Here’s an interesting story for a Sunday morning. In her new book “Shadowplay”, author Clare Asquith presents the case that Shakespeare was writing coded political messages into his plays. Asquith claims to be the first person to have discovered the code, as well as crack it.
A little sample, from the article…
The sun represented divinity, and so sunburn denotes closeness to God. Shakespeare described himself as ‘tanned’ in Sonnet 62.
A traditional image for the apostles, used to signify those who remained faithful in the face of persecution.
The story of Philomela, who was turned into a nightingale, was an image of the desecrated church and its covert protests.
A term used by Catholics for their ‘old, beautiful’ religion.
The new, Protestant religion, associated with black print and sober dress.
Devotion to the five wounds of Christ led to patterned emblems on the banners borne against the new regime. Shakespeare uses it in the form of flowers, birthmarks or heraldic blazons as a marker of Catholicism.