“Even as the waxe doeth melt” (The Foulyng)

Knights Templar, Burning at StateFig. 1

Vere, %22Even as the waxe doth melt%22Fig. 2    

Hamlet is a “revenge” play, where the attempt is to right the wrongs done:

Vere poetry, Even as the waxe doeth meltFig. 3:  

   In going through any poem, my first task is usually to pay attention to the concrete message; what is the “matter” of the poem, the inspiration, what images are used to convey all this.  Since most, if not all, poetry has an emotional, ‘feeling’ dimension, I then step back a little and ask myself what I just felt after the first time through.  We all have different ways of experiencing what we read, what we see when standing before a painting or sculpture, what emotions we experience when listening to music.

   My first reaction was that the message in Even as the waxe doeth melt was that the poem was an intellectual description of the despair one can feel if totally alone, and with little or no hope of being with the object of one’s love:  “I doe wast with other’s love.”  This is just me, of course.  Nothing academic or analytical about any of of this.

   But then what began to eat at me was the way I experienced and reacted emotionally to certain words and phrases, and how they formed in my mind.  The poem took on a sickening feeling:  “consume awaie”; “decaie”; sinister state”.  I paused over the word sinister.  Why sinister?  Then came “my self in hate”.  I thought, here the poet is likely pining away at the extreme, and began to hate himself?  Then this:  “the foulyng netts”.  A play on words.  Nets to throw on unsuspecting fouls/birds.  Hunting imagery.

  Hunting is nothing if not predatory.  The word “pain”, then (in my mind) ‘followed’ by “The Gardener”.

   In July of this year (2013), my wife and I returned to Oxford University to participate once again in “The Oxford Experience”. King Richard III’s bodily remains were discovered the previous year, and were removed to the University of Leicester while a thorough dig of the Leicester city council car park was underway at the time of our stay in mid-July.  My wife took  a class in political philosphy, and I took a class on Richard III.  On the wednesday before classes ended, the Leicester dig was opened to public viewing.  Although we were unable to go to Leicester during the week, we did go the following week as we were in London by then, and the train ride was relatively quick.

   Now, what’s the point of all this?  Well, for whatever the reason, I tend to collect and am able to retrieve (at times) information and facts that, when I first read about them, or hear about them, seem not at all to be that important or germaine.  However, due to the imagery of Edward de Vere’s poem above, a connection to what seemed a disconnected fact rang the proverbial bell.

   Stephen Gardiner (ca. 1483 -1555), Bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor under Mary I, was the son of William Gardiner  ( c. 1450 – c. 1495 and spelled Wyllyam Gardynyr in Welsh accounts), a commoner and cloth merchant, who was hired as a mercenary soldier during the War of the Roses.  He is credited to have killed Richard III with a pollaxe at the Battle of Bosworth Field (1485) when Richard’s horse was trapped in a marsh.  The soon-to-be Henry VII  (Henry Tudor) knighted him on the battlefield for bravery.  Gardiner is therefore credited with the killing of the last Plantagenet King, as well as the last King of England to die in battle.

   William’s son grew to be the Lord Chancellor at the time of the imprisonment of princess Elizabeth, who was held in the Tower of London for her alleged part in the conspiracy to overthrow her half-sister Mary I, known as the Wyatt Rebellion.  She was relentlessly interrogated by Stephen Gardiner (Lord Chancellor), but to no avail.  Various accounts report Gardiner to have despised the young princess Elizabeth, considered her to be a danger to the country, and malignantly tried serveral times to have Elizabeth executed for treason.  In fact, many prisoners were tortured in hopes of finding any incriminating evidence against her, with no regard to truth whatsoever.  She was in constant danger of being poisoned or secretly assassinated by order from Gardiner.

   In short, it is the prison imagery that came up for me when I reviewed “Even as the waxe doeth melt.  I asked myself, why would the poet of the poem (de Vere) consider himself to be in “suche a sinister state”, if he had a case of ‘love sickness’?

