“The Living Record” – 13A – “Royal Youth”

Those who believe the Earl of Oxford wrote the Shakespeare poems and plays aren’t the only ones who’ve noticed that the Sonnets address the younger man (Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton) as a prince of the royal blood.

The Shakespeare scholar G. Wilson Knight made this observation in The Sovereign Flower of 1958 and, more thoroughly, in The Mutual Flame of 1962; but since he was operating within the traditional Stratfordian paradigm, he was forced to conclude that the poet must have used such royal imagery in a strictly metaphorical context.

Here are some of Wilson’s remarks from the works cited above:

“The Sonnets regularly express love through metaphors from royalty and its derivatives, using such phrases as my sovereign, thy glory, lord of my love, embassy of love, commanded by the motion of thine eyes

“At their greatest moments the Sonnets are really less love-poetry than an almost religious adoration … Royal images recur … The poet addresses the youth as lord of my love, to whom he sends a written ambassage; he is my sovereign and the poet his servant or slave

“The loved one is royal…

“He is crowned with various gifts of nature and fortune, especially all those beauties whereof now he’s King.  Like a sovereign, he radiates worth, his eyes lending a double majesty … Our final impression is of love itself as king, of some super-personality, the Sun … The associations are just, since the king, properly understood, holds within society precisely this super-personal and supernal function …

“Kingship is naturally golden, and golden impressions recur with similar variations in use … The Sun is nature’s king, and also pre-eminently golden.  Throughout Shakespeare king and sun are compared … With the Fair Youth, the association of that Sun, thine eye comes easily enough…

“We have various clusters of king, gold, and sunKing and gold come together in the gilded monuments of Princes; and sun and gold, when the Sun’s gold complexion is dimmed in the sonnet, “Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day,” or the young man graces the day and gilds the evening in place of stars.  We may have all three.  So great Princess’ favorites are compared to the marigold opening to the Sun’s eye …

“These impressions are not just decoration … That the poet of the Sonnets was deeply concerned with such themes is clear from the many comparisons of his love to kings and state-affairs.  His very love is felt as royal and stately.  The Sonnets are the heart of Shakespeare’s royal poetry.”

This perception fits right into the hypothesis that Oxford was addressing Southampton as a devoted father-and-subject to his beloved son-and-prince…

But since there’s no way it can fit into the orthodox view of “Shakespeare” as a flesh-and-blood man, traditional scholars are akin to travelers within a maze who come to a wall and have no other choice but to turn around and go back … back again to the drawing board … a treadmill these scholars have endured for centuries.

How could it hurt to learn about the life of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, who played a very real and dynamic role in the English renaissance of literature and drama leading up to “Shakespeare” in 1593…

Published in: Uncategorized on January 7, 2009 at 6:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

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