No. 66 of 100 Reasons Why Edward de Vere = “Shakespeare”: Part One: He Was a Man of the Theater All His Life

“You are welcome, masters!  Welcome, all! – I am glad to see thee well – Welcome, good friends – O, old friend!  … Masters, you are all welcome! We’ll e’en to’t like French falconers, fly at anything we see.  We’ll have a speech straight.  Come give us a taste of your quality, come a passionate speech!”

Hamlet_play_scene_croppedHamlet loves the players and is first to greet them as they arrive at the castle to perform at Denmark’s royal court.  The prince is overjoyed to see these actors, who are old friends, many of whom he has known since he was a boy.

And it’s a given that the author who wrote those lines was a man of the theater.  The stage was in his bones.  He was at home with plays and players in their magical world.  He made it his business to learn everything he could about the theater, down to the details of entrances, exits, costume changes, musical interludes, sound effects, laughter, tears, fact, fiction – a mix of talents and skills and hard work in service of the powerful art of bringing stories to life on stage through actions and, above all, the power of words.

actors again

But what was the nature of “Shakespeare’s” involvement in the theater?  Was he, as the orthodox scholar tells us, in the same position as the actors who arrive at the court? Was his love of the stage, as we are told, from the perspective of the common players who receive Hamlet’s greeting?  If the writer of this play was one of those actors, as orthodox tradition would have it, would he express his love for his own colleagues through the prince’s point of view?

Isn’t it far more likely that the author himself was of high rank, and that Hamlet’s greeting to the players is a mirror of his own relationship to them?  That the author himself was accustomed to dealing with actors from the lofty heights of a prince?  That the author wrote Hamlet’s lines to the players based on his own experience, using his own sophisticated voice expressing simultaneous affection and condescension?

Castle Hedingham -- an interior view

Castle Hedingham — an interior view

“Shakespeare” and Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford lived in the world of the theater; and this fact is Reason No. 66 to conclude they were one and the same.  But unlike the conjectural flights of Stratfordian biography, all pieces of information about the earl’s connection to the stage are documented facts; and for Oxford, it began when he was a young boy and his father’s company of players — who traveled the countryside in summer, performing in courtyards and inns –arrived at the castle for the winter season to provide entertainment for the long cold evenings.

In the graveyard Hamlet learns that the skull in his hands was that of the King’s jester, Yorick, whom the prince had known during his boyhood.  The jester used to give him rollicking piggyback rides filled with laughter; and the memory is engraved in Hamlet’s mind and heart:

Olivier as Hamlet, with the skull of the jester

Olivier as Hamlet, with the skull of the jester

“Alas, poor Yorick!  I knew him, Horatio – a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy!  He hath borne me on his back a thousand times!” 

Edward de Vere most certainly recalled those evenings warmed by flames in the great stone fireplace while the guests of the castle sat around the long table, all keeling over with laughter, as the prince recalls while speaking to Yorick’s skull:

“Where be your gibes now, your gambols, your songs, your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar?”

Part two of this Reason will look at the basic facts showing that Oxford, just as we would expect to find about the author of Hamlet, was a “man of the theater” from the beginning to the end of his life.

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15 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi Hank,
    it’s really convincing. And I more and more think that not just Hamlet, but Othello as well might serve clues to the Oxford-Elizabeth-Southampton (son) case. When Othello has killed Desdemona, when he seemingly would begin to regain his conscience, the very first thing he says is:
    ‘… it should be now a huge eclipse of sun and moon’
    The symbol of the Moon -as is well documented in The Monument- was used for the Queen. And the Sun (Son) is regarded to be a reference to Southampton, her (and Oxford’s) son. So if we set aside the change of genders, we might find Moon killing her Sun on false charges – and this IS really the darkest of darkness, the total eclipse for both of them.
    And the Othello says:
    ‘It is the very error of the moon.’
    The available information about Othello is that it was written between 1601-1604, and the first recorded performance was in 1604. If it’s true, then it’s hard for me to imagine that after those years in the shadow of death and prison, Oxford would’ve written these lines with no reference to the real events and persons.

  2. And Othello’s closing words:
    ‘…of one whose hand,
    Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away
    Richer than all his tribe’

    The Moon and pearls were used to present the queen as the Goddess of the Moon. By killing his son (throwing the (p)earl away) now he (she) no longer may use this symbol.

    • Sandy,

      you’re wonderful and you have a very good eye to the plays. Oxford must have been inspired in the rumors of Anne Cecil’s adultery back to 1575 when he wrote the original “Othello”. When he was rewritting it in 1601, he was mixed past with present.

      Perfect observation!

  3. Now, it’s stunning: the words of Iago at the beginning of the drama reflect the words of sonnet 125, in which Oxford bids farewell to the Queen. (Also it reflects -as Hank wrote in The Monument- sonnet 121, by traversing: ‘I’m NOT what I am’)
    Iago: ‘doting on his own obsequious bondage’
    Oxford: ‘let me be obsequious in thy heart’

    Iago: ‘trimm’d in forms and visages of duty’
    Oxford: ‘dwellers on form and favour lose all’

    ‘when my outward action doth demonstrate
    The native act and figure of my heart
    In compliment extern,’
    Oxford: ‘with my extern the outward honoring’

    It’ very difficult to think for me that this is a mere coincidence. Still I can’t exactly put in words what I think, but something like that: in Iago Oxford created a character which is a ‘antithesis’ of Oxford presumably Cecil. And from these would stem what I tried to illuminate in my previous posts.