   Back to the word play on “foulyng”.  “Pain”, “The Gard”, “others yet doe gather”, and “grape”.  We’re dealing with ‘hidden’ messages in both word and  number play.  By itself, “grape” appears innocuous.  However, when looked at as “grape, combined with what I consider intensely powerful subliminal cues (highlighted in red in Oxford’s poem above), the word “sinister” makes much more sense.  “Foulyng” is and can be a metaphor for “rape”.  And a good reason, in the context of the perhaps ‘hidden’message of the poem, why, after being raped, one would predictably experience self-loathing, a common experience in all cases of rape today, and in the past as well.  And, of course, being raped in prison is a concern for many inmates now, as well as in Elizabethan times.

  In the context of prison imagery, the most “sinister” word in the entire poem plaintext is “rape”.  Here is the sentence:

” So I the pleasaunt grape have pulled from the Vine”

   The number play is remarkable, and hardly seems coincidental.  From left to right, the 17 th letter is the “r” in “grape”.  The “r” is next to a “g“.  And why is this so remarkable?  Could  theg stands for the g in  Gard” or Gardiner” (i.e., “Gardener”) as the name of a major player in what may have happened to someone in the Tower of London?  My parallax view in the Authorship Question is that codes, encryptions, letter-strings — support the deliberate placement, by intelligent design, information placed in plaintexts as a sort of permanent record of information that could easily mean death to the writer if placed in the wrong hands.

   Given this:  (1)  the prison imagery in the poem’s plaintext; (2) the observation that the word “rape” is part of the word “grape” for definite and purposeful reasons; (3) that the “r” in “grape” is the 17 th letter in line 11; (4) and that Edward de Vere is both the poet and the 17 th Earle of Oxford (E.O.) given this — are there letter-string encryptions supportive of a strong suggestion that “rape” is the “sinister” state being emphasized, that perhaps it is even Edward de Vere’s way of saying he was raped, and perhaps even while he was briefly imprisoned in the Tower of London?

   So, if there is anything in what is perhaps an outrageous point of view, certain keywords have to be considered and be found in letter-strings, as well as highly suggestive clusters, if the point of view is to be taken seriously.  Keywords such as:  Vere, Tower, rape are a good start.  In fact, the three words together form a possible title for the poem itself:  Vere Tower Rape.  When I now think of Oxford’s poem, the title I give it is “The Foulyng”.

Vere poetry, Waxe, I languish, rot in TOWERFig. 4

Vere poetry, Waxe, POET rape, the GardFig. 5

Vere poetry, Waxe doeth melt, ERLE RAPE, the GardFig. 6

Vere poetry, Waxe, I, E.O. vow, E. VERE, rape HIDFig. 7

   A  possible reading:  Loe! (Behold/Look, See!):  (then an in-your-face promise )“vow(e)” the letter-strings and clusters are real) — A secret rape”, kept concealed and “hid”den.  I “languish” and decay (“decaie”).  I “vow”, in” writing (“inke”) that what I say is true.  Signed:  I, E.O., E. (Edward ) Vere, Earle Oxford.”  Several readings are possible, but the cryptic clusters appear to have a single message:  that a rape took place in the Tower, and that Vere was the likely victim.

   And then, for the final signature, following the final line of the poem:  “I am alone.  Finis. E.O.”  “Finis”, ie. “finished”, is adjacent to “E.O.”, and is ominous:  “E.O. is finished.” This is absolute despair, the writing of a man condemned.  In a place where those of higher visibility (Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas More, for instance) have come to their end.  Self hate and loathing.  Treated with what appears to be impunity by those who may know his fate is death, that there will be no accountibility for their actions.  He writes the poem to someone or others in-the-know, perhaps to Elizabeth who certainly knows about his hidden messages if we believe the sonnets are correspondences between Vere and her (perhaps others, even), in an attempt to receive mercy, and to be freed.

