Roger Peters Copyright © 2005
William Shakespeare's Sonnet Philosophy, is a four volume set that presents the philosophy of Shakespeare's Sonnets. As the volumes total over 1700 pages, the website is not the appropriate forum for their presentation. Only a selection of material from four volumes appears on the website. The introductory pages of the first volume, selected commentaries on individual sonnets from the second volume, selections from the commentaries on the longer poems and plays from the third volume, and a synopsis of the fourth volume are available online.
Contents and Introduction from Volume 1
List of Illustrations
A Description of the book known as Q
The K and A
A Lover's Complaint
The layout in Q
The possibility of a philosophy in Shake-speares Sonnets
The logical arrangement of the Sonnets
Nature and the sexual dynamic
Truth and beauty
The complete template
The influence of Darwin, Wittgenstein and Duchamp
The significance of Shakespeare's philosophy
Other introductory matters
The function of the numerology
The process of mystic addition
The facsimile of Q and the modern English editions
The naming of Nature and nature
The philosophy of the Sonnets and the Sonnet philosophy
The use of the Glossary
The relation of the Sonnets to the poems and plays
Nature and the sexual dynamic
The 154 sonnet as a unity
The 154 sonnets as a unity
The Sonnets, male or female
Nature, the sovereign mistress
Nature, unity and diversity
Nature and the arrangement of the sonnets in Q
Time in the Sonnets
The division into two sequences
The traditional names given the female and male
The female as Mistress
The male as Master Mistress or youth
The 28 Mistress sonnets
The 28 Mistress sonnets as a unity
The priority of the Mistress over the Master Mistress
The Mistress and the Poet
The structure for music
Truth and beauty in the Mistress sequence
The Poet and the Mistress
The last two sonnets
126 sonnets to the Master Mistress or youth
The Master Mistress as less than unity
The Master Mistress and the Poet
The Master Mistress and time
Truth and beauty in the Master Mistress sequence
The audit of the Master Mistress
The Nature template
The increase argument
Internal structure of the Master Mistress sonnets
The increase argument
The 14 increase sonnets
The inherent order in sonnets 20 to 154
The order of presentation in Q
Increase and truth and beauty in the first 14 sonnets
The significance of the number 14
The symbolism of 14
The argument of the individual increase sonnets
Birth, death and life
Sonnets 9 and 10 and the basis of love
Sonnets 3 and 13, mother and father
Sonnet 14, the priority of increase
The increase template
The body template
The persistence of the increase argument
The increase argument in the poems and plays
Truth and beauty
The words truth and beauty
The logical conditions for truth and beauty
The inherent order of the truth and beauty sonnets
The positioning of the truth and beauty sonnets
The poetry and increase sonnets (15 to 19)
The individual poetry and increase sonnets
The introduction of the Poet
The Poet's relation to the set of 154 sonnets
The Poet of the Sonnets
The Poet as male or female
The rival poet
Increase and truth and beauty in the first sonnet
Truth and beauty in sonnets 20 to 154
The logical divisions in the truth and beauty sonnets
Truth and beauty in the Master Mistress sequence
Truth and beauty in the Mistress sequence
The mythic possibility
Truth and beauty in sonnets 20 to 126
From increase to truth and beauty
The pattern of truth and beauty in the youth sequence
The introduction of the major themes
Sonnets 20/21, beauty and the Muse
Sonnet 22 and personae
Sonnet 23 and writing
Sonnet 24 and the eyes
Sonnets 25 and 26 and stars
Sonnets 27, 28, 43, and 61 as consecutive sonnets
Sonnets 29 and 30 and the priority of increase
Sonnet 31 and the cost of idealism
Sonnet 32 and the rival poet
Sonnets 33, 34, 35, the ideal in truth and beauty
Sonnet 37 and truth and beauty
Sonnet 38 and the relation of 9, 1, and 10
Sonnets 41 and 42, the youth and the Mistress
Sonnet 44 and 45 and the four elements
Sonnets 46 and 47, the eyes and heart
Sonnets 48 and 49, personae
Sonnets 50, 51, and 52, the journey to maturity
Sonnet 53 and increase by the millions
Sonnet 54 and truth and beauty
Sonnet 55 and the content of verse
Sonnets 57 to 60,and 63 to 65, sonnets to time
Sonnet 62 and truth and beauty
Sonnets 63 to 65, the theme of poetry to life
Sonnet 66 and truth
Sonnets 67 and 68, nature/Nature
Sonnet 69 and truth and beauty
Sonnets with contemporary references
Sonnets 71 to 75, death and life
Sonnets 76 and 77, the content of poetry
The rival poet sonnets, 78 to 86
Sonnets 87 to 94, the cost of the ideal
Sonnets 95 and 96, beauty and then truth
Sonnets 97 and 98 on increase
Sonnet 99 in 15 lines
Sonnets 100 to 103, truth and beauty and the Muse
Sonnet 104, the natural cycle of maturity
Sonnet 105, idolatry
Sonnet 106 and the vanity of writing
Sonnets 110 and 111, God and Nature
Sonnets 115 and 116, the truth of increase
Sonnets 117 to 119, the benefit of ill
Sonnets 120, 121, the nature of evil
Sonnets 123, 124, the foiling of time
Sonnet 125, the youth's choice
Sonnet 126, the final audit
Truth and beauty in sonnets 127 to 154
The organisation of the Mistress sequence
Sonnet 127, beauty introduced
Sonnet 128, the second music sonnet
Sonnet 129, the expense of Spirit
Sonnet 130, the five senses
Sonnets 131 and 132, good and bad deeds
Sonnets 133 and 134, the Mistress and the youth
Sonnets 135 and 136, the Will sonnets
Sonnet 137, beauty as seeing, truth as saying
Sonnet 138, the Mistress swears
Sonnet 139, the eye and the tongue
Sonnet 140, wise and cruel
Sonnets 142 and 143, analysis of truth
Sonnet 143, increase revisited
Sonnet 144, the youth, the Mistress and the Poet
Sonnet 145, the source of Shakespeare's poetry
Sonnet 146, the cost of souls
Sonnet 147, truth reiterated
Sonnets 148 to 150, truth and true sight
Sonnet 151, love and conscience
Sonnet 152, truth unequivocal
Sonnets 153 and 154, the erotic finale
Summary of truth and beauty in sonnets 20 to 154
The Rose and the Muse
The Rose and Eros
The 9 Muses of old
Sonnet 1, beauty's Rose
Sonnet 35, the cankered Rose
Sonnet 54, the Rose and truth
Sonnets 67 and 68, the Rose and store
Sonnets 95 and 98, truth from the Rose
Sonnet 99, the Poet's blushing shame
Sonnet 109, the universal Rose/Eros
Sonnet 130, the Mistress' Rose
Sonnet 21, the lesser Muse
Sonnet 32, the Poet's Muse
