Well, hello ssssailor.
Someone had to do it! I was too caught up with the cross-dressing in the play, then the “gay” implications of this, in the interactions between Orsino and Viola or “Cesario”. Then the question of how hard it would be to pass for a bloke? (I’m researching the lives of some real women who did.)
So much so, that I missed the real thing. Of course Antonio was in love with Sebastian, he’s the genuine homosexual in this play. He saved his life, stuck his neck out in a place where there was a warrant out for him, and finally passionately defended Cesario, believing that she was her brother. He did it all for love.
I have had no cause to write about LGBT issues this semester. In Renaissance times it was all under the surface, in the closet (which meant someone’s bedchamber), but it was still there. Christopher Marlowe had the classic pretty boy face, and I plan to read his play Edward II. That’s the story of the gay king (or queen!), who was deposed in a rebellion by his jealous wife, Queen Isabella.
Also there was King James I, who may have done his duty with his wife Anne of Denmark, but preferred his male favourites. Wits of the time used to say: Rex fuit Elizabeth, nunc est regina Jacobus (quoted in Norton).
“King James I”. English Bible History. 2013. http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/king-james.html Accessed 17 May 2017.
Cavendish, Richard. Edward II marries Isabella of France. History Today. 2008. http://www.historytoday.com/richard-cavendish/edward-ii-marries-isabella-france Accessed 17 May 2017.
Norton, Rictor. Queen James and His Courtiers. Gay History and Literature. 2000. http://rictornorton.co.uk/jamesi.htm Accessed 17 May 2017.