   The phrase:  ” . . . hope, forsaken is of me…” is powerful.  In the modern literature of suicide and the dominant variables accounting for it, the lack of hope, a future sense, is the largest variable in a list of contributing factors to both suicide attempts and successful suicides–stronger than depression (“languishing, decaie, consume awaie)”.  This particular poem was possibly written in 1581 when de Vere was put in the Tower by Elizabeth due to his affair with Anne Vavasor (and having a child by her); or written at a later time with the traumatic events of 1581 in mind.  1581 was a stunningly traumatic year for de Vere.  He faced reconciliation with Lady Anne de Vere (Anne Cecil, daughter of William Cecil, Lord Burghley) regarding to what de Vere considered to be her adulterous affair when he was abroad, resulting  in the birth of his first child, had to deal with the Vavasor incident that resulted in his being thrown into the Tower — all proximate causes that might contribute, in the mind of Oxford, to suicidal ideation.

   In light of the above factors, Array 6 (Fig. 3) makes more sense to me in the context of the poem:  “I’m E.C.O., HAMLET”.  Oxford’s personal life, i.e. as the likely successor to the throne of England as Edward 7th following the death of Elizabeth I, and having the law re-written by Lord Burghley to make this not possible; the issues of revenge and the righting of wrongs in Vere’s personal life (all autobiographical aspects in the life of Hamlet as well), his suspicion his father, John Veer, 16th Earle of Oxenforde, was murdered, assassinated, if you prefer — all bearing down at the time of his imprisonment — provide arguably the most poetic and anachronistic clinical description of suicidal ideation in English literature.  I’m speaking, of course, of the soliloquy (spoken out loud, but is to be understood as the silent thoughts of Lord Hamlet):  “To be, or not to be, that is the question”. (Hamlet, Quarto 2, 1604:  III. i. 1710).  When I read this line, what leaps from the page is this:  “THAT IS THE QUESTION” (i.e., suicidal ideation, whether he should kill himself or not).  The sentence itself is the Greek Chorus speaking if such a sentence exists in the Shakespeare canon.  The phrase is a metaporical finger that says to us:  “Whether” I should live or die is the fundamental question for me, Edouarde Oxenforde.”  Number play:  the phrase, “THAT IS THE QUESTION”  has 17 letters.  Edouarde Oxenforde has 17 letters, and deliberately so, as this is the spelling de Vere frequently used as an echo (E.C.O.) of his title as 17th earl.  If it is accurate de Vere was born in 1550, the letter-count of “To be, or not to be, that is the question” may be pertinent, or a coincidence.  The sentence is composed of 30 letters.  Edward de Vere’s date of birth is alleged to have been in June of 1550.  He was imprisoned in the Tower for about three months — from March to May of 1581.  This would mean that number play says that de Vere was 30 years old when the rape incident occurred (purely theoretical, I admit).  Again, word and number play are Oxford’s consistent and constant signature.  The word “coincidence” would apply if all the textual content above was not deliberate.

   Echoing and repetition are de Vere’s ubiquitous reminder he is present in his writing as ‘Shakespeare’.  What the event the poem, “Even as the waxe doeth melt”, describes seems fantastic in the light of de Vere’s status in Elizabeth’s court, given his personal and public political status there.  But the event itself does not seem fantastic in the light of a prison environment.  However, de Vere again underlines (repeats, echoes) he is telling the truth in Array 43:

Vere poetry, LOE!, E. VERE VowFig. 8

“Behold, I, Edward (Earle) Vere, vow.”  A vow has a sacred dimension.  A dimension therefore assuming that what is being sworn to, is being sworn to in the presence of God.  This letter-string and cluster echoes a witness’ first two words are in any court in the United States when s/he is asked:  “Do you swear (vow) to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God”.  The response is “I do”.  E. Vere says as much when he says in Array 43:  “I vow (I do).”

   Vere’s choice was not to take his own life, but to seek the righting of wrongs, to take revenge.

   Not surprising is that Edward de Vere as Shakespeare began his public career in 1593 with the publication of  Venus and Adonis.  The dedication of this poem was to Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earle of Southampton, in which he promises  him a “grauer labour”.  This “grauer labour” was The Rape of Lucrece (1594).

XII.XXIII.MMXIII       

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