The Phoenix and the Turtle” William Shakespeare’s famous metaphysical poem begins with an allegory of Elizabethan politics, by introducing a parliament of birds: The Phoenix and the Turtle-dove, the owl, the eagle, the swan and the crow, six birds allegorising individuals – protagonists who influenced the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

In “Love’s Martyr” the host publication – first published in the summer of 1601 our author leans on the prophesies of Dr John Dee, one correctly stating that ‘The Globe Theatre would burn to the ground in 1613’ another providing intelligence that ‘James VI of Scotland’ would become King of England to be ‘procured’ by Robert Cecil (the owl) an eventuality cleverly explained in line ‘VI’ of the poem – in which he describes the future King as “Fiend”. The two following stanzas (third & fourth) feature red & white Tudor princes. The third features a red prince (Henry Wriothesley) known to his friends as the eagle, who was not at liberty to attend the prohibited funeral (the session interdict) held for his brother-in-arms (poet and warrior) Robert Devereux 2nd Earl of Essex – who in death became (a white-swan) a follower of Apollo.

The Hebrew word for God is ‘One’ a word appearing three times only in his poem, an expression of ‘Sacred 3’, while equally the title of (S.111) alludes to three (Godly) princes – one, one, one – Royals I like to term “The Tudor Trinity”. While our education is further enhanced by line five of the sonnet, our author having reached a financial agreement with her Majesty, meaning his future output would be accompanied by a pseudonym – but he put it like this:

“Thence comes it that my name receives a brand”. (S.111 Line 5)

The Oxford/Shakespeare brand (the most famous name in literature) can also be expressed by the numbers 1740, numbers etched in Roman Numerals on William Shakespeare’s tomb in Westminster Abbey. The first half of these four numbers revealing themselves in the next stanza (the fifth) with ‘T’ for Turtle appearing ‘17’ times, giving us a substantial clue to the identity of the Turtle, with the title of my story: “With the Breath thou Giv’st and Tak’st” appearing in line ‘XIX’, numbers alluding to Christ – with the meaning of this particular line relating to filicide – in this case the act of killing one’s own son – because Elizabeth gave Essex breath when he was born, and when she signed his death warrant and he was executed – she took it away.


With the Breath thou Giv’st and Tak’st
by Philip Cooper