Sunday, August 23, 2009

Shakespeare, Marlowe and the Elizabethan 911

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

When Mary of Guise garrisoned an additional four thousand troops in Edinburgh, England decided that it was time to launch a pre-emptive strike based upon the "intelligence" that was available. Norfolk's position was basically this: you are either for us or against us. He proposed a pre-emptive strike to smoke out 'heretics' [terrorists?] and bring them to justice, that is to say --the rack or the noose or both!

Sir William Cecil --later Lord Burghley --admonished spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham who urged caution. Cecil's position was: 'you're either for us for you are for the heretics!'
I do not like wars. They have uncertain outcomes.

--Elizabeth I of England

Scotland, however, was never capable of launching a full scale invasion of England --either under Mary of Guise as regent or later under the rule of Mary Queen of Scots. Mary, a Catholic, was "dispatched" to Scotland because Francis II had died and Mary's mother-in-law, Catherine de Medici didn't like her. Mary, Queen of Scots was Catholic, of course, but while she was welcomed in Scotland she soon fell from grace, called a 'mermaid', slang for 'whore'. She sought asylum in England but that turned out not to have been a good idea. Hers is a sad life.

She represents one of several significant links to the Italian Renaissance. She was the daughter-in-law of Catherine de Medici. Catherine was the daughter not of Lorenzo de Medici called Il Magnifico but of Lorenzo de Medici II. It was this "second" Lorenzo to whom the exiled Machiavelli had kissed up in hopes of regaining his position of influence in Florence. He was not successful and lived out his life whoring, writing and tending his fields.

The religious "cultural" wars were worse in France, officially Catholic, where Protestants --called Huguenots --insisted upon the freedom to worship as they chose.

A brutal massacre of Huguenots in 1572 --called the Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve --was the 911 of its day, a bloody act of terrorism that divided Europe. Some six thousand or more men, women, and children, were butchered on the streets of Paris. As was the case during the Christian slaughter of Muslims in Jerusalem during the First Crusade, blood ran ankle deep through the streets of Paris. These horrific events would inspire the famous play by Christopher Marlowe, The Massacre of Paris, a work of protestant propaganda, designed to rally righteous indignation and, perhaps, justify similar atrocities against Catholics.

Shock waves reverberated throughout Europe at this act of 'terrorism'. Queen Elizabeth cancelled negotiations for the hand of King Charles's brother, Francis, Duke of Alencon. He was sent packing by the protestant Queen.

Shakespeare wrote convincingly about life in a police state; his productive life was spent in one. Shakespeare probably witnessed cousins drawn and quartered for being Catholic. The 'downfall' of his father, prominent in Stratford, may be because the elder Shakespeare still professed the "Old Faith" --Catholicism. 'Shakespeare' may have lived out his entire life "underground" only to revert to the "Old Faith" on this death bed.

'Shakespeare' railed against tyrants and got away with it because he made his points in historical context. From within a cover that James Bond might have envied, 'Shakespeare' could always plead innocence of sedition. It was only show biz!

A production of Richard II infuriated Elizabeth I who saw herself in it and suspected that it had been performed to incite public opinion against her. Performed on the very eve of Essex's planned coup d'etat, Shakespeare's 'players' had been paid to perform Richard II. It was alleged that the performance was timed to inflame the crowd, to set the stage for the Essex 'coup d'etat'.

Essex was late for his own coup d'etat --unable to decide upon a proper shirt! History may have turned upon a cuff or ruffle!

"Do ye not see that I am Richard II?" Elizabeth had said. We may suppose, then, that Shakespeare had come close to being hanged, disemboweled, drawn and/or quartered.

Later, Shakespeare and his fellow actors would perform his MacBeth --the tale of the murder of a Scottish King --for a Scottish King who had only recently become King of England. Following the Gunpowder plot, it was nervy, courageous, perhaps, foolhardy! King James himself had cried havoc and let loose the dogs of oppression --if not war. Guy Fawkes was accused of planning to blow up Parliament, an act of treason!

Suspiciously, the gunpowder was traced to the government's own store, just as Don Rumsfeld's 'missile that struck this building' may have been a US Global Hawk, not Fl 77. Then as now, the country had a "war on terrorism" to fight, a divided Kingdom to consolidate! James exhorted a near hysterical public: "We dinna need the papists now!!" He might have added: we will smoke them out or you are either with us or with the terrorists!

