Polonius in Hamlet tells the Prince that when he was at university he played the part of Julius Caesar and……
……was accounted a good actor…..
It was fashionable for young aristocrats to perform at University…..
It taught them how to speak in public and hold themselves well.
The antiquarian John Leland…….
….. describes how Harry Southampton’s grandfather, Sir Thomas Wriothesley’s……
……beauty so shone upon [his] brow, [his] head of golden hair so glistened, the light of [his] keen mind was so effulgent, and [his] winning virtue so adorned [him], that, one amongst many, [he was] seen to be a pattern for all…..
[Ung par tout – tout par ung – or une part tout – One for all, all for one – was the Wriothesley family motto……….
……which Shakespeare also played on in his verse]..
Titchfield itself was home to theatrical activity. An old map shows ‘The Playhouse Room’ at Place House and Jane Southampton……..
– Harry’s grandmother – was described by one of her servants as….
….merry as can be with Christmas plays and masques….
……..the schoolmaster and playwright – stayed at Titchfield in the 1540’s and had a church benefice on the nearby Isle of Wight. He might well have written Ralph Roister Doister – one of the first English comedies – for the Titchfield schoolboys to perform.
So, an aristocratic cast would have been totally at home at Titchfield……
AND A LARGELY ARISTOCRATIC CAST PLAYED IN THE FIRST PRODUCTION OF ‘LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST!!!
THE SHAKESPEARE CODE IS NOW IN A POSITION TO REVEAL THAT…
(1) SIR CHARLES BLOUNT, LATER 8TH BARON MOUNTJOY……
When, the Princess asks for a description of Longaville, Maria says….
I know him, madam: at a marriage-feast,
Between Lord Perigort and the beauteous heir
Of Jaques Falconbridge, solemnized
In Normandy, saw I this Longaville:
A man of sovereign parts he is esteem’d;
Well fitted in arts, glorious in arms:
Nothing becomes him ill that he would well.
The only soil of his fair virtue’s gloss,
If virtue’s gloss will stain with any soil,
Is a sharp wit matched with too blunt a will;
Whose edge hath power to cut, whose will still wills
It should none spare that come within his power.
‘Blunt’ is a coded reference to Sir Charles Blount – and the description Maria gives of Longaville tallies exactly with description of Blount by his secretary, Fynes Morrison…..
His behaviour was courtly, grave and exceeding comely. He loved private retiredness, good fare and some few friends. He delighted in study, in gardens, a house richly furnished, and delectable rooms of retreat; in riding on a pad to take the air; in playing at shovel-board or at cards; in reading play-books for recreation; and especially in fishing and fish-ponds…
And Longaville/Blount, the lover of Penelope Rich, says..
I am resolved; ’tis but a three years’ fast:
The mind shall banquet, though the body pine:
Fat paunches have lean pates, and dainty bits
Make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits.
When Longaville/Blount dresses up as a Russian – and, because the girls are masked, woos Katharine instead of Maria….
……Kartharine, playing on ‘ville’ and ‘veal’, says……
Veal, quoth the Dutchman. Is not ‘veal’ a calf?
‘Dutchman’ is a coded reference to Blount’s army service service in the Low Countries. He was at Zutphen and the Earl of Leicester knighted him before he returned to England in 1587.
At the end of the play, Longaville/Blount says to Maria…
I’ll stay with patience; but the time is long……
……..and Maria says..
The liker you; few taller are so young.
This is a play on Longaville/Blount’s height: Maria is equating ‘long’ with ‘tall’………
……and Fynes Morison describes Blount himself as……….
of stature tall and of very comely proportion
(2) ROGER MANNERS, FIFTH EARL OF RUTLAND….
Dumaine, when agreeing to take a vow of study and celibacy with Navarre, identifies himself as Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland…
My loving lord, Dumain is mortified:
The grosser manner of these world’s delights
He throws upon the gross world’s baser slaves:
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die;
With all these living in philosophy.
