Are There Other Marlowe Ciphers in the Canon?
We have just discussed, at length, how Hamlet's name ciphers or morphs into Marley. How Horatio morphs into Marlowe and how Laertes morphs into Marley.
Now we are ready to tackle some other plays and names.
Let's take the name "Romeo." It's Shakespeare's invention.
To cue us he has Juliet ask "What's in a name?" in reference to it, so this seems as good a place to start as any. Here's the most obvious possible morph:
Now notice that four of the letters are the same:
So only the second "O" has to be shifted or morphed and it moves backwards
by three letters to become the missing "L" : O\NML:
In our earlier discoveries we have noticed that the Author provides in-line clues or cues for the shift. Since the shift is three, "three" would be the clue. While the number does not appear here, as it does in Hamlet, one does notice that "O" is used three times by Romeo in his "But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?" speech, which leads into Juliet's "What's in a name." Romeo's speech is precisely 24 lines, if we take the "He jests as scars that never felt a wound," line as an off-set mutter, as most editors do. Juliet's answer is 12 lines. Both are divisible by three and together make 36 the ruling, and thus "magical" number of the Folio canon.
Indeed "What's in a name," appears precisely in the center on line 6. None of these are a direct hit, but they are suggestive the Author is using a "drowsy arithmetic of the mind" in balancing his speeches.
Perhaps the key is more subtle? Juliet uses Romeo's name three times in her speech. Just as Romeo has used "O" three times in his. Is this just coincidence or clever hints? For me the balance is too perfect to be accidental. Romeo speaks twice as much as Juliet. Surely the Author knew this. Both use a single word three times, Romeo "O" (and not "Oh") and Juliet "Romeo". Indeed Juliet uses "Romeo" three times in the famous bridge speech here, "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?" It's a kind of conjuring with his name. So I sense intention here and a playfulness and one built on "three."
Since the shift is in the letter "O" and the sift is three, I see intention here.
In any case, the answer to Juliet's question is that "Morle" is "in" Romeo's name. "Morley" was the spelling of Marlowe's name on the Privy Council's entail or conciliar to Cambridge demanding his M.A.
So "Morle" is certainly close enough for this sort of "signal."
"O Rome" is an obvious anagram in Romeo's name, though humorous, it has no particular significance and seems out of place in this tragedy. The same would be true for "Moore." "Emoor" is senseless. "Roome," though a vagrant spelling of "room," is also senseless. All a anagrams and not shifts or morphs.
"Morle" isn't, so it must be what Juliet and our Author had in mind, when they asked us what's in Romeo's name?
I like it. (:))
Next on our list is Sir Oliver Martext, from As You Like It, a vicar, buffoon and traveling scholar. Martext has always had a rather obvious significance for Marlovians, as the documentary, Much Ado About Something pointed out. Let's tackle the first name first and see how it matches up with Morley:
Again "farming" the name assures us that four of the six letters match:
This leaves us with only the I and V which have to morph into M and Y.
Again we discover that a straightforward Caesar shift works here. Both letters morph forward
by three into their analogs. "I" / [J]KLM and "V" / WXY.
So Sir Oliver Martext becomes Sir Morley Martext, a much more significant name.
Rev. Morley is there to wed Audrey, the Christian name of Sir Thomas Walsingham's wife, Lady Audrey Shelton, to whom the final two thirds of Hero and Leander was dedicated, to William, the rustic clown whom bears a resemblance to the Actor.
Even though four of the six letters match, it does not shift or morp into Marley, since the sift is 8 and 7 and thus not quite kosher. It is, however, close enough to give us cause to chuckle:
"Orlando" also looks close enough, at first glacne, to warrant some attention:
Four of the letters match. Two sift by just one letter into their necessary analogs. Leaving only the mismatched "O" and "W". Since Orlando was a wrestler and a poet and thus frequently upside down, we might be allowed to invert the W to an M, which then is just separated by one letter from O. Not impossible and certainly a close encounter.
It is believed that "Orlando" is the Author's English version of Orlando's father's name, Rowland de Boys or Bois. But this seems a stretch. Lodge has him as Rosader. So we know the name was intentionally changed. "Orlando" is a fairly common Italian name and its phonetic relation to Marlo should now be obvious.
Now let's take a glace at Sir Andrew Aguecheek's first name:
Half of the letters cancel and two switch by 2, but D will not morph to M without the use of 8. Eight is the cube of 2, i.e., 2 x 2 x 2, but this seems quite a bit of tillage and will no doubt be considered as overworking this ground. I'm not so sure. We've established elsewhere that Aguecheek is based on a then well remembered Cambridge teacher and scholar Sir John Cheke (1514-1557) who enjoyed farming Greek. In any case, "Andrew" is the Poet's embellishment and while the morph is complex it is mathematical. So we can say that the name does morph into Marley. Skeptics will no doubt discover other words as well, if the rules for morphing and Caesar shifting are relaxed.
On the other hand, "Romeo" does morph straight into "Morle" just as surely as Horatio does into Marlowe.
"Shakespeare" was hardly the only Elizabethan to play word math and sometimes it required more than just Hamlet's "drossy arithmetic of the mind." Many period writers, including Bruno and Dee, believed their were magical powers hidden in words and numbers.
So finding this sort of word "game" is hardly surprising. What is surprising is that it isn't alluding to the life of the Actor, but to Christopher Marlowe, the man most likely to have become the Author. Marlowe is the only man whose life even remotely fits that of the Sonneteer, "Shake-Speare," as we have seen at length elsewhere. In Marlowe's case the fit isn't remote at all, but precise and ironclad.
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