Sonnet 38, the Muses reconciled
Sonnets 78 to 86 to the rival poet
Sonnet 100 to 103, the definitive Muse
The eyes, the source of truth and beauty
Sonnet 14, knowledge from the eyes
Sonnets 15, 25, 26 and 28, the starry eyes
Sonnet 116, the erotic star
Sonnet 132, the morning eyes
The logic of the stars
Sonnet 24 and others, from eye to mind to heart
Sonnet 55 and others, the eye as sexual organ
Ideas and sensations
Ethics and aesthetics
The truth and beauty template
The complete templates
The correct multiplicity
The logic of myth
Shakespeare's natural logic
The preconditions for mythic expression
From the Nature/female/male dynamic to the mythic
Standard definitions of sexual and erotic
The female and male as the premises for argument
The Sonnets as template for the argument of the plays
The female and male in the argument of the plays
The parody in the plays of inconsistent argument
The relation of male and female in biblical thought
The feminine and the masculine
The role of the Master Mistress
The feminine male and the masculine female
The illogical relation of feminine and masculine
The Poet as person and persona
The sexual and the erotic
The sexual dynamic
The transition from the sexual to the erotic
The erotic dynamic
Immortality: Nature, the sexual, or the erotic
Immortality in the poetry and increase sonnets
Immortality in other sonnets to the youth
The mythic Poet in Nature
The mythic Poet and the sexual/erotic dynamic
The mythic Poet and the rival poet sonnets
The mythic numerology
The Poet's complete logic
The logical conditions for any mythic expression
Models of inconsistency
The cryptic numerology
The encrypted numerology of the Dedication etc
The Dedication and sonnet 126
The K A, and the Mr.W. H.
Sonnets 135 and 136
Diagram of the shape of the whole set
A Lover's Complaint
Facsimile of Q
Truth and beauty in Q
Sonnet terms in prefaces and poems from 1599 to 1640
Logically connected sonnets in Q
Numerological references in Q
Judgment and knowledge in Q
The Rose and Muse in Q
Capitals in Q
The 'eye' in Q
Concordance of selected words
When I look back over the last 25 years, I can identify a series of events that
led to the appreciation of Shakespeare’s philosophy presented here for the
first time. While in retrospect many youthful experiences were influential,
it was not until the early 1970s that the first significant event occurred. At
the time I was a student at the School of Fine Arts in Auckland. For the
first year or so my work was modeled on the stimulus provided by the
programmes of the School. Then, in the second year after the birth of a
daughter, I experienced an elevated sense of creativity resulting in a series
of works of greater purpose and intensity.
In the following years I tried to capitalise on the new source of inspiration
but was unable to sustain the impetus. As the work faltered I resolved
to search for criteria that enabled depth and consistency in the artistic
process. The fundamental questioning of the idea of art by the avant-garde
movements of the early 1970s deepened my interest in such seminal figures
as the French artist Marcel Duchamp, the Austrian philosopher Ludwig
Wittgenstein and the biologist Charles Darwin. A study of their ideas led
to an investigation across a wide range of interests but with no immediate
answer to the question of consistency. Instead, the influence of Wittgenstein
led to an interest in the social programme of the Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy
who had turned his back on his major works to write criticism and parables.
I experienced a strong desire to explore the priority of life over art.
It was in this frame of mind that we, my partner Maree, my daughters
and I, considered moving from Auckland into the countryside. I had been
raised on the central plateau of the North Island under Mount Ruapehu so
the idea of revisiting the mountains was appealing. In 1981 we moved to
provincial life under its near neighbour Mount Taranaki where our youngest
daughter was born. With the move I renewed the process of rejigging my
mind. I read widely and thought at length about the impasse of the Auckland
Around 1985 a set of circumstances led to a health crisis out of which
I struggled. In that period, in which morning and night I walked the road
(Ladies Mile) around our property, the philosophic realisation that preceded
the insights into the Sonnets came with a rush of clarity. My thoughts found
their correct logical place whenever I held the underlying idea in mind.
Though I had no capacity to articulate such a claim, I sensed I had moved
past the difficulties in Wittgenstein’s work. I wrote the thoughts out and
aired them briefly but without consequence.
In 1988 I began a period of figurative sculpture. After an exhibition in
Wanganui, in 1994, a friend handed me a copy of Ted Hughes’ Shakespeare
and the Goddess of Complete Being. As a result I began attending monthly
Shakespeare readings in Wanganui to familiarise myself with the plays.
When, a year later, the group read the whole set of Shake-speares Sonnets I
was struck with the realisation that they embodied the same paradigm as
the one I had written out in a rudimentary way 8 years before. The intensity
of the realisation corresponded to the sculptural surge in 1972 and the rush
of ideas in 1986.
For the next few months I experienced a series of revelations that
exposed and clarified the structure and themes of the Sonnets. Night and
day the interrelating elements and the corresponding numerology pieced
themselves together. I was stunned by the philosophic brilliance expressed
so beautifully in the form of sonnets. I apprehended then, and claim now,
that the Sonnets present the logical conditions for a complete philosophy, as
well as the criteria for effective artistic practice at a mythic level of expression.
In the period since 1995 there has been a continual unraveling of the
meaning of the Sonnets.
The book prepared from the findings of the last few years, details the
philosophy of William Shakespeare evident in the Sonnets, poems, and plays.
To do this with some coherence, and to do justice to the amount of original
material, the book has been divided into four volumes. At all times it should
be remembered that the four volumes are one book. If a point about the
Sonnet philosophy seems to be addressed cursorily or inadequately in one
volume, there is every likelihood it is addressed at length elsewhere.
