THE SUITS OF WOE: OXFORD’S UNQUIET SOUL
An essay by WJ Ray
presented at the
16th Annual Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference
Concordia University, Portland Oregon
April 14, 2012

Preface

I would like to mention that without the vision and relentless determination of Dan Wright, I wouldn’t be here, and neither would you.

It is a long voyage to Ithaca
But on the way West will be many islands;
And the dolphins weaving the sea
And the sun in its eternal transit
Are propitious signs
Of a true bearing.

Introduction

“Tis not alone my inky cloak / good mother, / Nor customary suits of solemn black, / Nor windy suspiration of forc’d breath, / No, nor the fruitful river in the eye, / Nor the dejected havior of the visage, / Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief / That can denote me truly. These indeed seem, / For they are actions that a man might play; / But I have that within which passes show; / These but the trappings and the suits of woe.” (Hamlet, I.2.77-86)

We are looking for “that within which passes show”, the soul of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, putative author of the Shakespeare canon.

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