The Winter's Tale | Ganymedes and Kings: Staging Male Homosexual Desire
in The Winter's Tale

This literature criticism consists of approximately 44 pages of analysis & critique of The Winter's Tale.
This section contains 13,150 words
(approx. 44 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Ganymedes and Kings: Staging Male Homosexual Desire in The Winter's Tale

Nora Johnson, Swarthmore College

When historians discuss the relation between homosexual practice and homosexual identity in England before the eighteenth century, they often note that male same-sex behaviors coincided with neither a set of psychosocial characteristics nor a clear sexual preference. Alan Bray, for instance, describes satirical portrayals of the courtier who engaged in sodomy, arguing that these portrayals were striking from a twentieth-century perspective because of their failure to represent a specifically homosexual identity: "on this point [the satirists] are remarkably consistent: the sodomite is a young man-about-town, with his mistress on one arm and his 'catamite' on the other."1 Following, as he says, "broadly" in the traditions of Mary Mcintosh, Jeffrey Weeks, and Michael Foucault, Bray argues that representations of sodomy before the late-seventeenth century reveal the historical contingency of the modern homosexual. He cites Donne's...

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This section contains 13,150 words
(approx. 44 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Ganymedes and Kings: Staging Male Homosexual Desire in The Winter's Tale