The Play’s the thing: “Oh WHAT A ROGUE AND PESANT SLAVE AM I?” Versions: 1603, 1604, 1623, ‘Signature 17’, in your face

Hamlet (1604, 1623), Rogue, first 6 lines identical, Signature 17Fig. 1

   The differences between the 1603 soliloquy version and the next two (1604, 1623) is obvious. Odds are that very few of those familiar with Hamlet know there is a “good” and “bad” quarto, let alone the stunning difference between line two of the ‘Rogue’ soliloquy and the other two. I doubt the 1603 version has ever been offered to the public, although it might bring in big yuks and groans from the audience: “Why, what a dunghill idiote slave am I?” I love this line, second only to Thersites’ line in Troilus and Cressida (1623, 5.8. 3488): “I am a Bastard too, I love Bastards.” Although, as we shall shorty see, the 1603 version does present some wonderful arrays.

   The 1604 ‘Rogue’ soliloquy is remarkable for the way in which 17 (17th. Earl of Oxford) screams the presence of Edward de Vere through his signature number: each 2-line set (count them for yourself) has 17 words. This is important as this is one of the ways Edward de Vere identifies himself throughout his work.

   Also, before proceeding to the arrays below, review a complete list of the Sonnets reflecting this signature by clicking


In addition, read or re-read an account of how Edward de Vere clearly says he is HAMLET by clicking







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