Roger Manners was only sixteen and still at Cambridge at the time of the play’s first production (Whitsun, 1592) and Katharine’s description of Dumaine fits Manners precisely:
The young Dumain, a well-accomplished youth,
Of all that virtue love for virtue loved:
Most power to do most harm, least knowing ill;
For he hath wit to make an ill shape good,
And shape to win grace though he had no wit.
And later in the play, Katharine makes reference to the fact that Dumaine/Manners has not yet started to shave!
But what to me, my love? but what to me? A wife?
A beard, fair health, and honesty;
With three-fold love I wish you all these three.
O, shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife?
Not so, my lord; a twelvemonth and a day
I’ll mark no words that smooth-faced wooers say:
Come when the king doth to my lady come;
Then, if I have much love, I’ll give you some.
And the play itself plays obsessively with the word ‘manner’….
The matter is to me, sir, as concerning Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.
In what manner?
In manner and form following, sir; all those three: I was seen with her in the manor-house, sitting with her upon the form, and taken following her into the park; which, put together, is in manner and form following. Now, sir, for the manner,–it is the manner of a man to speak to a woman: for the form,– in some form.
(3) HENRY WRIOTHESLEY, THIRD EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON AND BARON OF TITCHFIELD…..
……PLAYED KING FERDINAND OF NAVARRE……
As The Code has shown, this character was a compliment to Mary Southampton’s cousin, Ferdinando, Lord Strange…..
……..and to Henri, King of Navarre…..
…….with whom Southampton’s great friend, Robert Devereux, the 2nd Earl of Essex……
……..had fought at the siege of Rouen.
Harry Southampton, who was deemed too young to fight on this campaign, would have loved to be associated with Navarre….
Love’s Labour’s Lost was commissioned by Harry Southampton’s mother, Mary….
…….as a continuation of the theme of Shakespeare’s first seventeen sonnets……
…..which Mary had also commissioned for her son’s seventeenth birthday…..
……THE CELEBRATION OF HETEROSEXUALITY!!!
Harry Southampton’s Guardian, William Cecil, Lord Burghley……
……wanted Harry to marry his granddaughter, Elizabeth de Vere…..
…..but Harry, at this stage of his life, was more interested in men….
……and enjoyed cross-dressing…..
Indeed, the great American Shakespearean scholar, Martin Green, has shown in his Wriothesley’s Roses how the Earl of Essex and many of his entourage were bisexual: Roger Manners, who played Dumaine, seems never to have consummated his marriage to Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Philip Sidney….
So Mary Southampton asked Shakespeare to write a play in which her son could play a part in which he gives up exclusively male friendship when he falls in love with a women….
Shakespeare also takes the opportunity of praising ‘matchless Navarre’s’ beauty – as he has praised Harry Southampton’s in the Sonnets……
….and Boyet even gives a coded description of the King’s erection on seeing the Princess of France….
(In Shakespeare, the vocabulary of the face often suggests the genitals as well)
Why, all his behaviours did make their retire
To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desire:
His heart, like an agate, with your print impress’d,
Proud with his form, in his eye pride express’d:
His tongue, all impatient to speak and not see,
Did stumble with haste in his eyesight to be;
All senses to that sense did make their repair,
To feel only looking on fairest of fair:
Methought all his senses were lock’d in his eye,
As jewels in crystal for some prince to buy;
Who, tendering their own worth from where they were glass’d,
Did point you to buy them, along as you pass’d:
His face’s own margent did quote such amazes
That all eyes saw his eyes enchanted with gazes.
I’ll give you Aquitaine and all that is his,
An you give him for my sake but one loving kiss.
Both Mary and Shakespeare clearly hoped that some of Navarre’s heterosexuality would rub off on Shakespeare….
But what if a handsome young actor were playing the Princess of France?
We know from the Sonnets that Harry had a taste for lower class young men…..
So wouldn’t it be counterproductive to put him in a play in which he falls in love with a young man in drag?
The answer is ‘No’ – for one simple reason……
THE PARTS OF WOMEN IN THE PLAY WERE PLAYED BY REAL WOMEN!!!
TO READ PART FOUR, CLICK: HERE!