Shakespeare and Oxford: 25 Curious Connections Edward De Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford William Shakespeare, the Writer Shakespeare and Oxford 25 Curious Connections

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Shakespeare and Oxford: 25 Curious Connections Edward De Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford William Shakespeare, the Writer Shakespeare and Oxford 25 Curious Connections VERSION 5.0 Slide 2 The Crime and the Suspects Shakespeare the Writer Edward De Vere 17 th Earl of Oxford The Crime William of Stratford Slide 3 The First Step Characters in Hamlet Idiosyncratic Topical Events Shakespeares Library & Books Law, Music Power, & Italy Shakespeares Fellow Poets Language & Accolades The Shakespeare Dedicatees 1. What do Stratfordian Scholars say about the writer Shakespeare? Slide 4 The Second Step Characters in Hamlet Idiosyncratic Topical Events Shakespeares Library & Books Law, Music Power, & Italy Shakespeares Fellow Poets Language & Accolades The Shakespeare Dedicatees 2. How does William of Stratford connect to these people and things? Slide 5 The Third Step Characters in Hamlet Idiosyncratic Topical Events Shakespeares Library & Books Law, Music Power, & Italy Shakespeares Fellow Poets Language & Accolades The Shakespeare Dedicatees 3. What connections exist between Oxford and these people and things? Slide 6 Characters in Hamlet Slide 7 Topical Characters (1937) Stratfordian John Dover Wilson in The Essential Shakespeare: Elizabethan drama was a social institution which performed many functions. Among other things it was, like the modern newspaper, at once the focus and the purveyor of the London gossip of the day. In a word it was topical. (11) Slide 8 (1984) Annabel Patterson in Censorship and Interpretation: The Conditions of Writing and Reading in Early Modern England: "poetry, or literature, has had from antiquity a unique role to play in mediating to the magistrates the thoughts of the governed, and that it exists, or ought to, in a privileged position of compromise." (13) "In the plays of Ben Jonson and Philip Massinger, in Shakespeare's King Lear, in a court masque by Thomas Carew, in the sermons of John Donne, there is evidence, if we look carefully, of a highly sophisticated system of oblique communication, of unwritten rules whereby writers could communicate with readers or audiences (among whom were the very same authorities who were responsible for state censorship) without producing a direct confrontation. One of the least oblique critics of Jacobean policy, the pamphleteer Thomas Scott, remarked in the significantly entitled Vox Regis that "sometimes Kings are content in Playes and Maskes to be admonished of divers things." (45) Topical Characters Slide 9 (1988) Leah S. Marcus in Puzzling Shakespeare: Local Readings and Its Discontents. "Given the feckless, highly ingenious, almost ungovernable gusto with which contemporaries found parallels between stage action and contemporary events, there are few things that plays could be relied upon not to mean. In early Tudor times, plays were openly used both for official propaganda and for political agitation.During the 1560s Elizabeth herself regularly interpreted comedies presented at court as offering advice about the succession: she was to follow the "woman's part," a part she professed to dislike, and marry as the heroine inevitably did at the end. Given her ability to find Abstracts of the time even in seemingly neutral materials. No comedy performed before her was safe from topical interpretation. Negative examples are the most prominent in the surviving records if only because censorship caused them to receive special scrutiny. So, in 1601, a sudden rash of performances of Shakespeare's Richard II was taken by Elizabeth and her chief ministers (and not without reason) as propaganda for the Essex rebellion." (27) Topical Characters Slide 10 Connection One William Cecil, Lord Burghley, as Polonius (1869) Stratfordian George Russell French in Shakspeareana Genealogica: The next important personages in the play are the Lord Chamberlain, POLONIUS; his son, LAERTES; and daughter, OPHELIA; and these are supposed to stand for Queen Elizabeth's celebrated Lord High Treasurer, Sir WILLIAM CECIL, Lord Burleigh; his second son, ROBERT CECIL; and his daughter, ANNE CECIL. (301) Slide 11 William Cecil, Lord Burghley, as Polonius (1920) Stratfordian Lilian Winstanley in Hamlet and the Scottish Succession: Polonius, throughout the play, stands isolated as the one person who does really enjoy the royal confidence; he is an old man, and no other councillor of equal rank anywhere appears. This corresponds almost precisely with the position held by Burleigh.Burleighs eldest son Thomas Cecil was a youth of very wayward life; his licentiousness and irregularity occasioned his father great distress and, during his residence in Paris, his father wrote letters to him full of wise maxims for his guidance; he also instructed friends to watch over him, and bring him reports of his sons behaviour. So