Two More Pointers to Queen Elizabeth as the “Dark Lady” of the Sonnets

Painting of Queen Elizabeth I of England Elizabeth 1_original.jpg

Painting of Queen Elizabeth I of England

Included below are two more ways in which the Earl of Oxford points to Elizabeth I of England as the so-called “dark lady” of SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS, adding to:

Sonnet 76: “Ever the Same” – the Queen’s motto in English

Sonnet 25: “The Marigold” – the Queen’s flower

Sonnet 131: “Commanded by the Motion of Thine Eyes” – to a monarch

And now these two:

Sonnet 1: “Beauty’s Rose” – the Queen’s dynasty of the Tudor Ros

Sonnet 107: “the Mortal Moon” – Queen Elizabeth as Diana, the chaste moon goddess

BEAUTY’S ROSE – Sonnet 1

From fairest creatures we desire increase,

That thereby beauties Rose might never die

Those opening two lines serve to announce the overriding theme of the entire sequence of one hundred and fifty-four consecutively numbered sonnets: “What you are about to read involves the fate of Queen Elizabeth’s long Tudor Rose dynasty.”

Roy Strong in The Cult of Elizabeth (1997) writes that in the 1590s “we find overt celebrations of Elizabeth as ‘Queen of Love’ and ‘Queen of Beauty.’”  Back in 1580, however, John Lyly in Euphues and his England, dedicated to Oxford, referred to “the beauty of this Prince,” meaning Elizabeth, and wondered in print “whether our tongue can yield worlds to blaze that beauty.”

In 1599 Sir John Davies in Hymnes of Astraea, vertically spelling ELISA BETHA REGINA with the first words of his verse stanzas, used the actual phrase “Beautie’s Rose” in reference to the Queen and her dynasty:

R ose of the Queene of Love beloved,

E ngland’s great Kings divinely moved,

G ave Roses in their banner;

I t showed that Beautie’s Rose indeed,

N ow in this age should them succeed,

A nd reign in more sweet manner.

One of Elizabeth’s mottos was Rosa Sine Spina or Rose Without a Thorn. And as “Shakespeare” writes in Henry VI, Part Three:  “The red rose and the white are on his face, the fatal colors of our striving houses,” referring to the Houses of Lancaster and York, which were merged under Henry VII to begin the Tudor dynasty.

THE MORTAL MOON – Sonnet 107

The mortal Moon hath her eclipse endured,

And the sad Augurs mock their own presage

Strong also writes of the “ample justification for identifying [the Queen] with Diana, and hence the cult of the Queen as the moon goddess, Cynthia or Belphoebe. He writes that the moon cult was begun by Sir Walter Raleigh in the 1580s “as a personal, private” identification, but that it “became public in the nineties.”

“Elizageth-Diana-Venus-Virgo is ever young and ever beautiful,” Strong writes, referring to a song by John Dowland. “Her youth is perpetually renewed, like the waxing and waning of the moon.”  Images of Elizabeth in the final decade of the reign depict her with the crescent moon of Cynthia or Diana in her hair.

I suppose that if William Shakspere of Stratford upon Avon wrote these sonnets he might not have been aware of these associations with his female monarch, or he might have been simply referring to pretty roses and the moon, but I do know this: If her Majesty’s highest-ranking earl wrote them, there is no way he would NOT be referring, quite consciously and deliberately, to Elizabeth Tudor.

Many more of these pointers to come…

The Special Language of the Sonnets — To Perceive or Not to Perceive, that’s the Question

The special language used by Edward de Vere the Earl of Oxford for SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS published in 1609 – to conceal, yet also reveal, his subject matter – was developed over at least a couple of decades — publicly!  This double-image vocabulary was never a secret; it appeared in Oxford’s own published writings, in the works of writers under his patronage and, of course, in the writings printed under his “Shakespeare” pen name.


Use of the special language is conspicuous in each of the 154 sonnets; for a good example, we don’t have to look any farther than the first two lines of Sonnet 1.  These serve to open the entire sequence and, as well, to announce that what follows is a record of the final chapter of Queen Elizabeth’s dynasty of the Tudor Rose.  The first line:

From fairest creatures we desire increase

The five key words in the very first line of the opening sonnet were all part of Oxford’s public lexicon in the Shakespearean plays, often within a royal context:

FAIR = (Royal) = “Take her, fair son, and from her blood raise up issue to me” – the French king to Henry V of England in Henry V, 5.2

CREATURE = (Child) = “The majesty of the creature in resemblance to the mother” – The Winter’s Tale, 5.2

WE = (The Queen, using her royal “we”; and/or the people of England) = “Once more we sit in England’s royal throne” – 3 Henry VI, 5.7

DESIRE = (Command) = “Desire the earl to see me in my tent” – Richard III, 5.3

INCREASE = (Offspring; heirs) = “If I have killed the issue of your womb, to quicken your increase I will beget mine issue of your blood upon your daughter” – Richard III, 4.4

“From most royal children the Queen and her subjects command heirs”

And now the second line:

That thereby beauty’s Rose might never die

BEAUTY = “Touching the beauty of this Prince, her countenance, her personage, her majesty” – John Lyly, Euphues and his England, 1580, dedicated to Oxford

ROSE = “Rosa Sine Spina” or “Rose without a Thorn” – a motto of Queen Elizabeth, referring to her dynasty of the Tudor Rose

BEAUTY’S ROSE = the phrase itself appears in Hymns of Astraea by John Davies, 1599, referring to Elizabeth and her dynasty

“So that thereby Elizabeth’s Tudor Rose dynasty will continue”

To see the intended meaning, we have no need for cryptography or secret codes or cipher systems and the like; on the contrary, the intended meaning is right in front of us:

From fairest creatures we desire increase,

That thereby beauty’s Rose might never die

OR —

From most royal children the Queen and England command heirs,

So that thereby Elizabeth’s Tudor Rose dynasty will continue

Stratfordian-orthodox scholars view the meaning of those first two lines as wishing for “the bloom of youth” or “beauty’s prime” (Stephen Booth) to survive by  propagation or reproduction.  How do they fail to see the other meanings of the same words that Shakespeare himself often uses in his plays and narrative poems?

The reason, I suggest, has nothing to do with lack of intellect or knowledge, but, rather, the framework of meaning dictated by traditional premises or assumptions — which, in turn, are dictated by academic pressure and conformity.  If the only permissible or acceptable view of the author is that of a man having no personal connection to the monarch, and no business involving himself in highly sensitive matters of state, why, then, it’s impossible to see those other, more important meanings of the same words that exist simultaneously within the royal context.  When we hear those words within the context of the Shakespeare plays of English royal history, however, we immediately understand them that way.

No codes, no ciphers, no tricks.

It’s all about the context of the author’s identity and his world.

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