Esoteric Shakespeare (Part 3)

John Everett Millais - Cinderella

There is a Talmudic legend that King Solomon was once robbed of his magic ring, whereupon he assumed the humble rôle of a scullion in the kitchen of the King of the Ammonites. This is identified as a “solar story” by Harold Bayley in his book, The Lost Language of Symbolism. One such variant of the “solar story” is that of Cinderella. “The elements of this prehistoric and universal fairy-tale are present in the legend of Ishtar’s descent into the under-world. Ishtar, deprived of her beautiful robes, plays the rôle of Cinderella; Allatu is the cruel stepmother, and Uddushu-Namir plays the prince.” [1]

During the time that Ishtar is confined within the bounds of Aralu all fertility on the earth is suspended. Ea and Sin, gods of the earth and moon respectively, hear about Ishtar’s confinement and Ea creates a being called Uddushu-Namir who is sent to the underworld to demand the release of Ishtar. Allatu, the mistress of Hades, is enraged by Uddushu-Namir’s demand yet nonetheless is forced to pour the waters of life over Ishtar. [2]

(I for one can’t help noticing how “Ishtar” and “Easter” sound similar.)

In The Winter’s Tale, a play by the pseudonymous “William Shakespeare”, Leontes, king of Sicily, orders the infant Perdita to be taken away and exposed to the elements. Perdita is abandoned on the “shores” of Bohemia. (Really Bohemia has no shores.) The helpless infant is fortunately rescued from death by a shepherd. Sixteen years later, Florizel, the son of king Polixenes, falls in love with Perdita. (Further background: Esoteric Shakespeare (Part 2), Ersjdamoo’s Blog entry of February 15, 2014.)

Perdita, the “sleeping beauty” in the woods, at last awakens when Prince Florizel comes “with his gladdening rays to wake her from her trance-like sleep. In this case Perdita is but the awakening of her mother, the earth, from the deep sleep of winter…” [3]

You can see why the play is called, “The Winter’s Tale.” It is more than just some story told by the fireside on a cold night!

Perdita, the lost spring, is awakened by Prince Florizel. She has no idea who she really is. But like Cinderella, Perdita will be married to the king’s son.

But where does Prince Florizel fit into all this? Of note is that Britain’s Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) appeared in her first Christmas production, a pantomime, in December 1941. She played Prince Florizel in Cinderella with her younger sister Princess Margaret – then just 11 – in the title role of Cinderella. (Image hopefully above.) [4]

A 1958 TV movie, “Cinderella”, includes in its cast this same Prince Florizel (played by John Fabian). [5]

So you can see that the name given by the Spear Shaker to the prince in The Winter’s Tale is at least evocative of the Cinderella story.

Further indication of The Winter’s Tale being essentially a solar story about the lost spring and its awakening is found in that Perdita is wedded to flowers and vernal allusions in the play.

Act IV, Scene III:

Perdita: … Give me those flowers there, Dorcas. – Reverend sirs, for you there’s rosemary and rue; these keep seeming and savour all the winter long: Grace and remembrance be to you both, and welcome to our shearing!

Polixenes: Shepherdess, – a fair one are you – well you fit our ages with flowers of winter.

A vernal allusion to Perdita occurs in Act V, Scene I, when king Leontes says to Perdita, “Welcome hither, as is the spring to the earth.”

——- Sources ——-
[1] The Lost Language of Symbolism, by Harold Bayley. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, 2006. Originally published in 1912.
[2] Myths and Legends of Babylonia and Assyria, by Lewis Spence. Cosimo Classics, 2010.
[3] A New Study Of Shakespeare, by William Francis C. Wigston
[4] “She’s behind you! Rare photos show teenage Princess Elizabeth in royal panto with Margaret”, by Kirsty McCormack. December 4, 2013. http://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/446527/Rare-photographs-show-Queen-Elizabeth-and-Princess-Margaret-acting-in-school-pantos
[5] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1668005/fullcredits

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About ersjdamoo

Editor of Conspiracy Nation, later renamed Melchizedek Communique. Close associate of the late Sherman H. Skolnick. Jack of all trades, master of none. Sagittarius, with Sagittarius rising. I'm not a bum, I'm a philosopher.
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One Response to Esoteric Shakespeare (Part 3)

  1. Pingback: Esoteric Shakespeare (Part 4) | Ersjdamoo's Blog

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