The Troilus and Cressida Puzzle
Contemporary time is married to the clock, but time in antiquity time was married to the heavens. In early spring, the benevolent constellation of Bootes, the herdsman, with the red star Arcturus, blazing at his heels rose just after sunset reminding people below that it was time to release the cattle from their winter rest. In early fall, the Pleiades signaled the changing season, and next Orion, the hunter rose with the first frost. The astronomical content of Homer’s description of Achilles’ Shield in the Iliad, for example, was essentially seasonal. The Pleiades, the Hyades, and Orion signified through their sequential heliacal risings the period from May to November when the major agricultural activities of harvesting, and plowing would take place. Just as Homer had, Bacon incorporated a seasonal design in the plays. The sixth play from the beginning point of The Merry Wives Of Windsor is A Midsummer Nights Dream. Exactly six plays further along is The Winter’s Tale. Various of the other plays are seasonal as well. Romeo and Juliet, for example, is at Lammas Eve, August 1st. Twelfth Night is January 6, and, in The Tempest, written as a preface to the First Folio, not is does the word ‘tempest’ come from a root meaning ‘time’, but the entire play is permeated with allusions to time, and the play itself is set at the equinox.
Bacon also improved on Homer in another feature of his plays. In his book, “Shining in the Ancient Sea The Astronomical Ancestry of Homer’s Odyssey. Laurin R. Johnson supplied evidence that much of the ancient material Homer transmitted came from a distant antiquity in India. Certainly the plot of Cymbeline is based on an ancient story in the Vedanta. In The Tempest two equal periods of twelve years are shown as depicting the twelve year reign of darkness of Sycorax, and the twelve year reign of light of Prospero. Swami Sri Yukteswar says (The Holy Science) that around 700 B.C. a mistake crept into the almanacs of the Hindus. Before that time there existed knowledge of a 24,000 year cycle composed of two equal parts of 12,000 years, which corresponded on that vast scale to the respective 12 hours of light and darkness of the diurnal cycle. By incorporating the two cycles in The Tempest Bacon shows that he was aware of this ancient cycle, and he shows also that he incorporated it in the overall design of the First Folio. By doing this he was able to incorporate a design in his plays that modeled the day, night cycle of all nature, from the diurnal cycle, through the annual cycle to the vast 24,000 year cycle.
The 24 ‘books’ of Homer’s works also conceal another meaning. 24 is the number of letters in the Greek alphabet. Sacred alphabets of antiquity concealed an amazing secret. In India it was claimed that the universe was created with the letters of the language of the gods, Sanskrit. In the Kabala there was a similar claim, but now as regards the letters of Hebrew. Greek was another of these ancient languages that held the same concealed secret. In Greek, unlike Latin, each letter of the alphabet is a word, and the letters of that word comprise a coded narrative giving a meaning, that corresponds somewhat to Bacon’s idea of the “Schematisms of Matter”, regarding the secret structure underlying the visible part of the universe.
The first pictograph is followed by which is the first letter without the crossbar. This pictograph shows that the manifested universe begins with unity which then divides into two. The next pictograph depicts the universe “O” as divided into two parts, indicating that the entire universe is divided into the immaterial part (the realm in which resides the blueprint of the material universe) and the realm of materiality. The word alpha then concludes with the initial letter repeated again,- the first and last letters showing the unity divided into two parts, both connected by the crossbar, so that the first and last letters represent the termini, or beginning and end of time in the manifested universe. Each letter in the Greeks alphabet is coded into a sacred narrative in the same manner giving secret information about the schematic of the universe. There is evidence that the Shakespeare plays, in turn, are constructed so that at certain places in the works the Latin letters are mapped into Greek letters which collate this secret information with the text of the works. In correspondence with this, Bacon devised his bi-literal cipher which utilizes the then 24 letters of the English language to convey knowledge concealed within the plays.
The Comedies deal with the intelligible or celestial world in which exists a kind of blueprint for the material world. The Tragedies represent events in the material world (death only occurs in materiality, and is present only in the Tragedies), but they correspond play for play with what exists in the intelligible or celestial world, i.e., Troilus and Cressida is a reflection of The Merry Wives of Windsor; The Tragedy of Coriolanus(Coriolanus who leaves his own country to go into another country, reflects the story of the prodigal son who goes into a far country- materiality) is a reflection of the story of the fallen angels in Measure for Measure, and so on. But the First Folio reflected an even more meticulous and precise design of Homer’s works.
