“The Living Record” – 13

When I looked in the Sonnets to see if the author had left “instructions” for reading his words, I did so by hypothesizing that Edward de Vere Earl of Oxford had written them to and/or about Henry Wriothesley Earl of Southampton, his unacknowledged royal son by Queen Elizabeth I of England.  And I was hoping that a series of such hypotheses would reveal how to read the Sonnets and uncover new information which, in turn, would reveal the true story told by “Shakespeare” beyond any reasonable doubt.

I believe that I found the “special language” of the Sonnets and that, ironically, it’s the very same language used in the Shakespeare plays of royal history.  And it led to an entirely new “context” for the Sonnets, within which the poet’s story comes clearly into focus.

(In my one-man show Shake-Speare’s Treason, written with Ted Story, this “double-image” is likened to a picture with two overlapping images – such as a flock of birds in the sky that’s also a school of fish in the water.  In the case of the Sonnets, the lines evoke not only the traditional “romantic” view, i.e., a love story, but, also, the “political view” that’s been hiding in plain sight for four centuries.)

This special language begins in Sonnet 76, at the center of the main body of one hundred and fifty-two verses, with the poet’s rhetorical line:  “Why write I still all one, ever the same?”

I postulated that he’s evoking Southampton’s motto One for All, All for One and Elizabeth’s motto Ever the Same to give us a key piece of information:

“I am writing ‘still’ or always in these sonnets only about Southampton in relation to Elizabeth.  In fact, I am deliberately restricting myself to this single topic.”

The romantic side of the double image presents fictional characters nicknamed Fair Youth and Dark Lady; the political side offers real-life individuals in the persons of Lord Southampton and Queen Elizabeth.

The traditional “Shakespeare” could not be focusing these intensely personal sonnets upon the powerful young lord and the monarch.  Will of Stratford could not have been intimately involved with the powerful earl, much less with Her Majesty, in any plausible scenario.

But once the poet is viewed as Oxford, the highest-ranking earl of the realm (and the Queen’s most intimate companion during the early 1570’s, when Southampton was born), it’s quite likely that Edward de Vere would be writing about Henry Wriothesley and their Sovereign Mistress.

In the Oxfordian view of authorship, this real-life context of the Sonnets is not only possible but also entirely plausible and even likely.

The late Charlton Ogburn Jr., whose Mysterious William Shakespeare in 1984 led to a resurgence of interest in the Oxford theory of authorship, was moved to write in 1995:

“We are left with a compelling question raised by the Sonnets.  It is a question that is inescapable and one that traditional scholarship is resolved upon escaping at all costs.  How is it that the poet of the Sonnets can – as he unmistakably does – address the Fair Youth as an adoring and deeply concerned father would address his son and as a subject would his liege-lord [i.e., his prince or king]?”

I’ll sign off on this note and be back shortly to get on with my journey into the Sonnets.

Published in: Uncategorized on January 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

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