Sonnet 145 as in “The Monument” .. No … “Hate Away” ain’t “Hathaway” … NO way!

Sonnet 145 contains the famous line “I hate from hate away she threw,” which some Stratfodians view as an allusion by William Shakspere of Stratford to his wife Anne Hathaway.  Here’s from Wikipedia:

“The words ‘hate away’ may be a pun (in Elizabethan pronunciation) on ‘Hathaway’. It has also been suggested that the next words, ‘And saved my life’, would have been indistinguishable in pronunciation from ‘Anne saved my life.’  The sonnet differs from all the others in the length of the lines.  Its fairly simple language and syntax have led to suggestions that it was written much earlier than the other, more mature, sonnets.”

Anne Hathaway's cottage in Stratford upon Avon

Well, I disagree.  In my view the “Hathaway” interpretation is beyond laughable.  [And don’t those same scholars scoff whenever Oxfordians suggest possible word-clues pointing to Edward de Vere?  Isn’t this a case of changing the rules to suit the player?]  I believe Sonnet 145 has been entirely misunderstood, and, as a result, grossly underrated — by all traditional scholars and even by many or most Oxfordians.  When Shakespeare does something different, or unusual, be on the alert.  Rather than cast it aside as “written much earlier” and less mature, be open to the possibility that it’s quite the opposite.  In this case, what appears to be a misshapen sonnet (or just a “pretty little love song,” as Paul McCartney might say) is in my view actually a verse carrying enormous emotional power — akin to the explosive feelings that lay beneath The Phoenix and Turtle of 1601, a tightly compressed poem written in reaction to Southampton’s imprisonment because of the failed Essex Rebellion.

Here below is what I included in The Monument:



 Sonnet 145

 “Straight In Her Heart Did Mercy Come”

 “And Saved My Life”

 19 March 1601

This verse corresponds in time to Sonnet 66 of the Fair Youth series to Southampton, when Oxford reacts to Elizabeth’s order to spare the life of Henry Wriothesley by recording a virtual suicide note, filled with relief and sorrow.  Here he responds to the Queen’s act of mercy with a show of gratitude for sparing their royal son from execution.  He breaks with his usual sonnet form, employing eight rather than ten beats per line.  Just as Sonnet 66 is different from all other verses, the form of this verse marks it also as special.  Throughout Oxford speaks in both his own and his son’s voice, i.e., speaking as one.[“But here’s the joy, my friend and I are one” – Sonnet 42]  “Straight in her heart did mercy come,” he reports, adding that Elizabeth “saved my life.” 

 Sonnet 145

Those lips that Love’s own hand did make

Breathed forth the sound that said, “I hate,”

To me that languished for her sake.

But when she saw my woeful state,

Straight in her heart did mercy come,

Chiding that tongue that ever sweet

Was used in giving gentle doom:

And taught it thus anew to greet:

“I hate” she altered with an end

That followed it as gentle day

Doth follow night, who like a fiend

From heaven to hell is flown away.

“I hate” from hate away she threw,

And saved my life, saying, “Not you.”

Note: The story that’s “below the surface” is being preserved for posterity, for readers of the future, like us; but in no way does this preclude or nullify all the other various interpretations to be found “on” the surface.   As usual, there are multiple meanings and allusions to be found and savored.  The follow “translation” (not really a paraphrase) therefore can be regarded as but an attempt to comprehend the all-important meaning below the line.


Elizabeth’s command by her royal authority

Was that our son should be executed,

Telling me, who feared for his death by her,

But when she saw my/his woeful state,

Straight in her heart she found mercy,

Rebuking her own command that royally

Was used in ordering his royal death:

And instructed her own decree to change:

“He must die” she changed, with a result

That followed as a royal golden time

Follows royal death, which like a fiend

Was overturned fromElizabethto hell.

“He must die” she removed from herself,

And saved my/his life, saying, “Not him!”