  4. And still at the beginning, in a very similar way, reversing Oxford’s feelings in sonnet 26 towards his ‘master’ Southampton – Iago speaking of his own true feelings toward his master, Othello:

    Iago: ‘ not I for love and duty, but seeming so’
    Oxford:’Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit’,
    ‘Duty so great, which wit so poor as mine
    May make seem bare’

    • Sandy,

      Are you trying to say Southampton is Othello and Iago Oxford?

      • No, by no means. What I try to explain is that what Iago says is something like the opposite of that, which Oxford writes about his own true feelings towards the queen and Southampton. Iago is false -that’s not new information-, but if we accept that the lines in the sonnets express Oxford’s true feelings, and Iago uses about the same words in the negative, then in my opinion, Oxford wanted to express that Iago was somebody, who had false feelings towards the very same persons -that is the queen and Southampton. And as far as I know this person probably was Cecil. Back at around Christmas, I wrote about Othello, then about the closing lines:
        ‘curse his better angel from his side’ (about Desdemona’s father)

        which echoes the line from sonnet 144:
        ‘Tempteth my better angel from my side’

        In this latter sense, Oxford might be Desdemona’s father, who lost his innocent, sweet child due to a false report.

        What is clear to me, that Othello has, just like the sonnets and Hamlet does, lot of hidden symbols. Still I don’t see clear -perhaps I never will-, but perhaps together we can make things clearer.
        Of course, only whet it’s not mere stupidity 🙂

  5. I’m reading Othello – the black: the ruling color from the sonnets from 127.
    I’ve read in the past that it’s rather strange that Othello based his suspicion and then the murder on a vague dream and a handkerchief – almost nothing. Oxford didn’t see that something was simply not right with this story? Or, rather, was it exactly his intention to make people wonder, isn’t it similar to the weak case against Southampton?

  6. Hi Hank,
    turning again back to sonnet 126 🙂 I several times turned back to the
    ‘May time disgrace…’
    line. I felt that something is missing from the possible explanations. And I realized, that Southampton was the bud of May in sonnet 18 -born probably in May, as you write it in The Monument. What’s more, in ‘Sonnets to sundry notes of music’ he also wrote:
    ‘Love, whose month was ever May’
    So, I guess that this line in 126 refers to the queen’s disgracing of love (the fruit of which was Southampton) and his son, the May time fruit.

    • Correction her son.

      • Good eye you have, Sandy. But I already gave my opinion: from sonnet 27-126, I think this “Time” is Elizabeth or Cecil.

    • Interesting again, Sandy.

  7. Hi Francisco, thank you. I can well remember, and I know what Hank wrote in The Monument as well. But at times I feel there must be some more layers hidden. And this is such a place.

    • And there is, Sandy.

      For example, in Sonnet 126 you can read “Thy lovers’ withering”. If “love” is “royal blood” and “lover” be father/mother, “thy lover’s withering” is “your parents’ old age” or “your parents’ death”.

      Both Elizabeth and Oxford were old by this time and both had no power to save Southampton from Treason, so Elizabeth herself was the Queen. But if she is the queen, why can’t she save him? Because Southampton is already out of danger.

      This sonnet was wrote in April 29th 1603, on Oxford’s last farewell to Southampton, according to Whittemore. But I ask myself if this sonnet was wrote later, in summer of 1604. My idea comes from Southampton’s arrest in the night of the same day of Oxford’s death. But Oxford was a very important man, even when James’ arise to the throne (he call him “Great Oxford”). Even after his disappearece from print in 1593, the same year of Shakespeare’s “birth”, many works were still dedicated to him by many writers.

      I, and many others, think Oxford may have run out of the english capital. I already read he may have run to The Isle of Man, were he may have been protected by his daughter Elizabeth Vere; but I think he escaped to the Isle of Weight, that Elizabeth Vere visited without apparent reaseon during the years of 1604-1608/9.

      Maybe this sonnet was writting them. I think in June 24th 1604. In this day, Oxford faked his death and Southampton was arrested with no reason. I think because he was of royal blood and James and Cecil (maybe) though he knew something about Oxford’s disappearence and his connection to the blasphemous Shake-Speare. Oxford acuse Elizabeth of Southampton’s arest now though she is dead.

      The fact of Southampton be “pluck back” by Nature (Elizabeth) is he coming back to the Tower for begin of royal blood.

      Well, it’s all my idea of this Sonnet…

      • I forgot to say: Sandy, that Henry Wriothesley was born in May 1574 may be probable. We have in this same year the Queen, with Oxford, runing from London to some where that I can’t now remeber :P.

        Sonnet 18 start with a “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” and I think the “summer’s day” says everything. I think “May” has a double image and is related to Elizabeth. In the sonnets, she is associated with Nature, so, I don’t see why couldn’t she be “May”. “buds of May” could be Elizabeth’s others bastards…

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