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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: February ::
Greenblatt Discussion Forum
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0256  Tuesday, 8 February 2005

[1]     From:   Tom Krause <
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        Date:   Mon, 7 Feb 2005 08:19:34 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 16.0247 Greenblatt Discussion Forum

[2]     From:   David Basch <
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        Date:   Monday, 07 Feb 2005 09:10:49 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0247 Greenblatt Discussion Forum

[3]     From:   David Basch <
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        Date:   Monday, 07 Feb 2005 11:03:43 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 16.0218 Greenblatt Discussion Forum


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Krause <
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Date:           Mon, 7 Feb 2005 08:19:34 -0500
Subject: Greenblatt Discussion Forum
Comment:        SHK 16.0247 Greenblatt Discussion Forum

Peter Bridgman writes:

 >John Briggs is too kind.  I find it hard to believe that the link I made
 >last May ("Beautified with our feathers?  That's a vile phrase") hasn't
 >occurred to others before.

Your instinct is correct -- Holden has it (as he does much of what's in
WITW), so we can rest assured it's been around for some time.  Holden
also points out that Greene might have been deliberately echoing
Shakespeare's use of "beautified" in The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Tom Krause

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Basch <
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Date:           Monday, 07 Feb 2005 09:10:49 -0500
Subject: 16.0247 Greenblatt Discussion Forum
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0247 Greenblatt Discussion Forum

Peter Bridgman explains his earlier comment to the list about the
version of the Tetragramaton in the Bishops and Geneva Bibles (IEHOUAH).
As I showed, that was a direct transliteration of the Hebrew, especially
when it is learned that the letter "U" in it is the Elizabethan letter
"V" and the "I" is also the Elizabethan letter "J."

    Peter Bridgman wrote:

     I did not ask about the tetragrammaton. My point
     was that Tyndale's transcription (IEHOUAH), adopted
     by Bishops and Geneva bible editors, would have
     been the only form recognisable to WS.

     ... In much the same way David Basch's determination
     to find Hebraisms encrypted in the canon tells us more
     about Mr. Basch than it does about WS.

In the light of Elizabethan writing, Peter Bridgman's point is without
point since the Hebrew and English versions of the Tetragramaton are the
same. As I argue, this holy name was imbedded in some of the poet's
sonnets to demonstrate that the sonnet was addressed to that very One.

As regards the issue of Shakespeare's knowledge of Hebrew, many of his
word uses clearly prove he knew the language. For example, "ho'rati"
means in Hebrew, "I was shown."  Think now of Hamlet's beautiful speech
in praise of HORATIo in which he tells how Horatio had shown him an
example of a man, one in ten thousand, who was not "passion's slave."
While Shakespeare's knowledge and use of Hebrew does not prove he had a
Jewish origin, there can be little doubt he knew Hebrew if the evidence
is seriously consulted. So my conclusion about this merely tells that I
am willing to credit what is clear evidence.

David Basch

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Basch <
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Date:           Monday, 07 Feb 2005 11:03:43 -0500
Subject: Greenblatt Discussion Forum
Comment:        SHK 16.0218 Greenblatt Discussion Forum

The following is a shortened version of an earlier article that
demonstrates some of Shakespeare's techniques used in the SONNETS to
provide additional means for communicating with his readers and future
ages. In this article, documentary evidence is presented that the poet
certified his authorship of the SONNETS through a series of hidden name
devices and, thereby, his authorship of all his work. This indicates
that the SONNETS were not carelessly written, impulsive  poems
expressing feelings of the moment, but were vehicles for a complex,
coherent content with, as I have shown elsewhere, a grand message to the
world worthy of proper scholarly attention.

        SHAKESPEARE versus EDWARD DE VERE and FRANCIS BACON
                          by David Basch
              (abridged 2.1.05 from an earlier article)

Shakespeare is unusual among literary giants in that there is a sizable
community of scholars that believes that he did not write the great
works attributed to him. As early as fifty years after his death, there
were those who disparaged him as an uneducated and superficial craftsman
who had cleverly usurped the literary work and knowledge of learned
persons to produce his plays.  Little did his critics dream that,
considering the extraordinary caliber of the resulting work transformed
from what he started with, even such a feat would have stamped
Shakespeare as superlative beyond belief. These carping critics could
not accept that someone from Shakespeare's humble, plebian circumstance
could have achieved what he did. In the following years, the earlier
mild kernels of disparagement progressed to such an extent that some
critics began to charge that "a better pen" was actually the true author
of his literary work. Among the many candidates proposed by critics for
this role were the British noblemen, Edward de Vere and Francis Bacon.

But the case for an alternative authorship has now taken a fatal turn.
As is now revealed, the author of Shakespeares Sonnets placed his full
name into one of its poems in the original 1609 printing using the
technique of steganography, an act, as we shall see, that is most telling.

Steganography is a method of secret communication in which messages are
hidden through disguising their presence. With a presence not suspected,
such messages need not be in the form of complex ciphers or codes and
can be plainly written, being visible but yet hidden from unwanted eyes.
In this fashion, Shakespeare presented his full name in one of his
sonnets.  Obviously, the steganographic technique was remarkably
effective since its use eluded the eyes of scholars for almost 400 years.

