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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: May ::
The Genius of Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1024  Friday, 27 May 2005

[1]     From:   Bruce Richman <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 May 2005 11:59:47 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 May 2005 15:59:36 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare

[3]     From:   Edward Brown <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 May 2005 17:08:47 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare

[4]     From:   Al Magary <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 May 2005 15:24:36 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare

[5]     From:   Markus Marti <
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        Date:   Friday, 27 May 2005 03:55:05 +0200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare

[6]     From:   David Basch <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 May 2005 20:01:04 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare

[7]     From:   David Basch <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 May 2005 20:01:04 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bruce Richman <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 May 2005 11:59:47 -0500
Subject: 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare

With all respect to everyone who's studied hard to find Will's name
embedded in S.148, I seem to remember reading years ago in the Oxfordian
literature that "ever" and "every" were the most frequently repeated
words in the Sonnets, with the line "And every word doth almost tell my
name" (S. 76) cited as the argument's coup de gras. The intention was to
prove that Edward (de) Vere encrypted his name throughout. It is not my
intention in making this comparison to stimulate a discussion of the
tired old authorship issue, which this list wisely will not traffic in,
but to cite the present discussion as another example of looking so hard
that you'll find absolutely anything you're thoroughly dedicated to
finding. The Baconians' citation of Love's Labour's V.i..41 is my
favorite example of such wasted scholarly genius, and I understand that
the great Harvard Professor Roswell Hamm proved to his students that he
had to have been the secret author of Hamlet by pointing to the
alternations of Ros./Ham. in the speech assignments of II.ii. Neither
the word "will" nor its component letters are sufficiently unusual to
base much of a point upon. I admit to being much more amused by the KJV
Psalm 46 coincidences incorporating the poet's age and complete surname.
I think that this is finally an avenue of scholarship that Shakespeare
studies can profitably abandon as not at all representative of the
poet's intentions, and therefore fruitless.

Bruce Richman

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 May 2005 15:59:36 -0400
Subject: 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare

I appreciate Basch's sharing his unique personal knowledge with us:

 >Not only did the poet conceive the poems of
 >the Sonnets but he also worked with the printers to arrange their
 >formats on the page, including the alignments and even some of the
 >alleged "mistakes,"

Perhaps Basch can help settle a bet.  Were the walls of the composing
room whitewashed and did galley proofs hang from pegs in the corner?  My
recollection is a little hazy; perhaps his is better.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edward Brown <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 May 2005 17:08:47 -0500
Subject: 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare

Congratulations Markus, you just proved Shakespeare was really an Aztec!

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Al Magary <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 May 2005 15:24:36 -0700
Subject: 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare

David Basch constructed:
                          __
     /  \   Me !
     \__/                                   wi
                                   y         l
                       ely w          ey
     I                                  l
     W                                 y
     I                               w
     L

                                               eare
                                       ake     i
                  selfe               h        eere
                   l                 s         p
                   w                           s

-------
That's my set of hyphens (seven! must mean something, huh?), to separate
myself from this hilarious nonsense.  Mr. Basch writes well and would
obviously make a good employee in some department of the NSA or GCHQ.
But numerologists, astrologers, steganographers, creationists,
ufologists, conspiracy theorists, psychics, and true believers of Bible,
Shakespeare, and Da Vinci codes would do well to contemplate the nature
of infinity and its cousin, eternity.  There are many ways to state the
power of infiniteness but basically, it's Murphy's Law:  If it can
happen, it either has or probably will.  Coincidences and unlikely
occurrences are inevitable.

The pattern of geologic features on the moon will resemble a smiley
face.  The Virgin Mary will appear on a grilled cheese sandwich in
Florida.  Two airplanes will knock down two 110-story towers in 102
minutes.  President Lincoln will have a secretary named Kennedy, and
President Kennedy will have a secretary named Lincoln.  Baseball hasn't
seen one unassisted triple play; it has seen 13.*  And a selection of
letters in a sonnet will spell something else, not by design but by
contingency.

Yes, all those monkeys *will* produce all of Shakespeare (including all
the quartos and folios and 18th-century adaptations) and all the books
in the Library of Babel, not to mention all of Mr. Basch's posts.

I suggest that Hardy declare Shakespeare codes an infinite jest and not
worthy of further discussion.

Cheers,
Al Magary

*Footnote:  http://baseball-almanac.com/feats/feats8.shtml

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Markus Marti <
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Date:           Friday, 27 May 2005 03:55:05 +0200
Subject: 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare

Genius? Inspiration? Perspiration?

No!

Let's be honest: If sonnet 148 were by Shakespeare, and intended in the
way Mr Basch suggests, the author must have been suffering from a severe
dyslexia. That may well have been the case (think of the many ways he
wrote his own name - the listname "shaksper" is just one additional
example!).