Sonnet 145

“My lords, I must say for my part as I have said before, that since the ignorance of the law hath made me incur the danger of the law, I humbly submit myself to her Majesty’s mercy … I pray you truly to inform the Queen of my penitence, and be a means for me to her Majesty to grant me her gracious pardon.  I know I have offended her; yet if it please her to be merciful unto me, I may, by my future service, deserve my life.” – Southampton at the Trial on February 19, 1601


THOSE LIPS = Elizabeth’s voice, her decree; “And mercy then will breathe within your lips” – Measure for Measure, 2.2.78; LOVE = royal blood; LOVE’S OWN HAND = the Queen’s power; the Queen’s own hand also created “love” within her son, Southampton, who was “the little Love-God” of Sonnet 154, line 1; the boy (“Cupid” of Sonnet 153, line 1) was given “A Woman’s face with nature’s own hand painted” – Sonnet 20, line 1, i.e., he had Elizabeth’s face because she was his natural mother who gave birth to him; and Southampton as an infant was “sleeping by a Virgin hand disarmed” – Sonnet 154, line 8; “A heavy sentence … at your Highness’ hands” – Richard II, 1.3.154-158

For love is worse than hate, and eke more harm hath done,

Record I take of those that read ofParis, Priam’s son.

Finis.  E. O. (Earl of Oxford, Paradise of Dainty Devices, 1576)


BREATHED FORTH THE SOUND = decreed that Southampton should follow Essex to his execution; “And mercy then will breathe within your lips” – Measure for Measure, 2.2.78; “Or let the church, our mother, breathe her curse, a mother’s curse, on her revolting son” – King John, 3.1.182-183; “By all the blood that every fury breathed” – King John, 5.2.127; “Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier doom, which I with some unwillingness pronounce … The hopeless word of ‘never to return’ breathe I against thee, upon pain of life” – the King in Richard II, 1.3.148-153, followed by: “A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege, and all unlook’d for from your Highness’ mouth” – Richard II, 1.3.154-155

Come hither, Harry, sit by my bed,

And hear, I think, the very latest counsel

That ever I shall breathe.

2 Henry IV, 4.5.181-183, the King to his son

 “I HATE” = Elizabeth’s initial reaction to the Rebellion, determining to execute Southampton; also, her refusal to acknowledge their son’s “love” or royal blood, turning it into its opposite, “hate”; Southampton also  expressed his “hate” toward Oxford, for his bargain requiring him to give up any claim to the crown: “For thee against my self I’ll vow debate,/ For I must ne’er love him whom thou dost hate” – Sonnet 89, lines 13-14; “Then hate me when thou wilt, if ever, now” – Sonnet 90, line 1, referring also to Southampton’s threat to break out of the Tower and lead another Rebellion against Robert Cecil and the Queen

Besides, our nearness to the king in love

Is near the hate of those love not the king

Richard II, 2.2.126-127

The King: Rivers and Hastings, take each other’s hand;

Dissemble not your hatred: swear your love.

Rivers: By heaven, my soul is purged from grudging hate,

And with my hand I seal my true heart’s love

Buckingham: Whenever Buckingham doth turn his hate

Upon your Grace, but with all duteous love

Doth cherish you and yours, God punish me

With hate in those where I expect most love.

Richard III, 2.1.9-35


TO ME = to Oxford, who stands in for Southampton, since he and his son are one and the same; therefore, the Queen uttered this decree to Southampton; THAT LANGUISHED FOR HER SAKE = who has been languishing in the Tower, in expectation of being executed according to the Queen’ imperial will; HER SAKE = the Queen’s pleasure


But when Elizabeth realized our woeful state; i.e., the ruined royal state of my son, and therefore my own state; WOEFUL = “heavy tears, badges of either’s woe” – Sonnet 44, line 14; “To weigh how once I suffered in your crime./ O that our night of woe might have rememb’red/ My deepest sense, how hard true sorrow hits” – Sonnet 120, lines 8-10; STATE = his situation, but actually his son’s royal state; “When in disgrace with Fortune and men’s eyes,/ I all alone beweep my outcast state” – Sonnet 29, line 1-2; “How many gazers mightst thou lead away,/ If thou wouldst use the strength of all thy state” – Sonnet 96, lines 11-12