The first volume presents the philosophy of Shake-speares Sonnets. The
philosophy was structured and numbered into the Sonnets by Shakespeare
before its publication in 1609 in the book known as Q. The volume shows
how the structure of the whole set of 154 sonnets is the key to understanding
its inherent logic. It demonstrates how Shakespeare was able to use the
sonnet form to present a philosophic treatise of logical precision and poetic
The second volume presents a full set of commentaries on the 154
sonnets. It demonstrates that, when the reading is based on the inherent
philosophy of the Sonnets, a consistent understanding of the individual
sonnets is possible. The volume also includes a detailed dismissal of the traditional
The third volume examines the way in which all the plays and longer
poems are based on the philosophy elaborated in the Sonnets. It shows the
presence of the philosophy in a selection of nine poems and plays and
suggests Shakespeare had arrived at the rudiments of his philosophy before
he wrote the plays and that every play is based on his philosophy. It is not
possible to understand the plays and poems without first understanding the
philosophy presented by Shakespeare in the Sonnets of 1609.
The fourth volume focuses on the contribution of Darwin, Wittgenstein,
Duchamp and Mallarmé to the possibility of understanding Shakespeare’s
philosophy. It compares the philosophy of Shake-speares Sonnets to the apologetic tradition based in the rationalisation of religious belief. It critiques the
reliance of Sonnet commentary on the apologetic tradition over the last 400
Before giving a synopsis of the Sonnet philosophy, and hence an outline of
the organisation of this volume, a brief description of the original 1609
edition of the Shake-speares Sonnets is required. (A facsimile of the original
appears in the appendices.)
The survey of the principal elements of Sonnets begins the process of
demonstrating the involvement of Shakespeare as author in every aspect of
the writing and publication of Q in 1609 (where Q stands for ‘quarto’, a
page size obtained by folding a printed sheet twice). The book known as
Q is the basis for demonstrating that the organisation and arrangement of
the Sonnets, both in its overall logical structure and in the typographical
details, expresses a singular philosophy of great coherence and consistency.
Shakespeare organised Q so that its sonnets give expression to the
principal components of his philosophy. From the title page, to the
Dedication, to the set of 154 sonnets, to the final long poem, the whole
book is a model universe that replicates the logical coherence of the natural
world. The logic of Shakespeare’s philosophy is apparent from beginning to
end. Only by viewing the book as a whole, in the light of the philosophy,
do the seeming idiosyncrasies of the various elements cohere.
Shakespeare’s attitude to Q is consistent with the presence of its
philosophy throughout his other works. The logical relationship of parts
evident in Q holds for the relationship of Q to all the plays and other poems.
Shakespeare’s oeuvre stands apart from everything else because it is driven
by a precise expression of natural logic.
To appreciate Shakespeare’s works only one standard applies. When
aspects of his oeuvre are separated out for consideration, the guiding
principle is always the inherent philosophy of the Sonnets. For instance, when
mystic addition is mentioned no amount of delving into Renaissance use
of the procedure will reveal Shakespeare’s intent. Only the philosophy
purposely presented in the Sonnets can provide the necessary level of logic.
The elements considered here are:
The title page
The Dedication (1 page in Q)
154 sonnets entitled Shake-speares Sonnets, (65 pages in Q)
A 329 line poem entitled A Lover's Complaint. (11 pages in Q)
The title page
The title page (Fig 1) identifies the set of sonnets as SHAKE-SPEARES
SONNETS. This form of hyphenated spelling of Shakespeare’s name is
maintained throughout the set at the top of every second page. It also appears
in ‘WILLIAM SHAKE-SPEARE’, below the heading of A Lover’s
FIG 1: Title page from Q
The claim ‘Never before Imprinted’ asserts that Q is the first edition of
the Sonnets. There is evidence that some, if not most, of the Sonnets were
written in the 1590s. The use of sonnets in the earlier plays, the paraphrasing
in the plays of sonnets from Q, the inclusion of two Q sonnets in The
Passionate Pilgrim of 1599, and references to a collection of Shakespeare’s
sonnets in late sixteenth century Elizabethan literature all point to the 1590s
as the formative period for writing early versions of the sonnets before the
final arrangement in Q in the years up to 1609. On the understanding
presented here the earlier sonnets were revised (there are differences between
the two Passionate Pilgrim sonnets and the final versions in Q) and added to
in the 1600s until, in the period before publication, the last few were written
to bring the number to 154. Sonnets 126, 135, 136 and 145, particularly,
are later additions that refer to the philosophic numbering of the whole set.
Among the details at the bottom of the page, the initials ‘T. T.’ and the
date 1609 are worthy of note. The initials stand for Thomas Thorpe, the
publisher who entered ‘a book called Shakespeare’s sonnettes’ in the Register
at Stationers’ Hall on 20th May 1609. The T. T. is an important part of the
encrypted meaning of the Dedication (see 5.2). The date makes the publication
of the Sonnets contemporary with plays such as Cymbeline. The theatres
were closed between July 1608 and December 1609 due to the plague (as
they were in 1593 when Shakespeare published Venus and Adonis and wrote
Lucrece). This would have provided time in which to prepare the Sonnets for publication. The date 1609 can be read as a shorthand representation of the
logical relation between the Mistress and the Master Mistress as presented in
sonnet 11. The relation is considered in the numerological details in 5.3.
At the top of the page is an image from a block print featuring two curvilinear
organic forms astride which are Eros figures. They rise from a truncated
central figure below which emerge two grotesqueries. Nestled beneath are
two rabbits. The image, and the ones above the first sonnet and at the end of
A Lover’s Complaint, are typical of the time. The eroticism and the organic
basis of the image are in keeping with the natural logic of the whole set and its
two major sequences.
The Dedication (Fig 2) ,which has mystified every commentator since the
Sonnets were published, is in a form used previously by Thomas Thorpe in
publications for other poets. Commentators have filled many volumes trying
to find a literal meaning for Shakespeare’s arrangement of the words, or they
have speculated on an ulterior purpose for the apparent obscurity.
FIG 2: Dedication from Q
This reading confirms there is no literal meaning. Instead it shows the conventional form was adapted by Shakespeare to encrypt the basic numerological and thematic structure of the whole set. The dots after every word in the text, the total number of letters in the Dedication and the presence
of the two sets of initials ‘W. H.’ and ‘T. T.’, are deliberate devices inserted
by Shakespeare. As a consequence, the Dedication incorporates the most
significant numbers of the set: 154, 28, 126, 145, 1, and 9. The initials ‘W.
H.’, for instance, are a cryptic reference to a fundamental numbering in the
logic of the Sonnets based on the numbers 1 and 9, representing the understanding
of the Poet. (For a full account see 5.3.)