However, some scholars have informed me in the meantime that his
original name Owotiwilhtntol (the name that can be detected in the
acrostic structure of this sonnet) is a common medieval Finnish name.
Finns, especially Eskimos, are well known to have some problems with
English orthography.

But did you also notice that there is hardly a "K" in this poem? And
that there is no X at exactly the same places where there is also no X
in ALL the other sonnets,? Conclusion: This poem, and maybe the whole
cycle, must be a hidden message by Karl MarX.

Markus (=Marks!) Marti

                    148
               ------------
      __
     /  \   Me !
     \__/                                   wi
                                   y         l
                       ely w          ey
     I                                  l
     W                                 y
     I                               w
     L

                                               eare
                                       ake     i
                  selfe               h        eere
                   l                 s         p
                   w                           s

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Basch <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 May 2005 20:01:04 -0400
Subject: 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1012 The Genius of Shakespeare

   Alex Went asks what are Equal Letter Spacing devices. These
   are hidden words that appear when the letters of a document
   are arranged in sequential order within a matrix of various
   line lengths.

Take the above paragraph. Below I have arranged this in matrices of ten
letters and twenty letters. When this is done, it is possible to find
words that emerge in vertical or in diagonal alignments, reading up or
down. In ten letter matrices, all letters that are vertically aligned
are separated by ten letters and the same is true for vertically aligned
letters of the other except that those are separated by 20 letters.
Diagonal configurations occur when the regular spacing is less or more
than the length of the letter lines.

In the ten line matrix, as can be seen, the words s-i-t (twice), s-o-n,
and t-i-e can be read. s-i-t and s-o-n appear vertically, indicating
that each of these words emerge at an equal count of ten letters. A
second instance of s-i-T emerges reading up diagonally at an equal count
of 9 letters. The word t-i-e also emerges at a count of 9 letters but
this is read downward.

In the second matrix, the words d-e-e-m and d-a-r-t each emerge as a
product of equal letter counts. d-a-r-t is read upward at an equal
letter count of -19 and d-e-e-m is read forward at an equal letter count
of 19. The word T-h-e appears at an equal count of 20.

A l e x W e n t a s
k s w h a t a r e E    s
q u a l L e t t e r    u
S p a c i n g d e v    p
i c e s T h e s e a      s T
r e h i d d e n w o      i
r d s t h a t a p p    s t
e a r w h e n t h e
l e t t e r s o f a
d o c u m e n t a r
e a r r a n g e d i
n s e q u e n t i a      s
l o r d e r w i t h      o
i n a m a t r i x o      n      t
f v a r i o u s l i           i
n e l e n g t h s           e


A l e x W e n t a s k s w h a t a r e E
q u a l L e t t e r S p a c i n g d e v                     d
i c e s T h e s e a r e h i d d e n w o     T             e
r d s t h a t a p p e a r w h e n t h e     h     t     e
l e t t e r s o f a d o c u m e n t a r     e   r     m
e a r r a n g e d i n s e q u e n t i a       a
l o r d e r w i t h i n a m a t r i x o     d
f v a r i o u s l i n e l e n g t h s

Obviously, these emergent words are accidental. But consider that if
someone wanted to encode names or other words that are significant, he
can build a text around such equal spacing potentials which would be
invisible unless placed within a matrix or investigated through a
laborious process of trying various equal counts. For example, consider
the following statement:

     Add up my bill and arrange all of various items in
     sequence to drop from the table.

Though it is not obvious, the name DAVID emerges from this sentence at
an equal letter space of 12 letters. It was constructed by starting with
the following:

     D
     A
     V
     I
     D

The text was then built around it:

A d D u p m y b i l l a
n d A r r a n g e a l l      r     n
o f V a r i o u s i t e      a   i
m s I n s e q u e n c e      n s
t o D r o p f r o m t h
e t a b l e

With short sequences of letters, there is every possibility that words
would emerge accidentally, like the words "ran" and "sin" above. But
with four letter words and larger, the emergence of such words become
ever rarer in short texts. The longer the text, the more possibility
that words will emerge.

Applied to Sonnet 148, at equal counts of 142 letters and minus 146
letters, the letter sequence W-I-L-L emerge twice. The presence of two
four-letter versions of this name is itself a low order probability. (I
tried searching for this in numerous other sonnets at random without
success in finding it even once.)

Moreover, considering all the versions of the poet's names that appear
in other ways in Sonnet 148, the two occurrences of W-I-L-L at equal
letter space counts appear even more significant in pointing to their
having been contrived.

Using computer programs to search for such equal letter counts in
Shakespeare's Sonnets brings up some striking findings and are of such a
nature that they confirm that the poet knew about this method of hiding
secret words and made use of it. I had explored instances of these in a
chapter of THE SHAKESPEARE CODES. But that was done prior to the time I
had a computer program to do so the easy way and before I learned that
three letter equal letter space words are usually not significant since
they too easily emerge accidentally.