The works of Homer had a very precise pattern in their design. In Shining in The Ancient Sea: The Astronomical Ancestry of Homer’s Odyssey Laurin Johnson notes that the design of the Odyssey is astonishing in its symmetry and complexity. He provided a graphic showing the twelve adventures of the Odyssey arranged around a circle. Each of the twelve adventures on the circle, Johnson said, is mirrored in some way by the adventure opposite:
|Land of the Living Cicones
||Land of the Dead
|Lotus Eaters (Losses Memory of the past)
||Sirens (Gains knowledge of future)
|Cyclops (Losses 6 men)
||Scylla (Losses 6 men)
|Aeolia (Falls asleep)
||Thrinace (Falls asleep )
|Laetrygonians (Loses all but one ship)
||Charybdis (Loses all but himself)
|Circle (Stays with her one year)
||Calypso (Stays with her 7 years)
Both the 12 signs of the zodiac and the 12 months of the year were regarded in ancient times as paired off in two opposite groups of six. Heraclitus believed the twelve children of Aeolus were the twelve months of the year, the six females representing the six months when the earth brings forth its fruits, the six males the months when the seeds are sown. This pattern of two opposite groups of six is present both in the Comedies and in the Tragedies, but the two opposite groups of six have the following special pattern.
They show a descent in six plays and an ascent in the other, parallel six plays. (The famous American seer, Edgar Cayce, described the cycle of the soul, as made up of a descent into matter followed by an ascent from matter.
|The Merry Wives Of Windsor
||The Winters Tale
|Measure For Measure
|The Comedy Of Errors
||Alls Well That Ends Well
|Much Ado About Nothing
||The Taming of the Shrew
|Loves Labor Lost
||As You Like It
|Midsummer Nights Dream
||The Merchant of Venice
Fourteen years later in 1623, the first edition of the collected works of Mr. William SHAKESPEARES Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies was finally published. Troilus and Cressida was included in the work. However, it was now labeled “The Tragedie Of Troylus and Cressida”, and incorporated some 500 minor changes from the quarto version. It was placed at the beginning of the tragedies in the book, but it was omitted from the table of contents:
Moreover, only the second and third pages were numbered (79 and 80), and the pagination began again with “1”at the beginning of “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, the second tragedy in the volume, and proceeded normally from there.”
In a fragment from The Styx, a lost work of the Neoplatonist, Porphyry, preserved by Stobaeus, we are told that Homer presents the whole cyclical progress and rotation of transmigration under the allegory of the witch, Circe. “The urge for pleasure makes them long for their accustomed way of life in and through the flesh”, says Porphyry, “and so they fall back into the witch’s brew of genesis. Additional information is given about the descent of souls by Proclus who says that Pythagoras, in his obscure language, called the Milky Way “Hades” and “a place of souls”, for souls are crowded together there. These souls, he tells us, have been contaminated for he says that among some people libations of milk are offered to the gods that cleanse souls.
Thus we see with the witches in The Merry Wives of Windsor the allegory of the fall of souls. The town in the play is actually located in the heavens. When Slender talks with Anne (the moon) her name comes from the original name of the goddess Diana (Di = goddess + Anna) who represents the moon. Mention is made of bears in the town referring to Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. Falstaff, along with the soiled clothing, is thrown into the river Thames, referring to the contaminated souls cast into the river of the Milky Way. At the end of the play Falstaff is made to join the witches in the circle dance around the great oak tree, referring to the dance of souls around the World Tree of the earth before they fall into incarnation in the earth. And, lastly, Falstaff is fitted with stag horns.
Between and slightly above Betelgeuse and Bellatrix, the two stars that mark the shoulders of Orion, is a cluster of three faint stars. In ancient times, one of these had a name meaning, “the head of a stag.” In ancient India this was associated with a story about Prajapati who turned himself into a stag in an attempt to escape Rudra. The later version of the story was about Actaeon , who happened upon the goddess Diana as she was bathing and was turned into a stag by the angry goddess, and was pursued and torn to shreds by his own dogs. The meaning of the story is that Orion once marked the vernal equinox, but over thousands of years sank lower and lower on the eastern horizon at the time of the equinox. So the story became a myth of the descent of souls. And the allegory in The Merry Wives of Windsor where Falstaff is fitted with stag horns has the same symbolic content.