Following the title page and the Dedication there are 65 pages devoted to
the complete set of 154 sonnets. ‘SHAKE-SPEARES, SONNETS’appears
over the head of the first sonnet, which is unnumbered, with the remaining
sonnets being numbered from 2 to 154. On most pages (but not all) the last
sonnet straddles two pages creating a sense of continuity throughout the set.
This is a deliberate arrangement allowing Shakespeare to incorporate a
structure for time within the Sonnets (see 1.26).
Every sonnet in the set has 14 lines except for sonnet 99 with 15 lines
and sonnet 126 with 12 lines. All the sonnets are in pentameters with
alternate rhyming quatrains and a rhyming couplet (ababcdcdefefgg) except
for sonnet 126 which is in couplets throughout, and sonnet 145 which is
in octosyllables. All the variations are deliberate and have a role in the presentation
of the Sonnet logic.
The complete set of Sonnets, numbering 154, represents Nature as the
prime entity in Shakespeare’s philosophy. The whole set is then divided into
two major sequences. The first 126 sonnets are written to a youth, the
Master Mistress, and the remaining 28 sonnets to a woman, the Mistress.
The three elements, Nature, the Master Mistress, and the Mistress, form the
basic logical unit of the set. The deliberate arrangement of the whole set
with its two sequences is the key to appreciating the philosophic dynamic
or natural logic of the Sonnets.
Within the 126 sonnets to the Master Mistress there are three groupings.
The first 14 sonnets argue for the significance of ‘increase’, or the basic
requirement for human persistence. Sonnet 14 states the logical relation of
increase to the dynamic of truth and beauty or the process of understanding.
There is then an interlude of 5 poetry and increase sonnets (15 to 19) that
establish the relation between the increase argument and poetry. The
remaining sonnets (20 to 126) consider the truth and beauty dynamic with
regard to the youth.
The 28 Mistress sonnets (127 to 154) contain the definitive presentation
of the beauty and truth dynamic. Beauty as seeing (127 to 137) and then
truth as saying (137 to 152), are given logical formulation in the Mistress
sequence because the Mistress is prior to the Master Mistress (see 1.16). The
last two sonnets (153 and 154) are in the mode of classic epigrams.
Numerologically they recapitulate the Mistress sequence and provide a final
flourish for the whole set. The allegorical nature of the flourish prepares
the way for A Lover’s Complaint.
Shakespeare introduces his mythic level of understanding into the set in
the guise of the Poet. The Poet is initially encountered in the first person
in sonnet 10 as ‘I’, ‘my’ and ‘me’, and is called the Poet for the first time in
sonnet 17. Sonnet 145 is also structurally placed to identify the Poet.
Shakespeare contrasts the Poet’s natural logic with an immature rival poet
who is only capable of expressing the adolescent understanding of the Master
Mistress or youth. The rival poet’s inadequacies are addressed in the group
of 9 sonnets at the mid-point of the set (78 to 86).
The K and A
Under sonnet 154 are the letters K and A (Fig 3). The K is the printer’s
collation mark for the page and the A is the first letter from the title A Lover’s
Complaint on the following page. The feature has a cryptic significance that
uses the words ‘WILLIAM SHAKE-SPEARE’ from under the title of A
Lover’s Complaint. When enlarged the name fits exactly over the K and A
FIG 3: The last page of Sonnets from Q
A Lover's Complaint
A Lover’s Complaint (Fig 4) is a long poem complementary to the Sonnet
sequence. It presents in allegorical form the germ of the philosophy fully
articulated in the Sonnets. Its numerological structure is appropriately simpler.
Of note is the change from A Lover’s to The Lovers on the last page (see
FIG 4: A Lover’s Complaint, heading from Q
The layout in Q
In Q, the 154 sonnets in the complete set flow from page to page to
enhance the sense of continuity (Fig 5). Sonnets begun at the bottom of a
page continue on the following page in a way that corresponds to the curvilinear
shape in the block print of the title page.
FIG 5: Sonnets 8 to 12 from Q
The arrangement has a pattern. After the first 9 sonnets, sonnet 10 begins
at the top of the page. From then on every twelfth sonnet appears at the
top of a page. Sonnet 154 has a page to itself. Therefore there are 9 sonnets
followed by 144 sonnets and then number 154.
The arrangement introduces a temporal pattern (Diag 1) into the
sequence (see 1.26).
DIAG 1: Temporal pattern based on 12
An important distinction is also made between the first 9 sonnets and
the following 145 (see 1.25 and 3.8).
9 + 145 = 154
The pattern provides a reason for the paired brackets under sonnet 126
in the original (Fig 6). The brackets maintain the spacing to allow sonnet
130 to top a page in keeping with the pattern of 12s. The brackets also play
a part in the suggestive form of the whole set (see 5.7)
FIG 6: Brackets after sonnet 126
Whether or not Shake-speares Sonnets contain a philosophy has long been
debated. The frequently expressed sense of mystery or perplexity toward the
whole set has led to the belief they are fundamentally incoherent or so
personal as to defy interpretation. The purpose of this volume is to demonstrate
that Shakespeare did have a unique philosophy and that he deliberately
organised his Sonnets to give it expression.
Despite many attempts over the years to discover a philosophy in the
Sonnets the understanding of their meaning has progressed no further than the
commonplace that they contain no inherent philosophy. Wordsworth,
Hazlitt, and Eliot, for instance, held that they contain no philosophy or, as
Eliot expressed it, only a ‘rag-bag philosophy’. Others such as Coleridge,
Croce, and Strachey regarded them as deeply philosophical but have acknowledged
their inability to comprehend, much less articulate, the philosophy.
Ted Hughes in Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being did attempt
to account for the ‘mythical’ depth of the Sonnets by deriving a ‘tragic
equation’ from the early poems as a generating principle for some of the
later plays. His attempt, though, was fatally restricted by his Neo-Platonist
sympathies. His preference for the mythological elements over the ‘realism’
in the poems and plays made it impossible for him to move past the traditional
misconceptions of the Sonnets.
The evidence presented in this volume shows that the dependency of
most commentators on the traditional Judeo/Christian paradigm leads to
their inadequacy when confronted with the works of Shakespeare. This
volume presents an appreciation of the Sonnets that moves beyond the inadequacies.
It demonstrates that Shakespeare had a systematic philosophy and
that he used the sonnet form to give it comprehensive and consistent expression.
It shows how the Sonnets articulate the logical principles for expression
at a mythic depth. The logical criteria presented in the Sonnets provide the
philosophic basis for the mythic achievement of his plays and other poems.