Polonius has a son Laertes whom he suspects of irregular life; Polonius provides that his son, when he goes to Paris, shall be carefully watched, and that reports on his behaviour shall be prepared by Reynaldo. (114-116) Connection One Slide 12 William Cecil, Lord Burghley, as Polonius (1930) Stratfordian E. K. Chambers in William Shakespeare: It has often been thought that Polonius may glance at Lord Burghley, who wrote Certain Preceptes, or Directions for the use of his son Robert Cecil. These were printed (1618) 'from a more perfect copie, than ordinarily those pocket manuscripts goe warranted by'. Conceivably Shakespeare knew a pocket manuscript, but Laertes is less like Robert Cecil than Burghley's elder son Thomas. (Vol. I, 418) Slide 13 Connection One William Cecil, Lord Burghley, as Polonius (1937) Stratfordian J. Dover Wilson in The Essential Shakespeare: It is certain then that Shakespeare did not deliberately avoid topical allusion, as those who worship the Olympian claim. And if so, may we not suspect allusion and reference in many passages where it has hitherto not been detected? We not only may but should; for once again, the essential Shakespeare will be altogether misconceived if we think of him as one who stood apart from the life of his time. (12) Polonius is almost without doubt intended as a caricature of Burleigh. (104) Slide 14 Connection One William Cecil, Lord Burghley, as Polonius (1955) Stratfordian Conyers Read in Mr. Secretary Cecil and Queen Elizabeth: If you offend in forgetting God by leaving your ordinary prayers or such like, if you offend in any surfeiting of eating or drinking too much, if you offend in other ways, by attending and minding any lewd or filthy tales or enticements of lightness or wantonness of body, you must at evening bring both your thoughts and deeds as you put off your garments to lay down, and cast away those and all such like that by the devil are devised to overwhelm your soul. This is the sort of sermon which William Cecil liked to preach to young men. He preached many such in the course of his life. They reveal the strong Puritan strain in him. In this particular case we get some inkling of those weaknesses in young Thomas about which his father was most concerned. Obviously William Cecil had a very inadequate understanding of the psychology of adolescence. Even Polonius was never quite so tedious and pedantic as this. (214) Slide 15 Connection One William Cecil, Lord Burghley, as Polonius (1958) Stratfordian Joel Hurstfield in The Queens Wards, on Burghleys wordiness: It is the authentic voice of Polonius. (1964) Joel Hurstfield in Shakespeare's World (written with James Sutherland): "The governing classes were both paternalistic and patronizing; and nowhere is this attitude better displayed than in the advice which that archetype of elder statesmen William Cecil, Lord Burghley Shakespeare's Polonius prepared for his son." (35) Slide 16 Connection One William Cecil, Lord Burghley, as Polonius (1963) Stratfordian A.L. Rowse in William Shakespeare: A Biography: Nor do I think we need hesitate to see reflections of old Lord Burghley in old Polonius not only in the fact that their positions were the same in the state, the leading minister in close proximity to the sovereign, in ancient smug security. there are certain specific references reflecting Burghleys known characteristics. (1966) The Readers Encyclopedia of Shakespeare: many scholars have argued that that Burghley is being satirized as Polonius in Hamlet.... Polonius famous advice to Laertes (I, iii, 58-80) is strikingly similar to Burghleys precepts in this treatise. Hamlets reference to Polonius as a fishmonger may also be an allusion to Burghleys attempt as treasurer to stimulate the fish trade. (90) Slide 17 William Cecil, Lord Burghley as Polonius Connection One Shakespeare the writer Slide 18 Connection Two Anne Cecil as Ophelia Slide 19 Connection Two Anne Cecil as Ophelia (1869) Stratfordian George French in Shakspeareana Genealogica: The next important personages in the play are the Lord Chamberlain, POLONIUS; his son, LAERTES; and daughter, OPHELIA his daughter, ANNE CECIL. (301) [M]arriage was proposed by their fathers to take place between Philip Sidney and Anne Cecil, the fair Ophelia of the play. (302) Slide 20 Connection Two Anne Cecil as Ophelia (1920) Stratfordian Lilian Winstanley in Hamlet and the Scottish Succession: Intercepted letters and the employment of spies were, then, a quite conspicuous and notorious part of Cecils statecraft, and they are certainly made especially characteristic of Shakespeares Polonius. Polonius intercepts the letters from Hamlet to his daughter; he appropriates Hamlets most intimate correspondence, carries it to the king, and discusses it without a moments shame or hesitation: he and the king play the eavesdropper during Hamlets interview with Ophelia: he himself spies upon Hamlets interview with his mother. It is impossible not to see that these things are made both futile and hateful in Polonius, and they were precisely the thing