The account so far deals with the drama in the heavens above the earth, but Measure For Measure, which deals with the legend of the fallen angels, takes the drama further toward the actual incarnation of souls in the earth. And The Comedy of Errors deals with the individual soul in its incarnation into the earth. This goes on to the next step with Much Ado About Nothing. Our word personality, the outer aspect of the incarnated soul, comes from a Latin word meaning ‘mask’. In the earth the incarnated soul is concealed behind the mask of the outer self. In Much Ado About Nothing the theme of masks and masquerades plays a large part. The soul in the earth is hidden behind the mask of the persona. At the next lower step of the descent into matter the Labor of Love is lost, and the next, and last step, is the bottom of the descent into the earth. Here is shown the cosmological hierarchy with Bottom the Weaver at the very bottom. Bottom the Weaver has a special significance. He takes part in the small play within the play of Pyramus and Thisby, the drama of the soul trapped in matter communicating with the higher self through the chink in the wall of clay, i.e., the wall of flesh. Bottom the Weaver represents the Cathars who through their ascetic practices had acquired to ability to communicate with their higher selves. The Cathars were weavers, and during the Roman Catholic Albigensian inquisition they were required to wear yellow crosses. So we find Bottom saying he will discharge his part in a beard, if they choose, of your French-crown-color beard, your perfect yellow.
On the ascending side, The Merchant of Veniceincorporates the Tree of the Sephiroth of the Kabbalah, a cosmological hierarchy corresponding to the cosmological hierarchy of A Midsummer Nights Dream. As You Like It,in turn, is the correspondence to Love’s Labor Lost, but since it is on the ascending side it is actually Love’s Labor Won, as depicted in the lessons of love that Orlando learns from Rosalind. (Francis Meres listed a play by this title among Shakespeare’s works in 1598, and it is known that such a work got into print because it was listed in a bookseller’s catalogue in August 1603.) The only comedies written around this time were Much Ado about Nothing, and As You Like It. The title of Love’s Labor Won was probably changed to As You Like It because the relation with Love’s Labor Lost might have been too revealing.
The Taming of The Shrew corresponds to Much Ado About Nothing, but again, on the ascending side. Whereas in Much Ado About Nothing the soul is hid beyond the mask of self, in The Taming of The Shrew the mask, i.e. the mesh of associative-automation reasoning that masks the true consciousness behind it is tamed. All’s Well That Ends Well corresponds to The Comedy Of Errors. But since All’s Well That Ends Well is on the ascending side, instead of being under the thrall of the witchcraft of materiality, in All’s Well That Ends Well the third eye is found that opens the doorway for the trapped soul to escape the spell of illusion cast on it by the witchcraft of incarnation in matter. The Twelfth Night depicts the two parts of the divine constitution of man ascending from the sea of matter just as Measure For Measure depicted the fallen angels, that is, the souls descending into the sea of matter.
The Winter’s Tale (the twelfth and last comedy) is the story of Persephone, which Sallust said was a sacred myth regarding the descent of souls, but The Winter’s Tale deals mainly with the return of Persephone from Hades. It is set mainly in the spring., and thus deals instead of with the fall of souls, with the ascent of souls. Here also astronomical symbolism is found again as in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Perhaps the most famous of all stages directions is “Exit, pursued by a bear”, where Antigonus lays Perdita down and then is pursued and slain by a bear. This is followed by the Clown with the peculiar stress on the differentiation between the drama taking place in the sea and on the shore:
“Clown: I have seen two such sights, by sea and by land! I am not to say it is a sea, for it is now the sky betwixt the firmament and it you cannot thrust a bodkin’s point.Shepherd: Why, boy, how is it?
Clown : I would you did but see how it chafes, how it rages, how it takes up the shore-but that’s not to the point. O, the most piteous cry of the poor souls! Sometimes to see ’em, and not to see ’em: now the ship boring the moon with her mainmast, and anon swallowed with yeast and froth, as you’d thrust a cork into a hogshead. And then for the land-service: to see how the bear tore out his shoulder bone, how he cried to me for help, and said his name was Antigonus, a nobleman. But to make an end of the ship: to see how the sea flap-dragoned it; but first, how the poor souls roared, and the sea mocked them; and how the poor gentleman roared, and the bear mocked him, both roaring louder than the sea or weather.”
In “Hamlet’s Mill” Santillana and Dechend say,
“First, what was the “earth”? In the most general sense, the “earth” was the ideal plane laid through the ecliptic. The “dry earth,” in a more specific sense, was the ideal plane going through the celestial equator. The equator thus divided two halves of the zodiac which ran on the ecliptic, 23 1/2 degrees inclined to the equator, one half being “dry land” (the northern band of the zodiac, reaching from the vernal to the autumnal equinox), the other representing the “waters below” the equinoctial plane (the southern arc of the zodiac, reaching from the autumnal equinox, via the winter solstice, to the vernal equinox). The terms “vernal equinox,” “winter solstice,” etc., are used intentionally to angular measures, and not with tracts in space.”