The volume demonstrates that the Sonnets as published in the original
edition of 1609 are a consistent and coherent philosophic statement requiring
none of the subsequent reordering, omissions, or emendations. It acknowledges
Shakespeare’s role in organising them into an exact system to represent
his thought. The conformity of the logic of the philosophy with the structure
and numbering in the original will become evident as the various aspects of
the Sonnets are considered.
The four volumes contend that the whole set of Sonnets, indeed nearly every
aspect of Q, was configured by Shakespeare to present his philosophy. Once
he laid out the individual sonnets to articulate the logical components of
the philosophy and numbered the set appropriately, he organised the
incidental components of the publication to conform to significant numerological
relationships in the Sonnet logic. He then added A Lover’s Complaint
to counterpoint the precision of the Sonnet structure.
Of immediate concern in this introduction is the logical arrangement
of the whole set with its precisely arranged internal sequences. Nature as
the whole set of Sonnets, the division of the set into two sequences representing
the female and male possibilities, the increase argument of the first
14 sonnets and the truth and beauty dynamic of the rest of the sonnets
provide the key elements in Shakespeare’s philosophy. Because this volume
is based on the philosophy of the Sonnets, this introduction to the logical
arrangement of the Sonnets doubles as a synopsis of the organisation of the
material in the volume. The ways in which the various aspects of Q are,
even playfully, incorporated into the expression of the philosophy will
become apparent as the Sonnets are considered in greater detail throughout
the five Parts of the volume.
While reading this introduction to the Sonnet logic it should be remembered
that the Sonnets were written by a philosopher/poet who was able to
incorporate his philosophy seamlessly into the poetic form of the sonnet.
When the logic of the Sonnets is abstracted to demonstrate its consistency
and comprehensiveness, it is done with the understanding that the poetic
form of the sonnet is the most appropriate vehicle for the philosophy and
that every aspect of the abstracted logic is readily evident in the philosophic
structuring of the Sonnets as presented in Q in 1609.
The evidence and arguments that identify and describe the function of
the logical components associated with Nature, increase, and truth and
beauty respectively are presented in Parts 1 to 3. At the end of each Part the
logical relationships are represented as a diagram or template. The individual
templates are then combined at the end of Part 3 in the complete template to
provide a graphic image of the underlying logic of Shakespeare’s philosophy.
Because of the consistency of the logic, the complete template represents
the underlying conditions for every possibility in the world and so for the
logical relation between the world and the human mind. In Wittgenstein’s
phrase, Shakespeare’s logic exhibits the correct ‘logical multiplicity’ between
the mind and the world. Whereas Wittgenstein failed to articulate the conditions
for such a logic, and in his later period gave away the idea of doing so,
Shakespeare had articulated the conditions in his Sonnets over 300 years
earlier. (As argued throughout these four volumes, traditional contradictions
or inconsistencies, as evident in the application of biblical mythology to life,
can be shown to be the result of distortions or corruptions of the complete
Nature and the sexual dynamic
Shakespeare’s decision to have 154 sonnets in the complete set was deliberate
as it set up the basis for a logical unit of meaning. The logical unit is
made up of the whole set of 154 sonnets, representing Nature, plus the two
part division of the set into the female sequence of 28 sonnets and the male
sequence of 126 sonnets. The evidence for the significance of the whole
set and its sub-sequences will be considered in Part 1. What cannot be
overlooked is the presence in the arrangement of the Sonnets of the sexual
division in Nature into the female and male possibilities.
Diagram 2 represents the dynamic.
DIAG 2: Nature template
Or in the terminology of the Sonnets (Diag 3).
DIAG 3: Nature template (Sonnets)
The logical unit of Nature/female/male is immediately evident as the
first order of structure in the Sonnets. The relation of the whole set and its
sub-sequences forms the primary template from which the remainder of the
philosophy is derived.
The logical unit, presented in the form of a diagram throughout this
volume, is the elementary form of the natural logic dynamic. The elementary
form is abstracted from the natural interrelationship between the multiplicity
of elements in Nature all the way from the sexual dynamic to the dynamic of
truth and beauty. It is the logical unit behind the genealogical tree of descent
or any other branching structure with continuities and cul-de-sacs.
The diagrams or templates used in this volume to reveal the logic of
Shakespeare’s philosophy implicitly have the multiplicity of form inherent
in the logical unit. With Nature taken as the basis of all possibilities, each
template represents a dynamic of branching possibilities. The possibilities
of interrelationship can be represented by extensions of the basic template.
Once the possibility of female and male is present in Nature, the male needs
to return to the female to increase and the female then gives birth to female
and male to continue the dynamic. The line of continuity has been sustained
across generations as all existing sexual beings have an unbroken lineage back
to the original conditions for sexual division (Diag 4). (The possibility of a
generation increasing or not increasing is at the heart of natural logic).
DIAG 4: Multiplicity in Nature
Because of the consistency of natural logic, the same extensions to the
template for the sexual dynamic out of Nature can represent a possible series
of interconnections in the dynamic of truth and beauty (Diag 5).
DIAG 5: Multiplicity in the mind
Once the implications of the logical unit of Nature/female/male are
appreciated then all representations of the logical unit can be read as representing
The first 14 sonnets of the set provide the next component of the complete
template. The increase sonnets (1 to 14), which occur at the beginning of
the sequence to the male, follow logically upon the primary template. The
increase argument of the first 14 sonnets establishes the logical requirement
for the reunification of the male with the female in the conception and birth
of a child. This recombination of male with female for human nature
logically mirrors the dynamic of sexual division in Nature. The evidence
for the increase argument is considered in Part 2.
When represented as a diagram (Diag 6) it can be seen that the increase
dynamic has the same form as the Nature template.
DIAG 6: Increase template
In the terminology of the Sonnets (Diag 7).
DIAG 7: Increase template (Sonnets)
The Nature template and the increase template can then be combined
to express the logical conditions for existence of human kind as a physical
or bodily being (Diag 8).
DIAG 8: Body template
The structure of the whole set and sub-sequences plus the argument of
the first 14 sonnets is devoted to establishing the logical conditions for bodily
existence prior to the possibility of having a mind. Together they provide
the given on which the logic of the rest of the sonnets devoted to truth and
beauty (the remaining 140 sonnets) is based.
So logically, the structure of the whole set and its two sequences is prior
to the increase dynamic. Similarly, the increase dynamic is prior to or
provides the logical basis for the remaining 140 sonnets whose principal
theme is truth and beauty.
