Sunday, January 1, 2012

Roses on raz'd shoes

Happy New Year!

Would not this, sir, & a forest of feathers,
if the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with me, with provincial
Roses on my raz'd shoes, get me a fellowship in a cry of players?

Hamlet 3.2.~286

Turn Turk means "go bad," in plain reading. Provincial means "from the provinces," that is, from out of town, from someplace in the country away from the big city. Roses were ribbons that protected shoelaces and kept them tied. Roses would vary with fashion; a rose on a country shoe would be different from the latest fashion in roses in the city. A razed shoe is one that has been cut to allow a colored sock to show through. That was done for decoration and fashion. This is on the Fashion theme. Razed puns with "raised," referring to a chopin.

Hamlet means, if he pretended to be a country boy, bringing such a good play to a city players' company, they'd let him become part of the company. He'd get the share on the quality of his writing, not because he was a Prince. Hamlet, the aficionado of acting, is revealing his fantasy of being a playwright.

From a Baconian standpoint that seems very close to what the author was getting at.

Bacon, who was under pressure to sell his woods at his Gorhambury estate, said:   "I will not be stripped of my feathers!"  from Aubrey's Brief Lives

Bacon was particularly known for the elaborate roses on his ‘raz’d shoes’.

Could William, assuming he was ‘Shakespeare’, have been referring to this?