If the 'official conspiracy theories' are correct, Christopher Marlowe did not write Shakespeare. Marlowe, it is said, died of a knife wound in 1593 and was long dead by the time Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, Richard II, Richard III, MacBeth, The Merchant of Venice (inspired by Marlowe's "Jew of Malta"?).

Nevertheless, the 'facts' and circumstances of Marlowe's death intrigue us. The 'official theory' is that Marlowe, a known homosexual and atheist, had gone too far in Flushing, boasting of his sexual preferences, denying the divinity of Christ, declaring that he had as much right as the Crown to mint coins. Marlowe, often called 'Marley' or 'Morley', was immediately targeted for investigation, suspected of heresy and high treason.

The most famous story is that a rake, a liar, a common grifter like Richard Poley might have helped Marlowe fake his own death in Deptford in 1593. A passage from MacBeth has fueled much speculation along those lines. It is, therefore, tempting to hear the bard's voice in the following lines describing a murder and a resurrection:
The time has been
That, when the brains were out, the man would die,
And there, an end. But now they rise again
With twenty mortal murders on their crowns,
And push us from our stools.

--MacBeth, III: 4

Recent writers have claimed that the lines "...the brains were out, the man would die" reference the "murder" of Christopher Marlowe. But --if a bard has license then likewise audiences and readers. It is tempting to read much into those lines beyond MacBeth's murderous coup and his eventual fall. Whatever happened in Deptford, there was most certainly something in it for Poley, Ingram Frizer, and Nicholas Skeres --all of whom were not only on the make but helped frame Mary Queen of Scots in a 'sting' and thus groom her for the block.

Shakespeare had good reason to be a "closet" Catholic. Sir Francis Walsingham, a master spy, employed a small army of accomplished agent provocateurs to enforce the "state" religion. Christopher Marlowe may have been one of them. Both Marlowe and Poley had been spies for Walsingham, a fanatic protestant. Once a spy, it is difficult to indulge a change of heart, an attack of conscience. It may be too late to come in out of the cold.

I am not addressing authorship issues in this article, rather the politics of the time, a 'politics' that might have motivated many another to live, literally, underground as did many 'Catholics' in the Midlands. In the end, 'Shakespeare' is that body of work that we call 'Shakespeare'. Presaging A.J. Ayer and the philosophers of philosophical analysis, the bard himself put it this way: 'What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet'.


MacBeth

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are right it wasn't the Stratford man. But it wasn't Marlowe. It was Edward DeVere. It is a lock at this point, but hardly anybody realizes it

I could write about this for hours. But I will mention a couple of things.

First, since you referenced it, is that DeVere was almost certainly either gay (or bisexual).

And second, in the last ten years there has been progress in research! Basically the top two defenses the Stratfordians have used against the overwhelming DeVere case have been refuted.

1) it turns out the then-famous shipwreck (after DeVere's death) could not have been the source of the Tempest regardless

2) Elizabethan conceptions about a Roman playwright "Shakes-spear" was compared to -the other last hope for the Stratfordians- has been refuted as well.

btw, it is bizarre that people are still talking about Marlowe as the author.

Anonymous said...

Nothing new under the sun?
Reminds me of the banned writers in the age of McCarthy here in the land of the free.
"Red Channels" and all that crap, patriotism used to crush liberal commie pinko faggot unAmerican foreign style ideaology.
How did those commie bastards ever get to be such a threat, antway?
Answer- it was the Democrats, stupid, bleeding heart liberals allowing the evils of Marx and Lenin and Mao and Enver Hoxha into the fabric of pure redwhiteand blue land.
Being drawn and quartered does seem a bit harsh,though no one will notice if it is done in Gitmo or Latvia or (pick a secret CIA prison site).
Educational stuff and entertaining as hell, Cowboy!
Donald L. Smith

Len Hart said...

Re: anonymous...

it is bizarre that people are still talking about Marlowe as the author.

I am convinced that the 'Stratford man' did not write 'Shakespeare' but am still unconvinced that it was DeVere. The best 'stylometic' match is still Marlowe.

Thanks for your views and I share your skepticism re: the 'Stratford man' who, I believe, could not have written 'Shakespeare'.

Re: Don who sez ...

Reminds me of the banned writers in the age of McCarthy here in the land of the free.

That's an excellent analogy and I wish I had worked it in. I am convinced that whoever wrote Shakespeare would have been drawn and quartered if all his seditious messages that had been laid 'between the lines' had been deciphered and/or pinned down.