Truth and Beauty
Because logically the female is prior to the male, the definitive presentation
of the relation between beauty and truth occurs in the Mistress sequence.
The Mistress sonnets characterise beauty archetypically as seeing (127 to
137) and truth archetypically as saying (137 to 152). Diagrammatically, the
relationship of truth and beauty is isomorphic with the logical unit out of
Nature (Diag 9).
DIAG 9: Beauty and truth template
The template represents the logical relation between beauty (sensations)
and truth (ideas) as expressed in sonnet 137 where what is sensed as best or
worst becomes articulated through saying as true or false. The Mistress
sonnets from 127 to 152 are devoted to exploring the logical distinction
between ‘seeing’ and ‘saying’. Then the intensely erotic final two sonnets of
the Mistress sequence (153, 154) prepare for the return to the beginning of
the set with its increase argument.
Because the increase sonnets in the Master Mistress sequence relate to
physical or sensory processes only beauty is mentioned in the sonnets before
sonnet 14. Then, in sonnet 14, the dynamic of truth and beauty is introduced
in the final few lines in preparation for the role of truth and beauty as the
logical basis for the remaining sonnets to the Master Mistress (Diag 10).
DIAG 10: Truth and beauty template
The Master Mistress sequence from sonnet 15 to 126 considers the
consequences of the logic of truth and beauty for the male. The arguments
of the sequence provide logical remedies for illogical appreciations of the
truth and beauty dynamic consequent upon the desire to excessively idealise
truth and beauty. The significance of the truth and beauty dynamic as the
logical basis for the sequence is evident in the 7 occasions the words truth
and beauty appear together in a sonnet from sonnet 17 to 101. The evidence
for the truth and beauty dynamic in the Mistress and Master Mistress
sequences is considered in Part 3.
The tendency to say truth and beauty rather than beauty and truth in
the Master Mistress sequence is symptomatic of the difference between
Master Mistress and the Mistress sequences. Truth precedes beauty in the
Master Mistress sonnets because the principal focus, after the increase
sonnets, is on the relation between the use of words as language in saying
and sensations that arise in the mind from the use of those words. The
dynamic of truth and beauty represents the relation between words and
sensations formed in the mind. The sequence explores the consequence of
the relation between ideas and sensations when ideas are reduced to sensations
in the mind. Such sensations of the mind account for the sense of the
ideal commonly associated with the experience of God as a superhuman
potentiality. The sequence to the male, then, is the appropriate forum for
critiquing the idea of the ideal or God.
By first taking the logical implications of sexual differentiation in Nature
as a given, Shakespeare is able to articulate the necessary conditions for the
persistence of human nature. He is then able to demonstrate the implications
of those preconditions for logical functioning of the human mind. As
a consequence of its logical dependence on sexual persistence in Nature,
he characterises the human mind as erotic or consequent upon the sexual
possibility. The templates for beauty and truth and truth and beauty can be
combined to give a diagram for the logical function of the mind (Diag 11).
DIAG 5: Mind Template
The simple and effective system structured into the whole set allows
Shakespeare to characterise the logical relation between Nature as a whole
and human nature as a part of Nature.
The complete template
It should be evident from the templates for the body and the mind that there
is an isomorphism between the two aspects of human being. This must be
logically the case if the human mind is an aspect of Nature. The isomorphism
confirms that the correct logical multiplicity exists in Shake-speares
Sonnets for the relation of the body and the mind. The combination of the
templates for Nature and the sexual dynamic, increase, and truth and beauty
represent the complete dynamic of the relation of Nature and human nature
as body and mind (Diag 12).
DIAG 12: Complete template
In the terminology of the Sonnets (Diag 13).
DIAG 13: Complete template (Sonnets)
The position of truth and beauty as a logical element in the overall
structure of the Sonnet logic gives the dynamic of understanding a precise
definition lacking in the treatment of ideas and sensations in traditional
philosophy. Because of the logical consistency of their derivation from
Nature, Shakespeare is able to use the terms truth and beauty to characterise
correctly the natural logic of ideas and sensations. The precise presentation
of the truth and beauty dynamic also allows for a clarification of the meaning
of the traditional philosophical concepts, ethics and aesthetics (see 3.119).
The Poet of the Sonnets is the one who comprehends the logic of the
dynamic characterised by the complete template. The Poet understands the
logical priorities inherent in the relationship between Nature and the sexual
possibility, between the sexual possibility and increase, and between increase
and truth and beauty. The Poet appreciates that the sexual is prior to the
erotic and that the fundamental distinction between the sexual and the erotic
resides in the capacity of the sexual to produce a child and the incapacity
of the erotic to produce a child without recourse to the sexual.
As a consequence any form of expression from the human mind is erotic
and most typically any form of mythical expression acknowledges its
inherent eroticism by having its entities reproduced by non-sexual means.
The biblical myth is a typical instance of a myth whose blatant eroticism (in
the non-sexual formation of Adam and Eve in Genesis and in the non-sexual
conception and birth of Christ in the Gospels) logically acknowledges its
secondary status to the sexual dynamic in Nature.
The logical consistency of the Sonnet structure, established by the Poet,
provides the basis for a consideration of the mythic level of expression in a
culture. Shakespeare addresses the philosophic status of the mythic through
the role of the Poet in the Sonnets. In this he differs from all other philosophers
who do not account for the function of myth, nor give it direct
expression, in their work. Shakespeare shows in the Sonnets (and in his plays
and poems) that the effective expression by a Poet of the relation between
the sexual and the erotic constitutes the mythic, or the logic of mythology.
Because this understanding is conditional on the priority of the body as the
sexual and the consequent status of the mind as erotic as laid down in the
Sonnets, the Sonnets themselves are a consistent expression of the basic criteria
for the mythic.
The Poet introduces himself into the Sonnets in the first person in sonnet
10 only after he has stated the logical condition for the possibility of love
in sonnet 9. All forms of love, whether heterosexual, homosexual, or the
love of Gods, have their logical basis in the possibility of increase out of
Nature. The Poet then devotes 5 sonnets immediately after the increase
sonnets, at the beginning of the truth and beauty dynamic (sonnets 15 to
19), to stating the logical distinction between the sexual and the erotic. They
establish the priority of the sexual over any form of expression and recognise
the complete dependency of any form of expression on the sexual dynamic.
