Shakespeare, Sex & Love by Stanley Wells
9 Shakespeare innuendoes you should have been embarrassed to read in English class - Vox
The sexuality of William Shakespeare has been the subject of recurring debate. It is known from public records that he married Anne Hathaway and that they had three children; scholars have analysed their relationship through these documents, and particularly through the bequests to her in Shakespeare's will. Some have speculated Shakespeare had affairs with other women, based on contemporaries' written anecdotes of such affairs and sometimes on the " Dark Lady " figure in his sonnets. Some scholars have argued he was bisexual , based on analysis of the sonnets: many, including Sonnet 18 "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day", are love poems addressed to a man, the "Fair Youth", and contain puns relating to homosexuality. At the age of 18, Shakespeare married the year-old Anne Hathaway.
Slang and sexual language
Early editions of Shakespeare's plays sometimes ignored or censored slang and sexual language. But the First Folio reveals a text full of innuendo and rudeness. Here are some examples of slang or sexual language which were clearly understood by Shakespeare's original audiences, but may be less obvious to audiences today. Take heed of him: he stabbed me in mine own house, and that most beastly. He cares not what mischief he doth, if his weapon be out.
Elizabethan audiences loved it when the characters they were watching on the stage said something sexually suggestive. The double entendres were often more effective than today as the audiences were more aware of language than we are. Shakespeare seemed to love titillating his audiences with double meanings, innuendos and, at times, sheer outright unambiguous sexual declarations. Hamlet is a character who frequently expresses himself in a sexually way.