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Was Shakespeare gay?

Speculations about William Shakespeare's sexuality have got a new twist with actor Sir Ian McKellen expressing that the English bard 'obviously enjoyed sex with men as well as women." Read on for more details.

books Updated: Jan 07, 2012 10:47 IST

Sir Ian McKellen has made the bold announcement that there is ‘no doubt’ that William Shakespeare was gay, even though the bard was married with children.

The actor, who played Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, said that he came to this conclusion after studying the works of the famed playwright.

“I’d say Shakespeare slept with men,” the Daily Mail quoted McKellen as telling a New York newspaper.

“The Merchant of Venice, centering on how the world treats gays as well as Jews, has a love triangle between an older man, younger man and a woman.

“And the complexity in his comedies with cross-dressing and disguises is immense. Shakespeare obviously enjoyed sex with men as well as women,” he claimed.

It is widely accepted that Shakespeare married 26-year-old Anne Hathaway when he was 18.

Six months after the marriage his wife gave birth to a daughter, Susanna, who was baptised 26 May 1583.

His twins, son Hamnet and daughter Judith followed almost two years later and were baptised 2 February 1585.