Whoever wrote Shakespeare had a political axe to grind and might very well have been a spy who came in from the cold.

fandy said...

i have same this topic..
please read Mary Queen of Scots

Anonymous said...

FuzzFlash sez…

Geez I love it when you weave a little History in, Len.


The burgeoning slave trade, a favourite enterprise of “Pygmy” Cecil, transported African and Creole people to the Caribbean and later to the Carolinas and soonafter the cottonfields..... resonates across the centuries with exploitation rife in today's global sweatshops.

Len, couldn’t get the archive of 2006 to link to the wonderful essay you wrote about Mr. Marlowe on your neonatal blog back in 2006. It was so good, even a dope-addled, brain-damaged degenerate can recall it three years on. :)

Farnsworth68 said...

Len--
Speaking as a former English/History major (in college, lo these many years ago...), all I can say is this: Brilliant!

Len Hart said...

Fuzz sez ..

The burgeoning slave trade, a favourite enterprise of “Pygmy” Cecil ... resonates across the centuries with exploitation rife in today's global sweatshops.

Indeed, Fuzz. Living in the 'present' is impossible. We and the world we live in are the result of a past most of which can never, ever be known or understood.

Len, couldn’t get the archive of 2006 to link to the wonderful essay you wrote about Mr. Marlowe on your neonatal blog back in 2006.

Try this link, Fuzz and please let me know if it doesn't work:

What's in a Name?

I am still mulling Marlowe. I love a mystery. Eventually, I may conclude that there is about as much evidence for the 'Stratford man' as there is for Bush's OFFICIAL theory of 911, i.e, little or none at all.

I saw Michael Rubbo's vid doc about three years ago and found excerpts more recently on YouTube. Despite, Michael Woods' brilliant PBS effort, Rubbo has all but finished off the 'Stratfordian' as the author of 'Shakespeare'.

Farnsworth sez ...

Speaking as a former English/History major (in college, lo these many years ago...), all I can say is this: Brilliant!

Welcome back, Farn. It's always a pleasure to hear from fellow toilers in this vineyard like yourself and Fuzz (above). I am flattered and thank you most humbly for the comment.

Anonymous said...

Shakespeare's play about Shylock - the court and how a system works: oppression, suppression, repression and depression, too ....

... is still alive here in the "land of the free and home of the brave" ...

PROOF: here's one analysis by a top civil rights attorney, he provided me for free when his time bills at $400 / hour, RE: BOGUS MOTION FILED IN FEDERAL COURT:

"... You must respond, if you want to be heard at all. You cannot assume that because you believe a motion to be improper that the judge, without your argument, will likewise believe it to be so. Just set your arguments out in non inflammatory words. There is no reason to bar you from directly communicating with a national bank on issues not in the case before this judge. If they feel you are a nuisance and that they are entitled to enjoin you from any such contact whatsoever, their proper remedy is to file a separate suit against you to enjoin litigious conduct, or to file a criminal charge against you for threats etc. Just because a plaintiff or a defendant is before the court on one case does not give that judge the power to enjoin any and all misdeeds. E.g., the judge could not enjoin you from smoking in front of the bank; the judge could not enjoin the bank from charging other customers excessive fees, etc. Separate lawsuits must be brought for that. What the bank is doing here is similar to the SLAP suits. They are asking the judge to close you down altogether so that you cannot complain to a federally regulated bank. Point out that XXXXX has no jurisdiction over such a claim because that is not part of the lawsuit pending before him. Notwithstanding the characterizations of you by counsel, they cite only one document as being bothersome. That is not enough to enjoin you from speaking. If that were true, then no lawyer would be able to file any partisan document in court, because lawyers constantly accuse opposing counsel of all sorts of chicanery. .... Download ORS 31.150 XXXXXXX ..."

I was so upset when the Judge basically used the PATRIOT ACT in court (08/24/09) to tell me I must do as I am told, and also, he can do whatever he wants to me because I basically have NO RIGHT/S:

"... Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that plaintiff XXXXXX XXXX shall not communicate directly with the court about the merits of this case, or about any matter unrelated to the case, by email, typed or written correspondence, or in other fashion ..."

How about this for a BANKSTER CORPORATE FASCIST DICTATORSHIP, right here by and through our FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM,

SHAKESPEARE COWBOY LEN,

in the 21st Century.

Biloxi

Len Hart said...

