THE WINTER’S TALE, HERMIONE and MARY, QUEEN of SCOTS

Mary, Queen of Scots, Execution, JPEG Fig. 1

The “Pen-Code” is Mightier than the Sword

Hamlet, 2.2, PEN, these are now rapiersFig. 1A

   As previously noted in the background material in the section pertaining to Mary, Queen of Scots (Oxford-Burghley Pregnancy Letters (see above link), the cunning of Sir Francis Walsingham and William Cecil, Lord Burghley evidenced by the altered, thus incriminating, letter written by Mary to Anthony Babington, made Mary’s guilt appear beyond a shadow of a doubt.  That Edward de Vere was unaware of this is unlikely.  His degree of participation is the creation of the letter alteration is unknown at present, but the fact that this damning correspondence was offered into evidence before the jury and assembly (those who were not in the know, and who had little to no reason to question the letter openly in view of the reputations of both Walsingham and Burghley (let alone their own safety), would not have been an obstacle to him.  He had demonstrated his sense of entitlement more than once in the previous twenty years, and not just to them, but to Elizabeth as well.  As a superbly competent cryptographer in the employ of  Walsingham and the Crown, if he did not know of the manipulation, the hair on the back of his neck should have raised at the spectre of such cryptological evidence offered to the court.  Moreover, it seems likely he knew the forger, intelligence gatherer and cryptographer Thomas Philippes worked closely with Walsingham in his  covert and clandestine activities, and would have confronted Walsingham with this.  Again, whether or not de Vere himself was directly involved in the plot to convict Mary is not presently known, but it is not far-fetched to deduce he likely knew of it.  As is well known from the famous line of Sir Thomas More when being questioned about his willingness to support Henry VIII’s divorce from Katherine of Aragon, More plead the law gave him the right to remain silent on the issue, on the grounds that “silence is consent”.

   Many Shakespeare commentators and scholars are in agreement that The Winter’s Tale is problematic.  The date of writing in uncertain, and its classification is difficult to make.  It has tragic and comedic aspects, and in balance, does not fit classification guidelines with plays written and attributed to the works of an earlier William Shakespeare.  The concensus is that The Winter’s Tale was a “late” Shakespeare play, and place the date of writing closer to 1610, when it was first performed at the Globe Theater, then in the court of King James in 1611 and 1612.  Furthermore, the first performance date is twelve to thirteen years before its first publication date in the First Folio of 1623.

   It has not gone unnocticed that the trial of Hermione for treason and conspiracy in  Act Three, Scene Two of The Winter’s Tale appears little more than a thinly disguised recreation of the trial and conviction of Mary, Queen of Scots.  The performance of this play in 1610 was seven years into the reign of James I, son of Mary.  This alone suggests the play was sanctioned by him.  It is not possible to believe that James would have not noticed the trial of Hermione in Act III, Scene ii and its parallel to the trial of his mother.  Granted James was a great patron of drama, but as of yet there is no documentary evidence of his relationship, at any level, with the William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon.  But what of Edward de Vere?  The same could be said of him after 1604, the alleged death of Oxford.

   Does Act Three, Scene ii have letter-string codes supporting the suspected parallels between the trials of Mary and Hermione?  I began with the reading of the indictment of Hermione by the officer of the court, followed by her response to it.  After the reading of a brief set of charges, Hermione says:

Winter's Tale, Hermione, III.ii, plaintextFig. 2  

Winter's Tale, #2, DEVERE 

Fig. 3

Winter's Tale, CODE conspiracie, I know HOWFig. 4                                                                                             (Your court)

Winter's Tale, VAERE, my mistakeFig. 5

Winter's Tale, Array 52, CODEMIR HID

Fig. 6

Winter's Tale, CODE had been commanded:orderedFig. 7          Both the code and obedience had been commanded/ordered.

                                                           To see Vere’s VERDICT, click HERE

   

IX.XXI.MMXIII       

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