Deep Shakespeare (Part 7)

Only a relative few penetrate behind the mask of Stratford Willy. To those who do, deeper meanings become evident.

King Lear, for example, has a seditious interpretation within the Elizabethan National Security State. Kings and Queens are, in olden times, installed by God Almighty as rulers. So how can it be that King Lear, ruling by divine right, can have erred so grievously in his judgment? And if Lear could be wrong, might not Queen Elizabeth I also be wrong? (Extending from this, might not even the government be wrong sometimes?)

What is adored in kings and queens, believed Francis Bacon, is the throng of their adorers. The sovereignty which makes kings puts them in its liveries (trappings of state), and it is that which the people bow to. [1] Where is King Lear once he has been stripped of his retinue? We find him cold and wet and about to enter the hovel of a beggar to seek refuge.

Potentially it would have been dangerous for Francis Bacon to openly sign his name to the play. He was a court insider and his writings were more carefully scrutinized than those of, say, an oaf of a stage player. For Francis Bacon, all that a writer of plays such as he could venture on – “a writer who had once been under violent political suspicion, and was still eagerly watched” – was to hide behind a mask. [1]

The New Science (Novum Organum), in order to forward the advancement of learning, must be insinuated under the guise of fables, Bacon believed. “Upon deliberate consideration,” he wrote, “my judgment is, that a concealed instruction and allegory, was originally intended in many of the ancient fables… For who can hear that Fame, after the giants were destroyed, sprung up as their posthumous sister, and not apply it to the clamour of parties, and the seditious rumours which commonly fly about upon the quelling of insurrections.” [1]

And King Lear was one of these fables containing a concealed allegory. There had been a pseudohistorical King Leir, a legendary king of the Britons. Leir’s reign presumably occurred circa the 8th century BC, around the time of the founding of Rome. Leir was said to have sired three daughters: Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. As he neared his death, he divided his kingdom among them. Goneril and Regan flattered their father and, at the advice of Leir’s nobles, were married off to the Dukes of Albany and Cornwall, respectively. Cordelia, despite being her father’s favorite, refused to flatter the king, feeling that he should not need special assurances of her love, and was given no land to rule. [2]

——- Sources ——-
[1] The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakspere Unfolded, by Delia Bacon. London: Groombridge and Sons, 1857.
[2] “Leir of Britain”, Wikipedia. Accessed September 22, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leir_of_Britain

 

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 Deep Shakespeare (Part 7)

  1. Pingback: Deep Shakespeare (Part 8) | Ersjdamoo's Blog

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