They remained married until his death in He seems to have retired to Stratford from London about The better angel is a man right fair, The worser spirit a woman coloured ill. Say, for example, capitalist, white, heterosexual men who have an interest in how the greatest writer in the English language is understood. Views Read Edit View history. In theory, sodomy was a heinous crime, and punishable by death. For one thing, our modern words for sexual orientation — gay, straight, homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual — are all nineteenth or twentieth-century coinages.
He not only peopled his court with catamites, he was known throughout Europe for his passionate attachments to favourites who were also rumoured to be his lovers, and was mocked in popular ballads as a known sodomite.
The only explicit references to sexual acts or physical lust occur in the Dark Lady sonnets, which unambiguously state that the poet and the Lady are lovers. During that period, Shakespeare probably had some income from his patron, Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, to whom he dedicated his first two poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece Nichols and Sons,