Skip to comments.Odd Portrait Has Many Guessing Shakespeare Was Gay
Posted on 04/23/2002 7:23:36 AM PDT by Dallas
LONDON (Reuters) - A 400-year-old painting previously believed to be that of a woman has been found to portray the male patron and friend of William Shakespeare, its owner said on Tuesday.
"He is wearing perfectly fashionable male attire of the day, but the earring and the hair are effeminate and unusual for the 1590s," the painting's owner Alec Cobbe told Reuters.
He said that his family had assumed for centuries that the picture was of a Lady Norton.
But after discovering links between his own family and the Southamptons and a striking resemblance between the portrait and other representations of the 3rd Earl of Southampton, Cobbe was convinced that it is Shakespeare's friend and frequent host.
Scholars have long argued that Southampton was the handsome young man in his late teens to whom an early sequence of Shakespeare's sonnets was addressed.
The painting is dated to around 1590, when Shakespeare was writing early sonnets including one to the "master-mistress of my passion."
"It certainly illustrates that sonnet (number 20) very vividly. We are looking at the subject of the sonnet, I'm sure," said Cobbe.
Alastair Laing, the National Trust's adviser on art, first suggested to Cobbe that the picture was of a male.
"I was cataloguing this collection and realized that this was a young man with long hair, which one or two dandies of the time affected in this manner," he told Reuters.
He is also convinced that the picture is of Southampton, although he argued that the man was not necessarily affecting a female appearance, as a modern observer may assume.
"This is a man but he is not a cross-dresser," Laing said.
"He is not wearing lipstick -- some pigments just stand the passage of time better than others, giving this appearance. It is dangerous to assume anything about this man's character from this portrait."
British newspapers have played up the significance of the discovery (news - web sites), with the mass circulation tabloid Sun headlining its story "Shakesqueer."
But even if the discovery of the portrait is much ado about nothing, it has proved effective publicity for the painting, which is now on show at Cobbe's stately home at Hatchlands Park in southern England.
DUH ! He was in the theater wasnt he?
But seriously, wasnt all the female parts back then played by males?
That's it. We are kicking him out of the Earl's club.
"Let's face it -- without Jews, fags and Gypsies there would be no theater!"
-Mel Brooks playing a theatrical actor/producer in 1983's To Be Or Not To Be.
Joe Sobran wrote a pretty convincing book that the real author of "Shakespeare's" works was Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. But maybe that guy was gay too.
Shakespeare's muse was the Lord, his words are the poetry of one enflamed and informed by Divinity.
This BS about the Sonnets being silly little love songs to some Nancy-boy make me mad as hell...I'm bored and sick and tired of it.
People need to look a little deeper, instead of project their movie onto this guy and his work. Hah, as if they would ever happen...hell, I'm doing it right now.
Out, damn spot. This mote in my eye is so troublesome sometimes.
"I've seen the picture...here let me post it."
Look, anyone with half a brain knows this is just another attempt by militant homosexuals to make their behavior "acceptable".
We had people saying such ridiculous things about Lincoln and George Washington. Given the fact these men were married to women did not deter things in the slightest.
Now, they are going after Shakespeare, inarguably the world's greatest playwright. When is someone going to tell them to sit down and shut up?
PS: Does anyone remember when people tried to suggest the model for the Mona Lisa was none other than Da Vinci himself?
I've read that some researchers believe Shakespeares' works were actually written by Queen Elizabeth I. I'll look around, see what I can find. Had some interest in this during senior english WAY back in high school. Funny what sometimes surfaces from the past.
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