William Shakespeare’s – Sonnet 33. (Analysis)
“my Son one”.
A number of Shake-speare’s sonnets are influenced by the sonnet number none more so than (S.33) which reminds us Christ died when 33 years old.
3 x 3 = 9
‘Nine’ is an allusion to Jesus Christ. In Roman numerals this is ‘IX’ while in Greek the ‘I’ stands for Iesous and the ‘X’ for Christos, consequently it is no coincidence that in line ‘9’ of this sonnet we find a pun on the word Sunne meaning “my Son one”.
‘One’ is the most important word in our great author’s vocabulary as he uses this word as an allusion to his son Henry Wriothesley.
Our author was familiar with the Hebrew language which he had been taught as a child by the eminent scholar Sir Thomas Smith. Shake-speare’s famous poem “The Phoenix and the Turtle” first appeared in a publication called “Love’s Martyr” written by him using the witty pseudonym ‘Robert Chester’ a fact elaborated upon in my forthcoming work to be entitled “With the Breath thou Giv’st and Tak’st”. Interestingly as tradition would have it Shake-speare’s ‘avian poem’ is preceded by his “INVOCATIO” where we find in the seventh line the first use of the “Schaw e” in English (the most common sound in our language). This upside down ’ə’ has come down to us from the Hebrew language and we find its first use in the year 1601 in the word “vərt” which is of course an allusion to our author’s inherited Norman name “Ver” and how the name ‘Vere’ was originally pronounced – as in the name ‘Edward de Vere 17th Earl of Oxford’.
The Hebrew word for God is ‘one’.
“The Lord will be king over all the land,
In that day the Lord will be one and his name is one.” (Zechariah 14:9)
Plainly our author sees an allusion between his own royal family and the Holy Trinity – and why I like to refer to ‘Elizabeth/Oxford/Wriothesley’ using the construction “The Tudor Trinity”, the message of (S.33) in particular the first quatrain is to illustrate to the world just how ‘Godly’ Henry Wriothesley was – for as an infant he had both a “golden/celestial face” and “sovereign eye” before more maturely in (S.20) we find his bright eye:
“Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth”.
While again in the fourth line of (S.33) we find our young prince:
“Gilding pale streams with Heavenly alchemy”.
Our contemporary world has a new phenomenon called “Sacred 3” where three words identifiable together as a group – represent either “The Tudor Trinity” or “Henry Wriothesley” who was the 3rd Earl of Southampton. In (S.33) we find these three words are “Sun” – all capitalised in the ‘quarto’ consequently “my Sunne one” means ‘my Godly son’ because our author firmly believed that all princes were divinely ordained in heaven (he was of course a prince himself) although alas an illegitimate prince (as he was born out of wedlock- as was Wriothesley) which is why we find in the last line of the sonnet these two princes stained with bastardy:
“Suns of the world may stain, when heavens Sun staineth”.
The first word “Suns” is plural, yet we live in a solar system with only one sun!
Looking more closely at the last line we find a ‘tilde’ over the ‘e’ in the word when, because it represents an ‘omission’ and as there is a shortage of space it makes sense, but what also might be significant is the literal meaning of the word ‘tilde’ this being ‘title’. The beginning of the line is plural but it ends in the singular. The first half of the last line therefore relates to the stain of bastardy on these two princes, while the second half specifically relates to Wriothesley whose ‘title’ (is not recognised) it has been ‘omitted’ while our author knows full-well “my Son one” (his Godly son) is royal on both sides of his family, although a less vaulted fact is that he was incestuously begotten.
Now; let me give you some further examples of “Sacred 3”, while I remind you of Henry Wriothesley’s moto:
“One for all, all for one”.
Because of this – we know for instance that line 12 of (S.8) relates specifically to Wriothesley where we find the words “all in one”.
11 Resembling sire and child and happy mother
12 Who all in one, one pleasing note do sing,
13 whose speechless song, being many, seeming one,
14 Sings this to thee: ‘Thou single wilt prove none.’ (S.8)
The “sire” in the first line here is our great author, the “child” Wriothesley and the “happy mother” Elizabeth – the word ‘Happy’ denotes royalty. There also appears to be some greater significance in the occasions where we find “Sacred 3” grouped together in the last three lines. This happens in both of Edward de Vere’s poems “The first” & “The burning” which in “Love’s Martyr” immediately precede his poem “The Phoenix and the Turtle” because the words “rare” and “rarity” are also allusions to Wriothesley.
