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What's in a name? That which we call a rose--from Romeo and Juliet
By Stella Maris
April 25, 2009
Like most of us who endured the tortuous analysis of William Shakespeare's plays at school, I only ever took them at face value. A sprinkling of fauns and fairies, a gaggle of cauldron-stirring witches... and get thee to a nunnery!
It never even occurred to me that these works could possibly contain encrypted messages which were cleverly coded into the popular plays, generated a good four hundred years before the success of The Da Vinci Code. So, Dan Brown eat your heart out--Shakespeare beat you to it!
Or… was it really indeed William Shakespeare?
There is an intriguing theory gaining momentum in academic and theatrical circles that Shakespeare's name was actually “rented” by various eminent Elizabethan noblemen as a pseudonym to cover up the source of the potentially explosive revelations that were embroidered into the underbelly of these popular theatrical performances.
Although there is not a unanimous agreement yet on exactly who penned Shakespeare’s masterpieces, the most likely candidate for puppet master is thought to be Sir Francis Bacon. A successful lawyer and politician, Bacon was best known as the Viscount of Saint Alban and the Lord Chancellor to King James I. But, what historians won’t acknowledge is that Sir Francis was also regarded as a practicing philosopher (in multiple senses of the word), poet, and the secret illegitimate son of Queen Elizabeth I.
As this was all complete news to me, I was delighted to accept my old pal Simon Miles' invitation to attend his lecture for the Francis Bacon Society last week at the University of London.
Simon and I go back a long way, having spent many years in the underground pursuing the investigation of secret societies and obscure ancient philosophies. However, since he splits his time between the Australian outback and the infamous French village of Rennes-le-Chateau, we tend to only meet up every five years or so. Therefore last week was a special occasion, despite the fact that neither of us could spare more than a couple of hours to catch up and compare notes as he breezed through town.
I was entranced by the proliferation of new ideas presented by Simon in his fascinating lecture, even though most of it went over my head. But what intrigued me greatly was the unveiling of the overt cryptographic elements embedded into the theatrical artforms that we all take utterly for granted.
And once you get the hang of how the Elizabethan mindset works, you start seeing codes everywhere… Shakespeare's cunningly crafted couplets start taking on a whole 'nother layer of meaning.
Even the Elizabethan theaters were themselves designed in code. It's no coincidence that the most famous playhouses were constructed in the round and aligned to the properly deployed zodiac signs... and given names like The Globe, The Rose (after the symbol representing Sun’s movement in relation to the Universe) and The Swan (after the constellation, Cygnus).
This past week in London, the reconstructed Globe Theatre patriotically celebrated Shakespeare's immense contribution to the theatrical arts, as the Bard conveniently both was born and died on April 23rd, which is also Saint George's Day, the Patron Saint of England.
But I wonder if the celebrations included any secret, coded tributes to Sir Francis Bacon…?
Newton Coordinate:- The Feast Day of Saint George, April 23rd, corresponding to the anniversary of Shakespeare's birth and death, on the Greenwich Meridian. With a special wink to fellow Rosicrucian Operative, Adrian Gilbert.