An Oxfordian Journal: What Do the Questions of Climate Change and Shakespearean Authorship Have in Common?

What does the question of Shakespearean authorship have in common with the pressing and dangerous issue of man-made climate change?

Answer:  It is difficult for the deniers to break free from the trap of their denial and admit they were wrong.  For some it’s virtually impossible.  This is especially true for the long-term, vehement deniers.  Here is what Paul Krugman writes today (Monday, July 23, 2012) in the New York Times:

More than 1,000 counties in 26 states are being named natural-disaster areas, the biggest such declaration ever by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as drought grips the Midwest. – Bloomberg News

“Will the current drought [in Midwestern U.S.] finally lead to serious climate action?  History isn’t encouraging.  The deniers will surely keep on denying, especially because conceding at this point that the science they’ve trashed was right all along would be to admit their own culpability for the looming disaster.”

Many upholders of Stratfordian tradition simply have too much to lose.  Think of the vehement public statements they have made.  Think of the books and articles and blogs they have written.  Think of what’s at stake in terms of the tourism industry in and around Stratford upon Avon.  Think of the publishing industry aimed at not only the general public but, also, at the academic community.  Think of all those textbooks.  Think of all the biographies of the Elizabethan and Jacobean ages that will have to be rewritten, to account for the drastic change of personal, political and artistic relationships to “Shakespeare” the real man and to his works!

To expect the deniers to reverse themselves is probably asking too much.  Reversal will probably have to happen a generation or two from now.

Southampton in the Tower
(8 Feb 1601 – 10 April 1603)

The same goes within the Oxfordian community, where there has been a vicious onslaught against anyone suggesting that Edward de Vere, seventeenth earl of Oxford wrote the Sonnets to preserve the truth of Henry Wriothesley, third earl of Southampton as his royal son by Elizabeth I of England.  Oxford understood perfectly well that the enemy was “time” and its “registers” and “records” that would be manifested in the false history to be written by the winners:

“No!” he shouts in Sonnet 123.  “Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change … Thy registers and thee I both defy … For thy records and what we see doth lie … This I do vow and this shall ever be: I will be true, despite thy scythe and thee.”

He defies time and its registers and records and “what we see” that is anything but the truth.  But I strongly suggest to my Oxfordian colleagues that Oxford is not speaking here of his authorship of the Shakespeare works (although that is one consequence) – no, he is speaking of the truth of his royal son, to whom he cries out in Sonnet 126, the “envoi” of the opening long sequence:

O thou my lovely Boy who in thy power

Dost hold Time’s fickle glass his sickle hour…

I realize that Oxfordians who honestly hold other views of the Sonnets find it difficult if not impossible to change those views.  [They will say the same of me!]  And I respect that.  But I also predict, based on what I know about new materials forthcoming in the next year, that the true meaning of the Sonnets will become increasingly obvious to those who have not become trapped by their own denials – trapped, come to think of it, in the same way Elizabeth became trapped by the Big Lie of her Virgin Queen image, which prevented her from naming an heir and continuing her Tudor dynasty.

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