Stanley Wells, "Shakespeare, Sex, and Love"
Oxford University Press, USA | June 1, 2010 | English | ISBN: 0199578591 | 282 pages | PDF | 2 Mb
As anyone who has read the non-Bowdlerized editions of his plays can attest, Shakespeare loved a lusty line. His plays are filled to the brim with bawdy puns and sly double entendres. Just how packed the Bard's plays are becomes quickly clear in Wells' sober, clearly written, scholarly examination of love and lust in Shakespeare's life, times, and work. Wells begins with a quick summary of sexual mores in Shakespeare's England, including the prevalence of the crime of “incontinency”—premarital and extramarital dalliances—in the country in general, and in Shakespeare's Stratford in particular. He then moves on to a brief but fascinating survey of how Shakespeare's contemporaries handled sexual themes.