As interest in the work of Bakhtin grows there is an increasing demand for a well organized, readable text which explains his main ideas and relates them to current social and cultural theory. This book fulfils the demand. In both feminist theory and Shakespearean criticism, questions of sexuality have consistently been conflated with questions of gender. This book, refusing to adopt this approach, instead details the intersections and contradictions between sexuality and gender in the early modern period. It argues that desire and anxiety constitute the erotic in Shakespearean drama - circulating throughout the dramatic texts, traversing "masculine" and "feminine" sites, eliciting and expressing heterosexual and homoerotic fantasies, embodiments and fears. Taking heterosexuality and homoeroticism equally seriously, the book presents a non-normalizing account of the unconscious and institutional prerogatives that comprise the erotics of Shakespearean drama. Employing feminist, psychoanalytic and new historical methods, using each to interrogate the other, the book implements a synthesis of the psychic and the social, the individual and the institutional. This book should be of interest to undergraduates and academics in the field of Shakespearean studies, Renaissance literature and cultural, gender studies.