3 Sexy Scenes from Shakespeare
Author Eliza Walker on why the Bard and his famous plays have always been sexy.
In my new contemporary romance A Midsummer Night’s Fling, part of how my couple fall back in love is by acting out Shakespeare together. Now Shakespeare’s known for being chock full of romance, but he can also be pretty damn sexy too. I thought it might be fun to talk about 3 of the sexiest moments in the Shakespeare cannon—especially for those of you who only think of Shakespeare as nothing more than a bore, required reading in your high school English class.
One of the sexiest things about Shakespeare couples is the wonderful banter they throw back and forth. They trade quips and barbs, and it becomes painfully obvious after only a few lines that even the fight scenes are foreplay. Nowhere is that more obvious than in The Taming of the Shrew:
PETRUCHIO: Come, come, you wasp; i’ faith, you are too angry.
KATHARINA: If I be waspish, best beware my sting.
PETRUCHIO: My remedy is then, to pluck it out.
KATHARINA: Ay, if the fool could find it where it lies,
PETRUCHIO: Who knows not where a wasp does wear his sting? In his tail.
KATHARINA: In his tongue.
PETRUCHIO: Whose tongue?
KATHARINA: Yours, if you talk of tails: and so farewell.
PETRUCHIO: What, with my tongue in your tail? nay, come again, Good Kate; I am a gentleman.
~TAMING OF THE SHREW
A sweeter but still sexually charged example of this is in The Tempest. Miranda’s never seen a man before, but she takes one look at Ferdinand and decides she likes what she sees!
If you’ll sit down,
I’ll bear your logs the while: pray, give me that;
I’ll carry it to the pile.
No, precious creature;
I had rather crack my sinews, break my back,
Than you should such dishonour undergo,
While I sit lazy by.
It would become me
As well as it does you: and I should do it
With much more ease; for my good will is to it,
And yours it is against….
You look wearily.
No, noble mistress; ’tis fresh morning with me
When you are by at night. I do beseech you–
Chiefly that I might set it in my prayers–
What is your name?
Oh brave new world indeed with hunks like Ferdinand in it.
Romeo and Juliet is often held up as an example of searing romance, but it’s also a sexy play too. One of my favorite parts is Juliet’s soliloquy just after she’s married to Romeo. She’s…ready to start the honeymoon, shall we say? 😉
O, I have bought the mansion of a love,
But not possess’d it, and, though I am sold,
Not yet enjoy’d: so tedious is this day
As is the night before some festival
To an impatient child that hath new robes
And may not wear them.
~ROMEO AND JULIET
Of course, any scene in Shakespeare can be sexy, depending how you play it. In my novel A Midsummer Night’s Fling, the hero and heroine end up playing a fight scene as foreplay. It gets pretty steamy. But then, when you’re working with witty, emotional material like Shakespeare it’s easy to dial the sex up if you want.
Eliza Walker, a native of Los Angeles, is the author of the Much Ado About Love Series that begins with A Midsummer Night’s Fling. Her experiences as an actress helped inspire the series about actors finding love amidst the bedlam backstage at a world-class repertory theater. Once upon a time, Eliza met her own wonderful husband when they did a play together.
By day Eliza helps corral engineers for NASA (without doing any of the tech stuff herself, of course). By night she loves to write her sarcastic heroes and heroines bantering their way to true love. Eliza is a total geek, a movie buff and a mediocre swing dancer. Eliza and her husband live in sunny Southern California with two of the neediest housecats on the planet. Learn more about A Midsummer Night’s Fling here.
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