Elizabeth found mercy in her heart, the source of her royal blood; MERCY = the same “mercy” fromElizabeth for whichSouthampton pleaded at the trial:

“My lords, I must say for my part as I have said before, that since the ignorance of the law hath made me incur the danger of the law, I humbly submit myself to her Majesty’s mercy …  I pray you truly to inform the Queen of my penitence, and be a means for me to her Majesty to grant me her gracious pardon.  I know I have offended her; yet if it please her to be merciful unto me, I may, by my future service, deserve my life.  I have been brought up under Her Majesty.  I have spent the best part of my patrimony in Her Majesty’s service, with frequent danger of my life, as your Lordships well know…  But since I am found guilty by the law, I do submit myself to death, yet not despairing of Her Majesty’s mercy.  For I know she is merciful, and if she please to extend mercy to me, I shall with all humility receive it.” -Southampton,February 19, 1601, at the Trial

Unto the sovereign mercy of the King

Richard II, 2.3.156

And mercy then will breathe within your lips

Measure for Measure, 2.2.78

Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods?

Draw near them then in being merciful.

Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge:

Thrice noble Titus, spare my first-born son.

Titus Andronicus, 1.1.120-123

Cambridge:  I do confess my fault

And do submit me to your highness’ mercy.

Grey, Scoop: To which we all appeal.

King Henry:  The mercy that was quick in us but late

By your own counsel is suppressed and killed:

You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy

Henry V, 2.2.77-81, the King to nobles turned traitors

The quality of mercy is not strained,

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest,

It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes,

‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest, it becomes

The throned monarch better than his crown.

His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,

The attribute to awe and majesty,

Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.

But mercy is above this sceptred sway,

It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,

It is an attribute to God himself;

An earthly power doth then show like God’s

When mercy seasons justice.

The Merchant of Venice, 4.1.182-195

Nothing adorns a King more than justice, nor in anything doth a King more resemble God than in justice, which is the head of all virtue, and he that is endued therewith hath all the rest.

– Oxford to Robert Cecil, May 7, 1603

Not the King’s crown, nor the deputed sword,

The marshal’s truncheon, nor the judge’s robe,

Become them with one half so good a grace

As mercy does.

Measure for Measure, 2.2.60-63


CHIDING THAT TONGUE = rebuking her own previous command; EVER = Ever = Edward de Vere, Ever or Never; SWEET = royal, with sovereign power


Had sentenced Southampton to be executed; has nevertheless confined him in the Tower for a term of life; GENTLE = royal; “The quality of mercy is not strained, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven” – The Merchant of Venice, 4.1.182-183; DOOM = sentence or judgment; “Thy end is Truth’s and Beauty’s doom and date” – Sonnet 14, line 14; “Supposed as forfeit to a confined doom” – Sonnet 107, line 4, i.e., the expected fate of Southampton; “Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier doom, which I with some unwillingness pronounce.  The sly slow hours shall not determinate the dateless limit of thy dear exile” – Richard II, 1.3.148-151


And instructed her own decree to change; THUS = in the following way; TO GREET: to address, i.e., the Queen addressing Southampton and, therefore, addressing Oxford; the King of England “greets” the King of France: “…and thus he greets your Majesty: He wills you, in the name of God Almighty” – Henry V, 2.4.76-77


She changed her order for Southampton’s execution; HATE = the opposite of expressing or showing love for her son; ALTERED = the same as Oxford reports in the Fair Youth series: “But reckoning time, whose millioned accidents/ Creep in twixt vows, and change decrees of Kings,/ Tan sacred beauty, blunt the shap’st intents,/ Divert strong minds to th’course of alt’ring things” – Sonnet 115, lines 5-8, immediately followed by: “Let me not to the marriage of true minds/ Admit impediments.  Love is not love/ Which alters when it alteration finds” – Sonnet 116, lines 1-3, in this case referring to the alteration of succession to the throne from Southampton to someone else, i.e., to King James; AN END = a purpose and/or a result


THAT FOLLOWED IT = that replaced it; GENTLE = royal; DAY = royalty; “Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day?” – Sonnet 18, line 1; “Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day” – Sonnet 34, line 1