DIAG 14: Complete template (Sonnet numbers)
In the diagram of the complete template (Diag 14) the sign for ‘is prior
to’ symbolises the logical function of the poetry and increase sonnets.
Without the proviso of the poetry and increase sonnets the Sonnet logic
would not provide a consistent basis for understanding and expression. Each
section of the complete template can be identified with a particular grouping
It will become apparent that the Sonnets not only articulate the logical
relationship between Nature and human nature but also give expression to
the relationship by presenting the philosophy in poetic form. The appreciation
of the relation generates a set of sonnets that are inherently logical and
simultaneously mythic. The Sonnets are a testament to the logical conditions
for a complete expression of Shakespeare’s philosophy at a mythic level.
The way a particular culture expresses its mythology indicates its attitude
to the logical relation between the erotic and the sexual, and a particular
culture can only be superseded when its mythology is reformulated to
meet the needs of the changed circumstances. The Western World still
tacitly adheres to biblical mythology because no one has yet appreciated
Shakespeare’s consistent reformulation of the mythic conditions for the
The Sonnets are renowned for their unparalleled treatment of love,
immortality, the idea of God, time, music, and many other areas of human
experience, in all their various possibilities. Once Shakespeare organised the
Sonnets according to the requirements of natural logic he could then incorporate
or discuss any aspect of human existence with complete consistency.
Shakespeare is able to do this with feeling and constancy because he adheres
to the natural logic of humankind in its experience in the world. How the
natural logic of the Sonnets characterises the various areas of experience will
emerge in the following pages.
The substantive evidence and argument presented in this volume for the
philosophy of the Sonnets reflects the soundness of the insights derived from
the works of Darwin, Wittgenstein, Mallarmé and Duchamp. In particular,
the philosophic attitude common to Darwin, Wittgenstein, Mallarmé and
Duchamp (considered in Volume 4) was critical to the development of the
insights. Though they were expert in different disciplines, they had a
common desire to see the world without prejudice.
Because Shakespeare had the same philosophic expectation, the combined contributions of Darwin, Duchamp, and Wittgenstein have enabled an appreciation of the comprehensiveness of Shakespeare's philosophy. The continuing revelations since 1995 of the detailed workings of the Sonnets are a consequence of the persistent application of the same philosophic attitude.
Charles Darwin, the scientist whose arguments and evidence confirmed
the significance of the evolutionary process, became a point of reference
because he used philosophy to establish a consistent case rather than to justify
an illogical point of view. His works have the integrity only possible to a
mind without significant prejudice. It is not surprising, then, that the three
parts of The Descent of Man have the same logical organisation as the Sonnets.
Ludwig Wittgenstein’s willingness to challenge the presumptions of
his early work, the Tractatus, by reinventing his philosophy in the Philosophical
Investigations, showed a desire to formulate a consistent philosophy of
language. The critical change was from a precise model of logic based on
atomic and molecular physics to one more closely related to the natural
conditions for human life. The emphasis on ‘family resemblances’, the
‘natural history of man’, and ‘forms of life’ in his later works is indicative of
the change toward a more natural logic. The Sonnets bring Wittgenstein’s
two distinct phases together by systematically combining a precise structure
based on the natural logic of life with a consistent articulation of the conditions
for human understanding.
Marcel Duchamp’s lifelong consistency in making seminal artworks was
based on an appreciation of art at the mythic level. His major works, the
Large Glass, the Etant donnes and the associated readymades, were based on
an understanding of the logic of aesthetics consistent with Shakespeare’s. At
the mythic level, the Large Glass has the same logical structure as the Sonnets.
Significantly, Duchamp acknowledged the influence of the French poet
Stephane Mallarmé. Mallarmé’s deep symbolism, evident throughout his
writing, used some of the principles of the Shakespearean sonnet. The
‘grand oeuvre’, or the definitive work Mallarmé hoped to write, was anticipated
300 years earlier by Shake-speares Sonnets.
The work of Darwin, Wittgenstein, Mallarmé and Duchamp provided
the bridging point for the appreciation of Shake-speares Sonnets presented in
this volume. After 6 years of research into the logic of the Sonnets the original
dependence on the contributions of Darwin, Wittgenstein, Mallarmé and
Duchamp to articulate the logic was reduced to a minimum. The Sonnet
philosophy is expressed here with the concepts used by Shakespeare
throughout his works. Consequently, the Sonnet philosophy can now be used
to provide a critique of the work of Darwin, Wittgenstein, Mallarmé and
Duchamp. The division of the book into four volumes has enabled the work
of the four contributors to be considered separately in the fourth volume.
To get a measure of the achievement of the Sonnets it is instructive to
compare the contribution of Shakespeare’s natural philosophy with the
systematic advances associated with Galileo and Darwin. Galileo overthrew
the biblical/Ptolemaic picture of the heavens by demonstrating the natural
logic of the planetary system, and Darwin grounded the biblical/Christian
misrepresentation of life on earth in the natural processes of the planet.
While Galileo corrected the view of the universe and Darwin corrected the
view of organic life on the planet to conform with natural logic, no one
has yet been credited with systematically presenting the natural logic of the
workings of the human mind.
The achievement of the Sonnets suggests Shakespeare is the first thinker to
articulate systematically the natural logic of the human mind. His philosophy
completes and logically encapsulates the progress made by Galileo and
Darwin. However, no scholar in Shakespearean studies, or other fields of
endeavour such as philosophy and science, has yet explained or even noted
Shakespeare’s achievement except in the vaguest of terms when they call him
a universal genius or the centre of the Western Canon (Harold Bloom).
In general terms the modern world is still in the grip of the influence
of the orthodox Judeo/Christian paradigm. This is despite the advances
made by Galileo and Darwin. The way of seeing the world has changed,
but the way of thinking about it in depth has not been challenged systematically.
Shakespeare’s philosophy is the first to provide just such a systematic
challenge with the presentation in the Sonnets of the natural logic of human
understanding. He completes the process begun by Galileo and seconded
by Darwin. The irony is that he expressed his understanding 250 years before
Darwin published his Origin of Species, and around the same time that Galileo
published some of his findings. Yet no one has comprehended the implications
of his contribution, much less demonstrated how he articulated his
philosophy in the Sonnets as the basis for the plays and poems.
It has been easier for orthodoxy to appreciate and assimilate the advance
made by a thinker if the contribution is associated with a technical innovation.
