Thursday, May 01, 2008

Ok, Who's Heard Of The "EOX" Theory?

This article starts out as the standard "Guy things that Edward de Vere wrote the works of Shakespeare" argument.  But his spin is different - he's a crypto guy.  He thinks there's secret messages.

Apparently 99 of the sonnets contain some version of the symbol EOX.  This, of course, must stand for the Earl of Oxford.  QED!

One of the sonnets also contains a pun on Hathaway.  We're expected to believe that Oxford was so sneaky that he wrote in puns about his pseudonym's wife?  (Thanks to Bill Bryson for that one.)


Alan K.Farrar said...

To out Loony Looney!
Now, if, in the code, the E equals an E, the O an O; but the Y is really an X, then = Ergo! X is your uncle.

Or maybe the EOX is really a monkey escaped from the typewriter? So, EOX is a monkey's UnXle.

Or is this all a result of thermodynamics and Newton - the longer the dafter?

My own best 'alternative' is in fiction - fforde does a lovely take on the whole issue.

Alan K.Farrar said...

Sorry - can't resist - Word Verification is sending me a message from space -


but against who - or is EOX messaging me and I need to go into hiding?

Should the Looney Fringe BeWaRe?

Craig said...

Cryptograms? Usually it's the Francis Bacon crowd that's into cryptograms. Pasting all of Shakespeare up on a giant wheel and drawing arrows and circles everywhere. Came a cropper when someone used there methods to find "hidden messages" from Shakespeare himself. I guess I could always be proven wrong, but I've got twenty dollars that says you could use this guy's methods to find "SOS" (Shakespeare of Stratford) just as easily. You reach a point where this sort of thing starts getting too close to mental illness to even laugh at.

Craig said...

I should just let these things go, Duane, but can I share the fruits of ten minutes of research I just did on one of the references this guy gave in his speech? He seems to think it's somehow significant that Peacham's book _Compleat Gentleman_ mentions the poetry of Oxford, but not of Shakespeare. I wrote:

Ok, so lots of his contemporaries mention Shakespeare as a poet, playwright, and actor, but one particular book does not. Ergo: Shakespeare was a fraud. Sounds pretty irrefutable to me!
Just for giggles, I looked up Peacham's Compleat Gentleman, which I've not read before. From the introduction to a copy on Google Books: "But in the representative list which he gives of English poets we cannot help being struck with the absence of certain names now accounted among the greatest of all. There is not a word of Marlowe or Jonson or even of Shakespeare: in fact not a single playwright is mentioned anywhere." Of course not. Plays were still reasonably "low," and this was a manual for young men trying to _raise_ their public personnae. So much Oxfordian "evidence" turns out to be about this flimsy when you go digging. And, since this book was published in the 1630s, well after the publication of Shakespeare's Folio, we have to assume that (a)the "conspiracy" was so widespread that Peacham was in on it, and yet (b)not a scrap of hard documentation saying "Oxford wrote the Shakespeare plays" has come down to us. Doubtless, Jonson was "really" written by Sidney, and Marlowe by More, since both of them are mentioned in Peacham, right, Professor?