Biloxi,

Thanks for that timely and IMPORTANT information.

Somewhere along the line, MERE 'elected officials' --hired hands, public SERVANTS --got things the wrong way 'round.

WE DON'T FUCKIN SERVE THEM OR THEIR INTERESTS!

Public SERVANTS are elected to do the jobs WE --the people --TELL THEM TO DO.

Contrary to what some on the right wing have tried to propagandize concurrently with the rise of the GOP since 1980, the Preamble to the US Constitution has the same FORCE OF LAW as the body and it is the PREAMBLE specifically that established the right of the people to form the 'new' government to begin with and it REMAINS the right of the people to ABOLISH THE GOVERNMENT when it has proven itself incapable of protecting and defending the rights of the people. And that basically is the GOVT'S only legal reponsibility.

I am NOT here to SERVE the fuckin' govt. The GOVT is here to serve the interests of the PEOPLE --NOT THE CROOKS IN THE PENTAGON AND THEIR WHORES ON K-STREET!

REVOLUTION!

IT IS TIME TO REPLACE THIS NEST OF VERMIN, RATS AND COCKROACHES WITH A REAL GOVERNMENT.

Again --thanks, Biloxi!

Anonymous said...

Hello again Len,

The RESPONSE I have written to the BANK'S "MOTION" (a basic ORDER slipped to the Judge to take my FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT, right away, but of course and how clever), I shall send along once it is finished. I must take all the name stuff out, however, I hope it gives everyone PAUSE to take up the CAUSE and begin letter writing to every FEDERAL JUDGE, et al., AND teach them that they live in the U.S. which is not their fiefdom.

After posting the JUDGE's dictate, yesterday on as many websites as possible, my computer was jacked a bit, but they never stop me!

Thanks for spreading the word.

Bilxoi

Biloxi

Len Hart said...

Biloxi sez...

After posting the JUDGE's dictate, yesterday on as many websites as possible, my computer was jacked a bit, but they never stop me!

Keep up the good fight and keep us informed when you have the time. Thanks for sharing on the 'Cowboy'.

CARLO D. said...

I edit the Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection blog (http://www.marlowe-shakespeare.blogspot.com) which promotes the Marlowe-as-Shakespeare theory, and I am a friend of Mike Rubbo, who wrote and directed the Much Ado About Something film mentioned above.

Mike, myself and a few others recently formed the International Marlowe-Shakespeare Society(http://www.marloweshakespeare.org)

Enjoyed your article, Len. First time visitor.

Rather than going into all the detail why Marlowe is the most likely candidate (and yes, there needs to be a movie! Rubbo's film, available on Netflix, is a documentary), I hope you all visit the sites above.

Len, if you go to you tube and search "Much Ado About Something," you'll see Mike Rubbo's 8-minute excerpt . . .it would be great if you could link it to your site.

Very best,
C. DiNota

Len Hart said...

CARLO D. said...

I am a friend of Mike Rubbo, who wrote and directed the Much Ado About Something film mentioned above.

Kudos on your work and that of Mssr Rubbo, whom I consider to be (in Texas lingo) one HELLUVA documentarian. I sent Mike a 'friend invitation' on YouTube and subscribed to his vids.

I will be happy to link back on my blog roll and add a link to this article as well.

I hope you all visit the sites above.

You can count on it. And give my regards to Mike whom I commend for his fine work.

Thanks for visiting...would love to see ya on my list of subscribers.

CARLO D. said...

Thanks, Len. Subscribed. Daryl Pinksen and Sam Blumenfeld came out with great books on the subject last year. New York Times piece today says a movie on Marlowe is set to shoot in spring -with maybe Johnny Depp as the lead.

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/21/arts/21WREN.html

CARLO D. said...

Speaking of McCarthy . . .

http://marlowe-shakespeare.blogspot.com/2009/06/philip-yordan-modern-day-shakespeare-by.html

CARLO D. said...

Re: Shakespeare's catholicism:

http://marlowe-shakespeare.blogspot.com/2009/05/was-shakespeare-catholic-making-sense.html

Len Hart said...

CARLO D. said...

New York Times piece today says a movie on Marlowe is set to shoot in spring -with maybe Johnny Depp as the lead.

I would have loved to have written 'this' script myself. My observation for what it's worth: only someone who could play Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands AND Ichabod Crane could possibly do justice to Chris Marlowe. My crystal ball sez this may yet be Depp's s BIGGEST hit.