What the above drama from the play depict, becomes evident if you divide the globe vertically into the night and day half, and horizontally into the halves of the northern and southern hemispheres, allowing for the slightly skewed declination of the ecliptic. Antigonus is right at the division between the night half and the day half. Ursa Major (the Great Bear) is on dry land (the northern hemisphere) and Argo Navis, the Ship, is near shore, since Argo Navis is located near the beginning of the southern hemisphere. Argo Navis is particularly appropriate in connection with a shipwreck since it appears to have no bow and in the poem by Aratos is depicted as near shore:
“Stern forward Argo by the Great Dog’s tail Is drawn; for hers is not a usual course, But backward turned she comes, as vessels do When sailors have transposed the crooked stern On entering harbor; all the ship is reverse, And gliding backward on the beach it grounds.”
The Winter’s Tale then, is related to The Merry Wives of Windsor by virtue of being it opposite. And The Winter’s Tale is related to Cymbeline because Cymbeline deals with the final part of the story where the soul re-emerges from the material world. Thus Cymbeline is also the direct opposite of the first tragedy Troilus and Cressida. The otherComedies and Tragedies are related in exactly this same way. Comedy 1 is related to comedy 12 as its opposite. Comedy 2 is related to comedy 11 as its opposite, Comedy 3 is related to comedy 10 as its opposite, and so on, and there is a corresponding design in the Tragedies.
The Merry Wives of Windsor is paralleled by Troilus and Cressida, which, dealing with the siege of Troy also deals with the fall of souls. Of the great Neoplatonic philosopher, Proclus, Thomas Taylor, adept in this area of knowledge, says that the eulogium given by Ammonius Hermeas,
“‘that Proclus possessed the power of unfolding the opinions of the ancients, and a scientific judgment of the nature of things, in the highest perfection possible to humanity,’ will be immediately assented by every one, who is an adept in the writing of this incomparable man”.
Almost casually, in the second part of his essay on the Republic, Proclus gave the key to the meaning of the Iliad in the broadest sense, and an interpretation of the myth of the Trojan War. Proclus says
“The myths want to indicate, I believe, through Helen, the whole of that beauty that has to do with the sphere in which things come to be and pass away and that is the product of the demiurge. It is over this beauty that eternal war rages among souls, until the more intellectual are victorious over the less rational forms of life and return hence to the place from which they came.”
The explanation of Proclus has an evident similarity with the myth of the divine child Dionysos, which was presented in The Mysteries of Eleusis. This myth tells how the titans, gathering the substances of space, formed them into a great mirror. Dionysos, looking into the mirror reached his infant hands out toward the beautiful being he saw before him. But the titans moved the mirror further and further away, luring Dionysos away from his heavenly home. Then they fell upon the infant god and torn him into pieces and began to devour him. At this point, Zeus, looking down with his all seeing eye, saw what was taking place. In his anger, Zeus hurled great bolts of lightning at the titans, nor did his wrath subside until only ashes remained of their bodies. From the ashes of the titans arose the race of man, mixed with the portion of the divine Dionysos within them, along with the elements of the titans. Plutarch, in his treatise, On The Eating of Flesh, tells us that the whole story of Dionysos being torn into pieces by the titans, and the subsequent destruction of the titans by Jupiter, was, “A sacred narrative concerning reincarnation.” That is, it was given in the form of a sacred discourse explaining the dramatic presentation at Agra, and signified the descent of souls into matters. There is also an obvious similarity here with the stories of the fallen angels who were also lured by beauty to their fall.
In the Histories, Bacon again improved on Homer’s design. In The Cave of The Nymphs, Porphyry commented on the following 11 lines from the Odyssey:
At the head of the harbor is a slender-leaved olive and nearby it a lovely and murky cave sacred to the mymphs called Naiads. Within are kraters and amphoras of stone, where bees lay up stores of honey. Inside, too, are massive stone looms and there the nymphs weave sea-purple cloth, a wonder to see. The water flows unceasingly. The cave has two gates, the one from the north, a path for men to descend, while the other, toward the south, is divine. Men do not enter by this one, but it is rather a path for immortals.
