William Shakespeare, whose sexuality has been a long-running debate in academic circles, may have been a gay, a top United Kingdom theatre director has claimed, asserting that it was “no longer acceptable” for performers to conceal the sexual orientation of the Bard’s homosexual characters.  Artistic director of Britain’s major theatre company ‘Royal Shakespeare Company’ Greg Doran said he believed it was Shakespeare’s sexuality which gave the noted playwright an outsider’s insight that had helped his work. “I guess a growing understanding of Shakespeare as I have worked with him over the many years that I have, makes me realise that his perspective is very possibly that of an outsider,” Doran said.  “It allows him to get inside the soul of a black general, a Venetian jew, an Egyptian queen or whatever and that perhaps that outsider perspective has something to do with his sexuality,” he told BBC Radio 4. Doran said the key clues to understanding Shakespeare’s sexuality were in his sonnets. “He wrote a cycle of 154 sonnets, which were published in 1609, and 126 of those sonnets are addressed to a man and not to a woman,” Doran said. He said directors should not hide the sexuality of Shakespeare’s gay characters including Antonio in The Merchant of Venice, who is “absolutely clearly in love with the young man Bassanio and sometimes that is kind of toned down”. Doran said their love had instead been depicted as “we chaps are very fond of each other”. “It’s not, it’s clearly a very particular portrait of a gay man and I think in the 21st century it’s no longer acceptable to play that as anything other than a homosexual,” he said.  The : 23rd. July,17


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