Normally, a finding that a writer placed his name in a hidden way in one
of his works would be of some interest but of little importance.
However, in the case of Shakespeare whose authorship has been seriously
questioned, such a finding has enormous implications in finally
certifying him as having written his own work. What makes the placement
of these secret, personal autographs especially useful in accomplishing
this authentication is that it was done in a manner that makes it
unmistakable that it was the author himself who did this deed. The
secretly imbedded names have been worked into the very texture of the
words and arrangement of his sonnet, hence, these could not have been
the work of an outside hand. Once this is recognized, it must stamp
pretenders to the mantel of the Shakespeare authorship as altogether
false. Otherwise, objectors would have to explain why an Edward de Vere
or Francis Bacon would place hidden versions of the name of William
Shakespeare in a sonnet they themselves had written.

O ME!

The Shakespeare autographs are to be found in Sonnet 148.  Conspicuous
in this sonnet containing certifications of its author is its opening
two words, "O Me!" These are clearly set off from the rest of the text
line and are punctuated by an exclamation mark that gives them added
emphasis. The line reads:

       O Me! what eyes hath loue put in my head.

While these words flawlessly merge into the text of the poem in which a
love sick poet complains of the emotional ravages of a love that blinds
him to that which lies before his eyes, suddenly, when a hidden content
in the sonnet becomes apparent, the same words, "O Me!," take on new
significance. They become a marquee and introduction to the fact that
the original printed text of the sonnet is arranged in such a manner so
as to proclaim the poet by yielding numerous renderings of the poet's
full name.

One of these renderings is immediately apparent in a first letter
acrostic in the sonnet's lines 6 to 8 spelling "W-I-L," a version of the
poet's first. Interestingly, the word "I" shows up at the beginning of
the prior line 5. Like another marquee, this would extend the acrostic
and enable it to read "I"-"W-I-L." To be sure, this alone is nothing
dramatic since what appears as a short, four line acrostic could well be
accidental. However, this does not appear alone, for accompanying it are
other configurations that further present the poet's name as "wi-l,"
"wyl," and "w-y-l-ye."

The first of these, "wi-l," appears through aligned letters in stacked
words in lines 2 and 3, "WIth" and "fLed." A second instance, "w yl," is
read backwards on line 4 in the words "falseLY What ..."
Finally, the configuration, "w-y-l-ye," appears in a vertically
ascending arc beginning on line 7 at the "w" of the word "Well." (See
this capitalized in the copy of the sonnet at the end of this document.)
These steganographic autographs can be viewed in full view in facsimiles
of the original printing and need only a clue to encourage hunting them
down as given by the words, "O Me," and the acrostic, "I W-I-L."

But this is not all. The poet's surname, Shakespeare, similarly emerges
from the text of the 1609 printing. This appears in two parts with its
syllables abreast of one another in configurations extending across
sonnet lines 10 to 14. These arrangements are shown below extracted from
the text, followed by the same elements within the full text:

  [10]                                              eare
  [11]                                    ake       i
  [12]              selfe                h         eere
  [13]               l                  s          p
  [14]               w                             s


  [10] That  is  so  vext  with watching and with teares?
  [11] No maruaile then   though  I  mistake  my  view,
  [12] The sunne it selfe sees not,till heauen  cleeres.
  [13]   O cunning    loue,with    teares thou keepst me blinde,
  [14]   Least eyes   well seeing thy foule  faults should finde.

(The text is shown in its original spelling and punctuation but with
altered spacing to preserve alignments, made necessary by the widths of
modern letter forms. Also, in the Elizabethan text, the letter "v" that
occurs in midword is written as the letter "u.")

Note that there are two versions of the second syllable of the poet's
surname, which occur as "s-p-eere" and "s-p-e-i-are," surely another
testimony of the effort of the poet to communicate that this was
intentional. Also to be observed is the configuration involving the word
"selfe," the latter terminating the ascending string of the letters
"w-l-l." This too can be read as another marquee announcing the poet.

Whatever the poet's reason for providing these steganographic imbedment
woven into the texture of the poem, they demonstrate without question
that this is his own contrivance. We can speculate on his reasons for
doing so. Perhaps, Shakespeare did it merely to demonstrate his craft.
Or maybe he had reason to anticipate that one day there would be
attempts to challenge his authorship of his own work. [We now learn that
it could well have been a teaching device to alert readers to his use of
such steganographic patterns in his poems.]

While the reasons are elusive, that he did in fact autograph this sonnet
must at the least be considered proof of his authorship.  For can it be
at all plausible that Edward de Vere, Francis Bacon, or any of the
others proposed as authors would craft a sonnet with hidden autographs
of Shakespeare's name? It would be nonsensical since, in the original
Sonnets, Shakespeare's authorship was proclaimed as SHAKE-SPEARES
SONNETS at the top of every two-page spread. There would have been no
further need for any author, not Shakespeare, to make the effort to
certify such a deception in the depths of a sonnet if the deception were
indeed the fact.

                  ==============

                        148
     _
    / \    Me ! what eyes hath loue put in my head,
    \_/    Which haue no   correspondence   with true sight,
    Or if they haue,where  is   my iudgment fled,
    That censures falsely what thEY see aright ?
    If that be faire  whereon my faLse eyes dote,
    What meanes the world  to   saY it is not so ?
    If it be not,then loue doth  Well denote,
    Loues eye is not so true as all mens:no,
    How can it? O how can loues eye be true,
    That  is  so  vext  with watching and with teares?
    No maruaile then   though  I  mistake  my  view,
    The sunne it selfe sees not,till heauen  cleeres.
      O cunning    loue,with    teares thou keepst me blinde,
      Least eyes   well seeing thy foule  faults should finde.


                           ******

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