Campaign Asks Children to Consider Whether
Shakespeare Was Gay

I have two questions about the use of the sonnets as evidence of
Shakespeare's sexuality:

1) What weight should be given to the speaker's frequent advice to the
young to marry and have children?

2) Should the dark lady sonnets be regarded as evidence regarding
Shakespeare's sexuality?

Jack Heller

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