“Weare I a kinge” and Suicidal Ideation
Array 8 above at first appears to be a serendipitous pattern, sort of like the animals we can make out in certain cloud formations. And perhaps I am simply projecting into the array what I wish to see. But then again, literary and art critiques are given unquestioned permission to interpret symbols, metaphors and other content in the work being examined and make sense out of what is seen or suggested.
The patterns in Fig. 4 intrigue me:
♦ To me, the form of the letters at the top of the array are in the shape of a cross. In a loose sense, the cross itself (in the context of Elizabethan England) suggest the imprisonment, torture, conviction, suffering, dying and eventual death of all things (persons, ideas) perceived by the state (Crown) as threats. Truth, innocence, evidence, a fair trial are never the issue. If those in power want you dead, you had better watch your back.
♦ The cross itself is made of three letters (“E”, “C”, “O”), and echos the three “ECO”s in the cluster. The motif of three is unmistakable, and evokes the number 3 of the Trinity in Christianity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and the three discrete words abbreviated by each letter: “E. (dwardus) C. (omes) O. (xoniensis), “Edward (Oxenforde), our friend from Oxford. The language used is Latin. The language used in Jesus’ crucifixion was Latin. In fact, a second horizontal board (sign) had, in Latin, the identification of the crucified, letters also in abbreviation: “INRI”. Latin did not have a discrete letter “J”. “INRI”, then stands for: “Jesus of Nazareth, King (“Rex”) of the Jews”.
♦ In the case of “Weare I a kinge”, the central ‘post’ (letter-string) is the Latin word “ECCE”, meaning “Behold”. Again, I am reminded of the words of Pontius Pilate, the fifth Prefect (governor) of the Roman province of Judaea (AD 26 -36), best remembered as the judge in the trial of Jesus before the assembly, when he points to Jesus and says: “Ecce homo” (“Behold the man”). In the array, the reading is: “Ecce E.C.O.”
♦ As a signature, the letters “LDM” (read backwards as “MDL”) are the Roman numerals for “1550”, the alleged date of the birth of Edward de Vere. The date of his birth in Latin numerals connected to the diagonal letter-string “TEST(E)” is a powerful reference to de Vere. As an verb, “test”, or even “teste” (with the additional “e” so characteristically appended to many English words at the time) is a challenge that says, in so many words, “Check it out, prove for yourself, go to the records of births for the year 1550 and see when I, Edward de Vere, was born.”
Additionally, the noun form of “teste” is Latin and Italian for “witness”, “testifier”, “testimony”. In all, the image that comes to me is:
“Ecce E.C.O.” (“Behold Edward Oxenforde”), born 1550. Test this.”
Although it is true there is no “Vere” letter-string in Array 8, there is one in Array 40. In Array 8, however, the diagonal “NOM”, read backwards as “MON”, and put together as an ‘echo’, is “mon nom”, or, “my name”, both words in French. The “NOM” is connected to and touches the last “O” in “E.C.O.”, saying, “My name is E.C.O.”