Stripping Shakespeare’s ‘Whores’
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Even though I don’t call myself a whore and have some anxiety over being called an essentialist, I will gladly, however, ‘own’ perhaps the most politically incorrect current label for Shakespeare scholars.1 Slap a scarlet ‘B’ on my chest if you will, but I proudly call myself a Bardolator.2 Since the time of my adolescence, I have never ‘romantically’ loved anything or anyone more in my life than Will Shakespeare, the ‘god of my idolatry’ (Romeo and Juliet II. ii. 114). Furthermore, I’ve always considered him ‘sexy’. Concurrent with the time when I first fell in love with the Bard, I saw a pop-culture treatment of his work that, I now believe, having looked into Richard Burt’s Unspeakable Shaxxxpeares (1988), hugely impacted my conception of him. Burt does not mention this particular television treatment, and I myself have seen it only that once, but it is burned into my consciousness with the ‘holy fire of love’ (Sonnet 154: 5). It was an episode of the situation comedy series The Dick Van Dyke Show.
KeywordsSexual Desire Audience Member Sexual Double Standard Television Treatment Academic Feminist
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