EDWARD de VERE and MICHAEL DRAYTON? (Stunning) Coincidence? (1605)

Michael Drayton, ded., 1605, plaintext, #9Fig. 1

Michael Drayton, 1605, ded., %22Ed Vere, everie word.%22, #10Fig. 2

Michael Drayton, ded., 1605, Vere words, voice, #11Fig. 3

Michael Drayton Sonnet 50, 1605, plaintext, #12Fig. 4

Michael Drayton, Sonnet 50, 1605, %22I'm DE VERE.%22, #13Fig. 5

   The condition described in Sonnet 50 alludes to some “offence” committed by the writer, the consequences of which is a sentence of death. Physicians seem to be puzzled about his illness, and have been given permission to experiment on him to study, presumably through blood analysis or blood-letting, to increase their knowledge of his infirmity. The writer states the physicians restore him (i.e., bring him back from possible death due to the loss of blood, and/or to stop the flow of blood) by the use of medication the writer likens to “poison”.

   The ciphertext identifies the name of the person with the infirmity: de Vere. Historical records exist regarding Oxford’s medical history, including having contracted “the pox” (syphillis) before the age of twenty. Further documented in the historical records is the enormous amount of money Oxford spent seeking both a possible cure for his ailment, as well as spending a small fortune being treated, medically, with mercury. Mercury is highly toxic, and is poisonous to humans. One can only imagine the side effects caused by mercury poisoning, a condition from which de Vere suffered throughout his life. Although historical records also say his proximate cause of (alleged) death in 1604 was “the plague”, it is also highly probable that being in the end stages of syphillis is the more likely cause of his death.

   We don’t know, of course, whether Michael Drayton suffered from syphillis, but we know de Vere had it.

   Again, if this particular poem was written by Drayton, as it is presumed, then why would Drayton encode the name of Edward de Vere? He may have, but it is also probable de Vere, using Drayton’s name as a pen name, did the encoding. The “I’m de Vere in the ciphertext gives a present tense sense to the cluster, and points to Oxford as the probable writer of Sonnet 50.

   Further noteworthy is the top-to-bottom vertical letter-string de Vere crosses the phrase “the living worke”. This is especially significant as this phrase is reminiscent of the center-most phrase of the 1609 Sonnets Dedication: our.ever.living.poet.”:

# 1 Begetter, Dedication Page  JPEGFig. 6

   “[O]ur.ever.living.poet. is a phrase of 17 letters. Edward de Vere was the 17th Earl of Oxford. The phrase in Sonnet 50, “the living worke”, to me, echoes this Sonnet Dedication phrase. Although “the living worke” is a phrase of 14 letters, 14 is the number of lines in a sonnet. It is tempting to conclude the similarity is deliberate, and that word and number-play is at work. Edward de Vere is encoded within both the Sonnets Dedication (1609) and in Drayton’s 1605 poem:

# 3A SD, NO PUNCT., VERE here, JPEGFig. 7

   The cyphertext letter-string and cluster state: VERE (here, i.e., in the plaintext’s ciphertext), is the “onlie begetter” (the only writer/author/contributor) of the sonnets, despite the Sonnets’ attribution, the “by” line, so to speak, is assumed by the reader(s) that the author is “William Shakespeare”, even though his name is not presented.

   Is the absence of Shakespeare’s name as “the onlie begetter” coincidental–that “everyone” understands Shakespeare is the author–or is this absence deliberate, and only those who are in-the-know will be able to find Vere’s name encoded in the Dedication’s plaintext?

   Notice that the plaintext of the 1609 Sonnets Dedication has 13 lines (“T.T.” and “by” are lines, even though each contains only two letters). The phrase our.ever.living.poet. is line 7, with 6 lines following. At first glance, this is not remarkable enough to warrant a second glance. However, just as the two phrases discussed above may not be a coincidental pairing, and in light of Shakespeare’s renowned word and number-play, the 7 and 6, in relation to the Sonnets and the two phrases, Shakespeare’s Sonnet 76 takes on a larger significance:

Sonnet 76, My name's Ed de Vere, USEFig. 8

“My name’s Ed de Vere.” The Ein “VERE” is in Row 17.

So, what is at play, here?. Is it Coincidence or intelligent design?


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