Saturday, March 12, 2011

Parallels - Troilus and Cressida 4 of 4

Troilus and Cressida    (a subgroup of four parallels)

(Part 4 of 4)

First, Bacon:
In his De Augmentis Bacon wrote:

"The second [rule] is to keep a discreet temper and mediocrity both in liberty of speech and in secrecy. For liberty of speech invites and provokes a similar liberty in others; and so brings much to a man's knowledge; but secrecy induceth trust, so that men like to deposit their secrets there, as in their own bosom".

Comment: So liberty in speech and secrecy in speech can both be used to draw people out. Remarkably, we find both these axioms illustrated in the same scene in the play. Now we find Shake-Speare having Cressida saying to Troilus:

"Sweet, bid me hold my  tongue,
For in this rapture I shall surely speak
The think I shall repent. See, see, your silence,
Cunning in dumbness, from my weakness draws
My very soul of counsel
. Stop my mouth."
  Troilus And Cressida,  3.2. 128-132

And then a little later in the same scene, Cressida, again addressing Troilus, refers to the other tactic for drawing out another's thoughts:

"Perchance, my lord, I show more craft than love,
And fell so roundly to a large confession
To angle for your thoughts."
  Troilus And Cressida, 3.2. 151-3

Comment: Shake-Speare could not have borrowed from Bacon since the play was written (but not published) about 1602, which was before De Augmentis (1623) (or The Advancement of Learning, 1605, which voiced similar sentiments) was published. And Bacon could not have borrowed from the published play because the Advancement of Learning was written before the play was published in 1609.

Cockburn adds that the last three of the these four parallels for Troilus And Cressida are each quite remarkable in themselves. They cannot be accidental  So, the set of four by themselves he would grant the status of proof of common authorship.

There seem to be at least four subsets of parallels that Cockburn believes reach the level of proof of common authorship between Bacon and Shakespeare.  

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