Friday, October 4, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -4- Induction, Things Concealed and Hid


As he said it “No excellence of wit, no repetition of chance experiments, can overcome such difficulties as these. Our steps must be guided by a clue . . . (Preface to The Great Instauration; 4.18).  He uses the myth of Ariadne’s thread as a metaphor when he wrote "the same man who devised the mazes of the labyrinth disclosed likewise the use of the clue." The inductive method was vital to his plan "….we must use induction, true and legitimate induction, which is the very key of interpretation" (Novum Organum).

One way Bacon proposed for using his inductive method was to create tables of discovery and to list instances of some phenomena in which it is found, where it is not found, and how it varies. A brief description can be found here for discovering the essence of heat:

You can think of the search for clues to his authorship of the Shakespeare works in a similar way. So not all authorship clue candidates will be equally interesting but they’ll be listed just the same if they have something about them that attracted attention. The Friedman’s idea of the possibility of Bacon’s ‘hints’ in “sotto voce” are kind of like an Easter egg hunt searching for things of a similar nature and which reveal some congruity of like essence.

Another way that Bacon phrased this idea of clues to a labyrinth, as he did several times, was this:  “The glory of God is to conceal a thing, but the glory of the King is to find it out; as if the Divine Nature, according to the innocent and sweet play of children, which hide themselves to the end they may be found, took delight to hide his works to the end they might be found out.” – Advancement of Learning, 1640.

As it turns out, it seems that the author Shakespeare held similar thoughts. In the beginning of Love’s Labour’s Lost (Act 1, Sc. 1), column 2, we have this exchange:

   Berow. By yea and nay sir, than I swore in jest.
What is the end of study, let me know?
   Fer. Why that to know which else wee should not know.
   Ber. Things hid & bard(you meane)fró cómon sense.      [“from common sense”]
   Ferd. I, that is studies god-like recompence.               [“I” = “Aye” = “Yes”]
   Bero. Come on then, I will sweare to studie so,
To know the thing I am forbid to know:

The full page can be found here in the second column. Be sure to click on 8x in the upper right hand corner to get a larger view:

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