“Sacred 3” is found to be fragrant in (S.54) as it is represented by the word “rose” which is a marsupial of the word Wriothesley, as the word “Hews” (S.20) is a marsupial of his full name Henry Wriothesley.
Sonnet 105 is particularly educational as it alludes to the “Threnos” of “The Phoenix and the Turtle” as metrically this final segment of the poem is composed of precisely 105 heartbeats.
“Sacred 3” appears twice in (S105) the second occasion in the last three lines:
Let not my love be called idolatry,
Nor my belovèd as an idol show,
Since all alike my songs and praises be
To one, of one, still such and ever so.
Kind is my love today, tomorrow kind,
Still constant in a wondrous excellence.
Therefore my verse to constancy confined,
one thing expressing, leaves out difference.
Faire, Kind and True’ is all my argument,
‘Faire, Kind and True’ varying to other words,
And in this change is my invention spent,
Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords,
‘Faire, Kind and True’ have often lived alone,
Which three ‘till now never kept seat in one.
The words “one of one” in the fourth line are a reference to Wriothesley’s motto, while line 10 alludes to line 53 of “The Phoenix and the Turtle” because it can be seen that in “varying to other words”:
“Beauty truth and rarity” and “Faire, kind and true” as allusions to individuals are fundamentally the same thing, although not in a corresponding order – which in this particular instance would be this:
Faire, kind and true = Beauty, rarity and truth.
This is a little confusing because to make sure (S.105) made sense our author switched the name Faire (normally associated with the Faire youth) so it alluded to Elizabeth instead of Wriothesley, you will notice he says: “in this change” I believe this was partly to give the impression that our author’s love was equitable between the two of them, although personally I am not entirely convinced of this. Nevertheless some literature is so profound one cannot escape from it – I defy all of you to misinterpret the last line of (S.105).
“Which three till now never kept seat in one”.
Our authors “invention” (his hybrid language of allusion) relates to ‘The Tudor Trinity’ of which he is one third – which makes sense of “three themes in one” while the “wondrous scope” afforded them – was the possibility of sharing the throne together, as at that point in history as a family they had never “kept ‘seat’ in one”.
Now; although I most certainly don’t need to justify the meaning of the word seat to you – I will do it anyway:
This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of Majesty, this seat of Mars
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself. (Richard II.)
The supreme seat, the throne Majestical. (Richard III)
And generally to the crown and seat of France. (Henry V.)
Methought I sat in seat of Majesty. (Henry VI)
The rightful heir to England’s royal seat. (Henry VI)
Part of the reason for Elizabeth’s great success as a monarch was that she was very savvy in keeping in touch with her subjects and during the summertime (partly as a cost cutting exercise) she made sure she went on her annual progress, which in the year Henry Wriothesley’s was ‘first created’ 1574 took her to both Bristol & Bath.
The buntings were out in Bath on the 21st August the day she arrived there with the three month old illegitimate infant Wriothesley in tow – the reason she is described as:
“Stealing un’een to west with this disgrace”. (S.33)
So there is absolutely no doubt who precisely is stealing to west with her new born son we see in (line 8) our author deliberately omitting the ‘s’ in the word ‘unseen’, so the word we are presented with is in fact “un eene” his motive to get as close as he possibly could to the principal protagonist of this disgrace the ‘Qu-eene’.
The excessive pride our author felt for his son is illuminated at the beginning of the third quatrain which I imagine must relate to a specific event:
Even so my Son one early morn did shine
With all-triumphant splendour on my brow.
This pride was quickly followed by melancholy – in lines where we find the word ‘region’ very close to the word ‘regent’.
But out alack, he was but one hour mine
The region cloud hath masked him from me now.
A Little History
This sonnet relates to a specific time frame following a terrible conflagration of words between ‘our lovers’ the Queen and the Earl of Oxford in respect of the infant Wriothesley’s future, in which he used language no man should use before a woman let alone a Queen. This event took place at the palace of Greenwich from where he fled in fear for his life – not looking back until he reached Flanders.
Mercifully the Queen was anxious to patch up the quarrel and sent one of Oxford’s literary cronies ‘Thomas Bedingfield’ to bring him home without any punitive action being taken. It was a long return ride for Oxford who finally arrived in Bath “a sad distempered guest” the same day as his mistress – which was the 21st August 1574 when “The little love God” was precisely three months old:
I sick withal, the help of Bath desired,
And thither hied, a sad distempered guest,
But found no cure; the Bath for my help lies,
Where Cupid got new fire – my mistress’ eyes. (S.153)
Philip Cooper Fecit: © 4th December 2020.