Replaces the death of Southampton’s royalty; NIGHT = (“like a jewel hung in ghastly night/ Makes black night beauteous” – Sonnet 27, lines 11-12; “And night doth nightly make grief’s length seem stronger” – Sonnet 28, line 14; “For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night” – Sonnet 30, line 6)


FROM HEAVEN = from Elizabeth, his mother; (It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven” – The Merchant of Venice, 4.1.182); TO HELL = to the various stages of hell (loss of royal claim) he has endured, from bastardy to prison to conviction of treason to sentence of death; IS FLOWN AWAY = is overturned; i.e., one decree has been replaced by the other; literally, the dark night of Southampton’s possible execution has fled


Elizabethremoved her previous command from its source, i.e., from “hate” or lack of care for her own royal blood in her son…


AND SAVED MY LIFE = and sparedSouthampton’s life from the executioner’s axe, thereby savingOxford’s life as well

 In fine, she hath both the hand and knife,

That may both save and end my life.

Finis.  E. O. (Earl of Oxford, Paradise of Dainty Devices, 1576)

“I know I have offended her; yet if it please her to be merciful unto me, I may, by my future service, deserve my life.”

– Southamptonat the Trial

SAYING, “NOT YOU” = saying to Southampton, “I executed Essex and other conspirators, but not you”; YOU = “But he that writes of you, if he can tell/ That you are you, so dignifies his story./ Let him but copy what in you is writ” – Sonnet 84, lines 7-9

Reason Number 24 of 100 Why Edward de Vere was “Shakespeare” – His & the Bard’s Deep Knowledge of Italy

For anyone interested in Shakespeare, and particularly the study of Shakespearean authorship, this coming Tuesday, November 8, 2011, is a landmark on the calendar.  That’s the official publication date of a book that could – and should – break down the rigid walls of Stratfordian tradition as more and more people demand some better explanations.

"The Shakespeare Guide to Italy" by Richard Paul Roe

This potential bombshell is The Shakespeare Guide to Italy: Retracing the Bard’s Unknown Travels, by Richard Paul “Dick” Roe, who died December 1, 2010 in Pasadena at eighty-eight, having spent the last quarter-century of his life traveling the length and breadth of Italy on what the publisher, HarperCollins, aptly describes as “a literary quest of unparalleled significance.”

“If you take a map of Italy and grab ten push pins and put them in ten cities, that’s essentially Shakespeare’s Italy,” said Mark Anderson, author of Shakespeare by Another Name, in a BBC interview, adding, “That to me is quite a remarkable happenstance.”

And now, in honor of the imminent release of Dick Roe’s masterwork, it’s also the twenty-fourth reason on this list to believe that the Earl of Oxford wrote the Shakespeare works.

When Edward de Vere traveled through Italy at age twenty-five during 1575, he and his retinue skirted Spanish-controlled Milan before navigating by canal and a network of rivers on a 120-mile journey to Verona.  His travels took him to Padua, Venice, Mantua, Pisa, Florence, Siena, Naples, Florence, Messina, Palermo and elsewhere, making his home base in Venice.

Aside from three stage works set in ancient Rome (Corianlanus, Titus Andronicus and Julius Caesar), ten of Shakespeare’s fictional plays are set in Italy – Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, Othello (Act One), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (adduced), All’s Well That Ends Well (also France), Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest (which opens aboard a ship in the Mediterranean between North Africa and Italy).

Verona, Italy

On the other hand, only one play of fiction (The Merry Wives of Windsor) is set in England … an astounding ten-to-one ratio!  Why?  The only logical answer, I submit, is that “Shakespeare” (whoever he was!) must have fallen in love with Italy.  And I’d think it would be pretty hard to fall in love with a country without ever visiting it!

Oxfordians have often said that Edward de Vere “brought the European Renaissance back to England” when he returned in 1576 after fifteen months of travel through France, Germany and, most extensively, Italy.  He became the quintessential “Italianate Englishman” wearing “new-fangled” clothes* of the latest styles.


