· 29 October 2015 ·
[A little-known clue to the correct dating of ‘Hamlet’]
Manet is Latin for Remains, as in
‘Everyone exits the stage but Hamlet remains.’
Truth: I wrote Oh that this too too solid Flesh, would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a Dew after I discovered one morning that I could no longer lace my favourite doublet. The line was a bit of self-indulgent howling at the moon. Following my hip and leg injury in the fight with Knyvet in ’82, my increasing lameness made it hard to stay active as the years passed. I had occasional trouble keeping my weight down, and Doctor Lopez suggested I lose a stonestone n. A unit of mass equal to 14 lbs, about 6.4 kg. Used to measure the weight of people, animals, cheese, wool, etc. by eating and drinking more moderately. The doctor’s advice was easier to hear than to follow.
For those of you with figuring skills, yes, my medical consultation showing up in Hamlet means that I wrote the play before that lunatic Essex had Lopez executed for treason in ’94, on charges that the doctor was plotting with Spain to poison Queen Elizabeth. What a crock. Essex was out for revenge because Lopez blabbed about treating him for the pox, as if that news surprised anyone under heaven.
The whole business had the smell of something rotten. Lopez was the queen’s personal physician, and Elizabeth was never convinced of his guilt. It didn’t matter. Essex threw one of his petulant tantrums, Bess gave in, and Lopez died a traitor’s death.
Seven years later Essex’s tantrum trick finally failed, and it was his turn.
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex,
loses his head for the last time. That’s not
Tower Green, and don’t ask me what the
tonsured priest is doing there. Essex was a Protestant
but the picture is French, what can you do.
Stratfordolators can’t agree among themselves when Hamlet was written, “sometime between 1598 and 1601”. They’re all wrong.