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|Early Modern Sexuality|
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0511 Tuesday, 11 December 2012
Date: December 10, 2012 2:09:48 PM EST
Subject: Re: SHAKSPER: Ven. Dedication
Gabriel Egan seems to dismiss Ian Steere’s hypothesis that Shakespeare was “either fully hetero (or thereabouts)” as out of the mainstream of current academic consensus:
>One school of thought about sexuality that is widely given credit
>in Shakespeare studies today is that early modern people didn’t
>think in terms of being hetero- or homo-sexual.
While this may be true, it needn’t preclude us from trying to assess Shakespeare’s sexuality based on his work, nor positing opinions about it. Current science suggests that sexual preference is not environmentally determined, so what Shakespeare’s contemporaries thought of their own behavior, while interesting, is a different subject than his sexuality. One might as well suggest that possible mental disorders in early modern individuals are best discussed in terms of imbalance of the humours. I’m sure there’s an academic term for such a fallacy.