This embodies a very ancient idea about the descent of souls into the earth, and about the two paths these souls may travel. The Rig Veda refers to these paths, and the Chandogya Upanishad says one path is the “way of the gods”, and the other takes the souls to the moon, where, after the residue of their good works is exhausted, they return to earth again. Plutarch describes this in “The Face In The Orb Of The Moon”. Macrobius in his Commentary on the Dream of Scipio, also speaks of the two paths, one the gate of Cancer through which the souls descend to the earth, and the other the gate of Capricorn through which they ascend again to the celestial sphere from which they came. Macrobius, in agreement with the Hindu scriptures, calls the gate of Capricorn, the portal of the gods, “because through it souls return to their rightful abode of immortality, to be reckoned among the gods”. According to Macrobius after souls enter through the gate of Cancer they fall through the rings of the planets, therefore Bacon had an allegory of the Mysteries of Eleusis ,which incorporated the symbolism of the soul falling through the rings of the seven planets, in The Tempest, and made the histories, which are located between theComedies and the Tragedies in the First Folio,an allegory of the seven planets :
1. (Saturn) The Life and Death of King John2. (Jupiter) The Life & Death of Richard the Second
3. (Mars) The First Part of King Henry the Fourth
The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth
4. (Sun) The Life of King Henry the Fifth
5. (Venus) The First Part of King Henry the Sixth
The Second Part of King Henry the Sixth
The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth
6. (Mercury)The Life and Death of Richard the Third
7. (Moon) The Life of King Henry the Eighth
A careful examination of the seven histories shows that they symbolize the respective planets. King Henry the Fifth, for example, with it special éclat, is obviously the sun. King John, who cannot enlarge his kingdom, represents Saturn who had his organs of generation severed. And so on with the other Histories.
The design of the First Folio is so meticulous and precise that each and every play has its precise place in this design, and the order of any single play cannot be changed without destroying the design. Having fashioned this design, Bacon then contrived the anomalies associated with Troilus and Cressida so they could prompt those who were familiar with the play to think, and thus allow those capable of piercing the veil to solve the puzzle and discover that the books of Homer lay behind the design of the First Folio, and, following this, discover why Bacon utilized these works, and hence the secret intent behind the entire First Folio.
Certainly, a rationale for the overall design of the plays in the First Folio is a consummation devoutly to be wished, and certainly you wont find a hint of the real meaning of the design in orthodox scholarship. The orthodox viewpoint is represented by from Sidney Lee and Alfred W. Pollard. According to Sidney Lee the plays in the First Folio were printed anyhow as the copy dribbled in from Heminge and Condell. But Alfred W. Pollard stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum of wisdom that in his own conceit made him a bright boy, proclaiming their arrangement,
“followed the business like principle of displaying their most attractive wares in the most prominent positions”.
This received wisdom regarding the design of the First Folio has fallen like the gentle rain from heaven onto the huddled masses yearning to breathe free below, and the huddled masses have known no better than that it was a rose by some other name. Alas for the poor, deluded, huddled masses. They have no golden door. A golden shower maybe, but no golden door.
Following these edicts from the high potentates of orthodox dogma, countless editors, have felt they had full license to go any way the whim of their fancy moved them, and have produced countless volumes containing the works of Shakespeare with the plays arranged anyway but the original way in which they were originally published. And that original order, which might have struck a spark of light in some mind untrammeled by the orthodox idiocy, has been quite lost, except for those few willing to pay an exorbitant price for a facsimile of the First Folio. Never mind, all of this will sorted out, but first it is necessary to wade through the anomalies and follow the Troilus and Cressida puzzle all the way to its origin in that Enigmatical and Disclosed scheme in the greatest mind this planet has ever produced,- per ardua ad astra!
The main source for the love plot of the play is Chaucer’s masterpiece Troilus and Criseydewhich was fed from the fountainhead of Great Homer himself in his Iliad. There is evidence that before writing Troilus and Cressida, Bacon had read the Seven Books of the Iliad published by George Chapman in 1598, Chapman’s first installment in his historic translation of Homer’s Iliad (completed in 1611). There are good reasons for believing that Troilus was written between 1598 and 1602, and that the actual date was probably nearer 1602. For example, the Prologue says:
and hither am I come
A prologue arm’d but not in confidence
Of author’s pen or actor’s voice, but suited
In the condition as our argument
And the “prologue arm’d” is obviously a reference to the armed Prologue in Ben Jonson’s Poetaster (1601). Lines written by one I.C. in his Saint Marie Magdalens Conversion (1603) indicates that the play was known to many:
“Of Helen’s rape and Troyes besieged Towne,
Of Troylus faith and Cressida falsitie,”
So it seems evident that the play was written between these two dates, probably in1602. The Merry Wives of Windsor was also written around this time, and, as I have already shown, there is a connection between the two.
-end of Part II-PART III
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