“The Living Record” – 2

With an opening premise that the Sonnets contain the answer to the Shakespeare “authorship” question, I looked through the one hundred and fifty-four verses to see if the poet deals with his identity; and in fact he does, stating that his “name” must be hidden from the world:

O if (I say) you look upon this verse,
When I (perhaps) compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse…
Sonnet 71

My name be buried where my body is,
And live no more to shame nor me nor you.
Sonnet 72

The printed name “William Shakespeare” was already popular, without any discernible “shame” attached to it, so that the poet’s actual name must have been different.  In effect, the author is telling us that “Shakespeare” is a mask behind which he must remain concealed.

Elsewhere he states that “every word” of the sonnets serves to “almost” (but not quite) reveal his actual “name” or identity:

Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name…
Sonnet 76

Meanwhile, continuing to address the beloved younger man known to us as the Fair Youth, he states that he himself must “die” to the world – if not forever, then apparently for a very long time:

Your name from hence immortal life shall have,
Though I (once gone) to all the world must die.
Sonnet 81

The real man is suffering from some monstrous disgrace, metaphorically comparing the reputation of his own name to that of someone who has been branded or marked as a criminal:

Thence comes it that my name receives a brand.
Sonnet 111

In the verses to the treacherous woman known to us as the Dark Lady, however, the poet tells her flatly:

Make but my name thy love, and love that still,
And then thou lov’st me for my name is Will.
Sonnet 136

Isn’t Will Shakespeare hereby stating his name?

Well, now, I submit that this poet of all poets would never write that his name is Will if in fact his name was Will.  This particular poet, of all poets, would never express himself directly in such a mundane,  unimaginative manner.  Such banality was beneath him.

I suggest this is the real man indicating “Will” as his pen name...

Published in: Uncategorized on December 5, 2008 at 2:57 am  Comments (3)  
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