Alex has trouble seeing the poet's "full" names in my last presentation.
He is right in that these are not spelled "Will" or "William
Shakespeare" but rather "wil" "wilye" "wll" "shake" "speer" and
"speieare." These add up to versions of the poet's full name. It is the
repetitions of these clustered in one sonnet that makes these noteworthy
in a sonnet that is introduced by the words, "O me!" If Alex cannot see
these as renderings of the poet's name arranged through contriving
vertical and diagonal configurations in the original text, then I can't
help him.

Below is an abridged presentation showing some of these abreast of each
other as they appear configured in the original quarto text. Can anyone
believe that these configurations arranged themselves accidentally?

This is followed by the full text of these lines:

                                         ake
                   selfe               h        eere
                    l                 s         p
                    w                           s


      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.


David Basch

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Basch <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 May 2005 21:03:05 -0400
Subject: 16.0988 The Genius of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0988 The Genius of Shakespeare

In an earlier posting, I wrote and now revise:

     I thank Robin Hamilton for commenting on my findings in
     Sonnet 148 of embedment and equal letter skip devices of
     the Shakespeare's name W-I-L-L.

     If he is, as he says, "consumed with admiration for the Bard,"
     his admiration is well placed. Not only did the poet conceive the
     poems of the Sonnets but he also worked with the printers to arrange
     their formats on the page, including the alignments and even some of
     the alleged "mistakes," which turn out not to be mistakes after all.

While I am not an expert on "the printing of early modern books," I did
read the Friedmans' account of Elizabethan printing in Chapter XV and
others in their book on alleged Shakespearean ciphers. Those chapters
were written to debunk the so-called biliteral ciphers that some had
alleged were found in the printing of Shakespeare's plays. Most all I
know about Elizabethan printing derives from that book.

The Friedmans discredited the presence of "two" different kinds of
letter types in printings of those plays that could have been used to
create a biliteral system of ciphers. Quoting experts on the printing
methods of the time that attested to the presence of a great abundance
different type faces that were found in printed Elizabethan books as a
regular feature of printing, the Friedmans undercut what the advocates
of the biliteral ciphers were attempting to prove. In this variety of
type faces, no regular distinguishing types of fonts could be found that
would comport with the fact of the presence of a biliteral cipher.

The variety of type face fonts, irregularities, damaged fonts,
variations in inking, etc., that was described in such printing
indicates the possibility that these variations could be used to create
the effects found in Shakespeare's Sonnets. In the process of printing,
proofs of pages would be made in to correct errors in any case. These
proofs could also be used to guide changes in the printing setup to
create effects.  With such a guide, the poet could use variants in
spelling, changes in words, the elimination of spaces between words at
commas, changes in fonts, and other irregularities to create vertical
and diagonal alignments and other effects to yield the observed
configurations. The idea that the poet played no part in directing the
printing of his Sonnets is only a speculation on the part of scholars
and there is not definite proof behind it.

In any case, the configurations that I have pointed out on the list are
pretty straight forward and directly recognizable. If it is being
alleged that what look like configurations are merely accidental
occurrences, then this must be asserted in defiance of the laws of
chance. How many such "accidents" are needed to prove that these were
what contrived?

In Sonnet 148, not only do we have representations of both parts of the
poet's name, as I have shown, but we have these repeated in numerous
ways. I had not listed the configuration "sha-c sp-y" in my last account
of Sonnet 148 because I wanted to keep it short and it required some
explaining. But the "sha-c sp-y" version of the poet's name is similar
to two of Shakespeare's authenticated signatures made in 1613 which were
signed "shakspe." Here it is as an embedment in Sonnet 148:

          O    Me !            s ha
                                 c    sp        wi
                                       y         l

I would also add that Sonnet 148 is not the only sonnet in which the
poet's surname can be discovered in this way. Nor are these the only
embedment of names. There are other kinds of key words in foreign
languages in his Sonnets. How these got there could not possibly be
accidental. These show that the poet was indeed intimately involved in
the process of printing his Sonnets and had lavished great care, skill,
ingenuity, artistry, and genius on these poems. With this, the true
extent of his marvellous abilities begin to emerge.

While the printing methods and processes the Friedmans describe are
laborious, they do afford the possibility of control in the deliberate
creation of variations in the appearance of printed material that amply
bear out what has been observed in the Sonnets.  The configurations I
identified can be checked by readers and there are just too many of them
to explain as accidental.

If anyone has a better handle on the Elizabethan printing methods in
brief than the Friedmans, I would appreciate hearing of this. If I have
shown ignorance and errors in understanding these methods, I would hope
this would be pointed out specifically rather than in a sweeping general
behest to trust authority as to my errors without any elaboration of
what is being questioned.

David Basch

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