Was William Shakespeare Gay?

Portrait of William Shakespeare

According to The Times of India and other sources, the sexuality of William Shakespeare has again been called into question by leading scholars, it has been reported.

Sir Brian Vickers, a visiting professor at University College London, started the academic debate by claiming that a “Times Literary Supplement” book review was wrong to state that Shakespeare’s sonnet 116 was written in a “primarily homosexual context,” Daily Star reported.

The British academic asserted that the sonnet did not give any indication about his love life and argued that Shakespeare was talking about a type of love that had nothing to do with sexual attraction.

However, scholar Arthur Freeman stated that no “responsible editor” would dismiss the possibility “of homosexual, as well as heterosexual passion” being behind the sonnets.

Prof Stanley Wells, honorary president of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, also took issue with Sir Brian writing and mentioned that when a poet whose name is William writes poems of painful and unabashed sexual frankness which pun on the word “will” 13 times in Sonnet No 135, it was not unreasonable to conclude that he might be writing from the depths of his own experience.

However, it has been widely acknowledged that Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway when he was 18 and that he had three children.