Galileo and then Darwin and then Shakespeare are associated in
lessening degrees with specific aids to discovery. Galileo would not have
confirmed the heliocentricity of the solar system without turning the telescope
to the heavens. Darwin would not have demonstrated human descent
from the apes through an evolutionary process of inestimable duration
without the evidence gathered during his circumnavigation of the globe. But
only in very general terms can it be said that Shakespeare benefited from the
Gutenberg revolution, or other features of the Renaissance such as the vogue
for sonnets. Technical advances simply cannot account for Shakespeare’s
precise presentation of the natural logic of humankind in the Sonnets.
As a corollary, because the astronomical revolution of Galileo had few
implications for the workings of the mind, orthodoxy has found it easier to
accommodate. Although it has been less easy for orthodoxy to accept the
full implications of the Darwinian revolution, especially the idea that minds
evolve from the potentialities of previous species, generally its basic tenets
were not under threat from his mainly empirical arguments. Christian apologetics
has assimilated the challenges by accommodating the new sciences into
But Shakespeare’s natural logic completely undermines the edifice of
apologetics or the philosophical justification of idealistic dogma. Because
the Sonnets issue such an uncompromising challenge to orthodox prejudices
about the body/mind relationship, no one in the world has yet seen past
the orthodox view to appreciate the philosophy of Shakespeare. Humankind
has adjusted to Galileo and Darwin but has not yet squared up to the advance
prepared for by the Sonnets.
The mythology that developed while the biblical/Platonic model for the
structure of universe and life on earth prevailed has not been questioned
systematically. When Kant, for instance, claimed to be bringing about a
Copernican revolution in philosophy he simply adjusted Christian ideology
to the new discoveries without challenging the underlying mythology that
was the basis for the old misconceptions. In the Critique of Practical Reason
he revealed his apologist agenda when he reintroduced the ideas of God and
immortality dismissed in the Critique of Pure Reason. Traditional mythological
misconceptions have prevailed to the present day without a comprehensive
logical challenge. (See the essay on Riane Eisler in Volume 4.)
The rise in scepticism over the last few hundred years is another symptom
of the inability to appreciate the natural logic given expression in the Sonnets.
Scepticism has burgeoned, since the Enlightenment, as a response to the
critiques of biblical dogmas by Hume, Kant, etc. There was good reason,
it seemed, to be sceptical about the possibility of a definitive understanding
of the logic of life if the Judeo/Christian attempt could get it so wrong.
On the evidence presented here, Shakespeare wrote a philosophic tract
in the Sonnets of 1609 that critiques the contradictions of traditional
mythology by identifying the logical basis of the mythic and so avoids the
abyss of scepticism. But a combination of the apologetics typical of Kant
and scepticism typical of Hume has ensured the Sonnets have remained
buried in psychological speculation for 400 years. The Shakespeare who
emerges from this appreciation of the Sonnets and plays and poems is not an
apologist or a sceptic, however, but a philosopher who writes mythic poetry
and plays based in the natural logic of life. He is, even if it sounds somewhat
oxymoronic, a believer in life.
In the Sonnets, the primacy of Nature, the priority of the female over
the male, the priority of increase over the possibility of mind (and hence
the idea of God), are basic tenets of Shakespeare’s natural logic that correct
the illogical rationalisations of apologetics. The Sonnets are exceptional in
that they present the natural logic of the world in consistent argument and
demonstrate the consistency by presenting the argument in peerless poetry.
But Shakespeare goes further. He articulates the logical conditions for
the mythic. In 38 plays he demonstrates how to apply the philosophic
insights based in natural logic of the Sonnets to create literature at a mythic
level of expression. As a consequence his consistent approach provides a
critique of the illogical understanding of mythology typified by the heterogeneous
writings of the Bible and other mythologies whose male-based
dogmas seem driven by the psychology of socio-political prerogatives.
The natural logic of Shakespeare’s Sonnets provides the basis for the
constitution of a society free of the worst vagaries and prejudices of religious
belief. For instance, the American Constitution, ironically under the influence
of a partial reading of Shakespeare by the founding fathers, goes some way
toward remedying the inappropriateness of systems of mythological belief
as the basis for a socio-political order.
But American society is typical of cultures that are bedeviled in part by
the comic relationship between attributing natural disasters to ‘Mother
Nature’ and calling the fortuitous survival of individuals a miracle achieved
through faith in a male God. The continued public avowals of a faith in a
male God in such cultures creates countermanding personal and public
values and practices that reveal the disjunctions that occur when a male God
is given priority over Nature.
The consistency of Shakespeare’s natural philosophy toward both truth
and beauty provides a means to immediately assess retrograde beliefs that are
contrary to natural justice and morals. Just as Galileo’s astronomy outmoded
the retrograde configurations of Ptolemaic astrology, and Darwin’s empirical
findings revealed the hubris in enforcing biblical mythology as fact, Shakespeare’s
Sonnet logic establishes the basis for consistent mythic expression.
Traditional misinterpretation of Shakespeare’s works, typified by
commentators such as Harold Bloom in his The Invention of the Human, is
a logical consequence of the contradiction in values inherent in the orthodox
beliefs. By contrast, it is only necessary to read a play such as Coriolanus in
the light of the Sonnet philosophy to get a sense of its conformity to the
principles of natural logic. But Bloom dismisses Martius Caius Coriolanus
as a cardboard character and Volumnia, his mother, as one of the more
unpleasant hags in Shakespeare.
Bloom reveals his personal preference when uses the psychology of
Falstaff and Hamlet as a literary standard to critique the plays throughout
his commentaries. Without an insight into Shakespeare’s philosophy Bloom
presents a litany of opinions based on little more than personal taste. When
Bloom’s pre-eminence as a literary scholar is considered, the disjunction
provides a measure of the light distance Shakespeare is ahead of his interpreters.
Needless to say, the characteristics criticised by Bloom find their
correct value and purpose in the Sonnet philosophy, of which he demonstrates
his complete ignorance.
The universal appeal of Shakespeare’s poems and plays is consistent with
a Sonnet philosophy that articulates the natural logic of life. The natural logic
of the Sonnets avoids the apologetic philosophy typical of the last few
millennia. Even contemporary commentary has failed to discover the
inherent philosophy of the Sonnets, plays and other poems. Consistent with
the ease of characterisation in the plays, the possibility of understanding the
philosophy is inherent in every person. This volume is organised according
to the logic of the Sonnets to allow the reader to gauge the truth and beauty
of such claims.
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Roger Peters Copyright © 2005