He brought richly embroidered, perfumed gloves for Queen Elizabeth, who delighted in them, and such gloves became all the rage among the great ladies of the time.  And, for example, he brought back his perfumed leather jerkin (a close-fitting, sleeveless jacket) and “sweet bags” with costly washes and perfumes.

Soon enough John Lyly, who was Oxford’s personal secretary and stage manager, issued two novels about an Italian traveler – Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit (1578) and Euphues and his England (1580), the latter dedicated to Edward de Vere, who apparently supervised the writing of both books.  Together they are said to comprise “the first English novel” and, yes, in the following decade the great author “Shakespeare” would demonstrate Lyly’s influence upon some of his plays.

"Shakespeare" demonstrates knowledge of the Italian comedy form known as "Commedia Dell'Arte" -- Edward de Vere must have attended shows of the "Commedia" during his time in Venice

“There is a secret Italy hidden in the plays of Shakespeare,” Roe begins the Introduction of his ground-breaking book.   “It is an ingeniously-described Italy that has neither been recognized, nor even suspected – not in four hundred years – save by a curious few.  It is exact; it is detailed; and it is brilliant.”

The descriptions to be found in the Italian plays are in “challenging detail” and “nearly all their locations” can be found to this day.  Whoever wrote them “had a personal interest in that country equal to the interest in his own.”  The places and things in Italy to which Shakespeare alludes or which he describes “reveal themselves to be singularly unique to that one country.”  His familiarity with Italy’s sites and sights – “specific details, history, geography, unique cultural aspects, places and things, practices and propensities” and so on – “is, quite simply, astonishing.”

Roe never mentions Oxford or any other Shakespearean candidate; instead he takes us right away to Verona, the setting for Romeo and Juliet, and recounts making one trip to search for – sycamore!  That’s right, he went to find sycamore trees, and they would have to be located in one specific spot — “just outside the western wall” as “remnants of a grove that had flourished in that one place for centuries.”

A canal in Italy

The trees are described in the very opening scene –

Where, underneath the grove of sycamore

That westward rooteth from the city’s side…

There are no sycamore trees in any of the known source materials for the play; and “no one has ever thought that the English genius who wrote the play could have been telling the truth: that there were such trees, growing exactly where he said in Verona.”

So our intrepid detective-explorer arrives in the old city of Verona: “My driver took me across the city, then to its edge on the Viale Cristoforo Colombo.  Turning south onto the Viale Colonnello Galliano, he began to slow.  This was the boulevard where, long before and rushing to the airport at Milan, I had glimpsed trees, but had no idea what kind.”

His car creeps along the Viale and then comes to a halt.  Are there sycamores at the very same spot where “Shakespeare” said they were?  Did this playwright, who is said to be ignorant of Italy, know this “unnoted and unimportant but literal truth” about Verona?  Had he deliberately “dropped an odd little stone about a real grove of trees into the pool of his powerful drama”?

I’m sure you know the answer …

Dick Roe took this photograph outside the Porta Palio, one of Verona's three western gates; and yes, sycamore trees

* “New-fangled” clothing:

Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,

Some in their wealth, some in their body’s force,

Some in their garments though new-fangled ill … Sonnet 91

“Shakespeare’s Guide to Italy” has a dozen chapters, each with more amazing personal discoveries proving that the great author had to have been there:

1 – Romeo and Juliet – “Devoted Love in Verona”

2 – The Two Gentlemen of Verona – part one – “Sailing to Milan”

3 – The Two Gentlemen of Verona – part two – “Milan: Arrivals and Departures”

4 – The Taming of the Shrew – “Pisa to Padua”

5 – The Merchant of Venice – part one – “Venice: the City and the Empire”

6 – The Merchant of Venice – part two – “Venice: Trouble and Trial”

7 – Othello – “Strangers and Streets, Swords and Shoes”

8 – A Midsummer Night’s Dream – “Midsummer in Sabbioneta”

9 – All’s Well That Ends Well – “France and Florence”

10 – Much Ado About Nothing – “Misfortune in Messina”

11 – The Winter’s Tale – “A Cruel Notion Resolved”

12 – The Tempest – “Island of Wind and Fire”

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