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Figuring Sex between Men from Shakespeare to Rochester$
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Paul Hammond

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198186922

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198186922.001.0001

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Politics and ‘Sodomy’

Politics and ‘Sodomy’

(p.117) 3 Politics and ‘Sodomy’
Figuring Sex between Men from Shakespeare to Rochester

Hammond Paul

Oxford University Press

This chapter turns to the rhetoric of poems and plays which addressed the homosexual behaviour of political leaders. It shows how the actual lives of historical individuals became mythologized, as their sexuality generates resources for figuring them as destroyers of the symbolic order and the values of godly, Protestant England. Examples range from monarchs (Edward II, James I, William III) to figures from the lower classes brought to public attention by upheavals of civil war and political disorder.

Keywords:   homosexual men, sexual relationships, homosexual desire, politicians

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