Within this analysis, I will inquire into the theme of homo-eroticism within the play As You Like It and how it differs from various other plays written by Shakespeare and elaborate on how ground-breaking this play was during the time it was written and when it was performed, the differences in social constructs between then and now & the differing views of society in the time it was written and the present day.
As You Like Its first performance was in London in 1740, a time when popular literature ‘associated homoeroticism with “revulsion, violent [for] the loathsome and evil thing”’ an to the Elizabethans homoeroticism was “abhorred, polluted and unclean… and all that is beastly and obscene”. (Sokolovic-Cizmek, 2003, P)
As odd as it may sound, one may believe from that, that Elizabethan society wouldn’t tolerate anything slightly resembling homoeroticism, yet homoerotic practice was widespread in the ‘early modern period’ among both sexes (Bray, 1993).
An exerpt from Klarisa Sokolovic-Cizmek’s journal article
Before exploring homoeroticism, it is important to determine an understanding of what the term is. As defined by Oxford English Dictionary, Homoeroticism is; ‘pertaining to or characterized by a tendency for erotic emotions to be centred on a person of the same sex; of or pertaining to a homo-erotic person’. It is crucial to not mistake homo-eroticism as merely a synonym of homosexuality, because it is an entirely different concept. Homo-eroticism refers to the