• “Romeo and Juliet” may have set a multiple-century precedent for star-crossed — and primarily heterosexual — love stories, but at least one legendary actor of stage and screen believes William Shakespeare enjoyed the company of male lovers in his own personal life.

      As the Daily Mail is reporting, Sir Ian McKellen cited the frequently gender-bending plot devices of Shakespeare’s famed plays as evidence that the playwright himself was gay, or at the very least bisexual.

      “I’d say Shakespeare slept with men,” McKellen, 72, is quoted by the publication as saying. “‘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.”

    • The openly gay McKellen, who has starred in several productions of Shakespeare’s works including “Othello” and “Macbeth,” went on to note, “And the complexity in his comedies with cross-dressing and disguises is immense. Shakespeare obviously enjoyed sex with men as well as women.”

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