·  SHAKESPEARE – Identity – Amelia Bassano Lanier – Arguments


- Info:

  - The most recent proposal about identity of William Shakespeare is that he was a woman Amelia Bassano Lanier.

  - This article lists eight arguments in support for this theory.

  - This info is based on http://www.jewcy.com/arts-and-culture/shakespeares_plays_were_written_jewish_woman.


- 1. The Most Musical Plays in the World:

  - The plays:

    - contain nearly 2000 musical references,

    - use 300 different musical terms,

    - refer to a 5th century manuscript on recorder playing.


  - None of Mr. Shakespeare's friends or associates were professional musicians.

  - So how could he have developed this practical musical knowledge?


  - On the other hand, Amelia's family were the Court recorder troupe.

  - Around 15 of her closest relatives were professional musicians.

  - One of them was the leading composer for the Shakespearean plays.  


- 2. Spoken Hebrew:

  - The plays:

    - contain Hebrew puns,

    - include examples of Hebrew transliteration identified by Israeli scholar Florence Amit,

    - incorporate several quotations from The Talmud along with reference to Maimonides,

    - integrate the examples of spoken Hebrew, seen, for instance, in All's Well That Ends Well.


  - In late sixteenth century England about 30 scholars were studying written Hebrew, but none of them spoke Hebrew.

  - Spoken Hebrew was used only among European Jews, as a commercial language, to keep their information secure.

  - All this makes it improbable that Mr. Shakespeare was able to include all the elements mentioned above.


  - On the other hand, Amelia's family was Jewish.

  - They lived as Marranos with members of the Lupo family, who were imprisoned for their faith.


- 3. Feminism:

  - The plays depict strong female characters that:

    - play music,

    - read Ovid.


  - Mr. Shakespeare kept his daughters illiterate.


  - On the other hand, Amelia, was educated at Court.

  - She was raised in the household of the early English feminist Catherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk, and her

    daughter Susan Bertie, the Dowager Countess of Kent.

  - This explains why Taming of the Shrew references a book that was the standard manual for training girls at Court in

    etiquette, and why other plays refer to Margaret of Navarre's Heptameron, the most popular book among court ladies.

  - Finally Amelia's own poetry draws on the feminist Christine of Pisan, whose work is used in three of the plays and

    nowhere else in English literature of the period.


- 4. Italian:

  - The plays show that the author:

    - was fluent in Italian,

    - made Italian puns,

    - read Dante, Tasso, Cinthio, Bandello, and others in the original language.


  - There would have been no way for Mr. Shakespeare to learn Italian in Stratford-upon-Avon.


  - On the other hand, the Bassano family came from Venice.

  - As their surviving letters show, they spoke and wrote fluent Italian.


- 5. Major Poet:

  - The plays show extraordinary skills in poetry.


  - None of the other potential candidates who have been put forward is a major poet.


  - On the other hand, Amelia Bassano certainly is.

  - She was a major experimental poet and the first woman to publish a book of original poetry in England.

  - That poetry includes a 160 line poem that resembles a masque (a dramatic entertainment similar to opera, popular in

    England in the 16th and 17th centuries, in which masked performers represented mythological or allegorical characters)

    about the descent of the chariot of Juno.

  - Bassano's masque-like poem resembles the masque about the descent of Juno's chariot in The Tempest.

  - Her final poem includes unusual clusters of words that are also found in Midsummer Night's Dream.


- 6. Her Names in the Plays:

  - One of the most popular names in the plays is Emilia (in various spellings).

  - In Titus Andronicus there are characters oddly called Emillius and Bassianus. Why are they there?


  - Why should Mr. Shakespeare have liked this name so much?


  - But most importantly between 1622-1623, when Mr. Shakespeare was long dead, someone made changes to the Quarto

    of Othello to associate the standard image of the great poet—the swan who dies to music—with Emilia, and to give her

    the "willow" song to repeat.

  - Moreover, swan appears in King John associated with John's son, and in Merchant of Venice associated with Bassanio

  - The author of the plays thereby associates the great poet with her baptismal, mother's, adopted, and family names:

    - AMELIA




  - This is very unlikley to be a coincidence.

  - Only one person would have had a reason for leaving behind this complex literary signature!


- 7. Link to the Theater:

  - Mr. Shakespeare was an actor, but actors had no training in rhetoric and only got cue scripts, not complete plays.

  - They had no training in play analysis.


  - On the other hand, Amelia, not only came from a family of musicians who moonlighted as musicians for the two

    theaters opposite her home.

  - For ten years she was also mistress to Lord Hunsdon—the man in charge of the English theater.

  - He was patron to the company that performed the Shakespearean plays, and England's only work on play analysis was

    going on in his offices.


- 8. The Jewish Allegories:

  - Many plays contain allegories about the Roman-Jewish War.

  - In Midsummer Night's Dream, Oberon represents Yahweh, who is fighting a war against Titania, who represents Titus


  - According to research by Professor Parker at Stanford, Peter Quince is St. Peter, who presides over the collapse of

    Christianity, in the parody of the deaths of Pyramus and Thisbe.

  - When the Wall comes down it is Apocalypse, and the start of a new Jewish year marked, as in The Zohar, by the

    distribution of dew.

  - In As You Like It, the forest is surrounded by a circle, everyone is starving, people are hung from trees, and deer are

    being slaughtered like men.

  - All of this resembles the actual events of the Jewish War.

  - We are told the Duke in charge is a “Roman conqueror” who is also identified with Satan—and his allegorical identity

    can thus be uncovered as Vespasian Caesar.

  - As a believing Catholic, why would Mr. Shakespeare have created these complex Jewish allegories?

  - Amelia however, wrote a collection of poetry that includes the long satirical feminist critique of Christianity known as

    Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (1611), meaning "Hail God, King of the Jews."

  - As a Jew she might well have wanted to create an allegory that took comic literary revenge upon the men who

    destroyed Jerusalem.