In this post, I reveal several messages that are hidden in Shakespeare's First Folio (1623) with steganography. The messages are found in The Merchant of Venice, and the key word that reveals the message is "bar" or "barred." The legal definition of the word is intended, as in an obstacle or opposition. The line that prompted me to focus on this word is a line spoken by the character Portia: "O these naughtie times / Puts bars betweene the owners and their rights." Since I believe that one of the reasons that messages were hidden in the First Folio is to show that Edward de Vere was the illegitimate son of Thomas Seymour and Lady Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth I, I felt that this line was important enough to explore.
The method used to hide the message is a form of steganography (hiding messages in plain sight) where the letters or words of the message are divided into two parts. To reveal the message, the parts have to be combined in such a way that the message can be read. A good example of this can be found in the movie The Adventures of Tintin (2011). (Spoiler alert!) In the movie, the location of a lost treasure is hidden in three poems that have to be overlaid on each other to reveal the latitude and longitude of the treasure's location. Essentially, the three messages are the "McGuffin" -- a prop, object, or person that primarily exists to push the narrative forward.
The images below show three messages revealed when different pages of The Merchant of Venice are overlaid on each other. I use Photoshop to do this but the same results can be achieve with paper and pencil, so solving the messages does not require high-tech devices.
The Messages and the Prince Tudor Part II Theory:
The messages provide evidence that the Prince Tudor Part II theory is, in fact, correct. The Prince Tudor Part II theory posits that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, was the illegitimate son of an illicit relationship between Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, and Lord High Admiral, and Lady Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth I.
I know this is a controversial theory for Oxfordians, but I think the results are beyond mere coincidence.
Each solution shown in the images encodes the name Thomas Seymour in some variation of letters. The letter alignments seem close enough together that they cannot be coincidental. The letter alignments sometimes spell the name Seymour as "Sea-mour" or "Sea-more."
Image 3 shows messages that mention a "waterie Kingdom whose ambitious severed head" reaches high enough to "Spet in the face of heaven." These are references to the office held by Thomas Seymour -- Lord High Admiral -- and to the fact that Thomas Seymour was beheaded for treason on March 20, 1549. These references are also consistent with messages I have shown in other posts that refer to a "King of the Sea" and "Neptune," which may allude to Thomas Seymour or an office with the Brotherhood of the Rose Cross.
I have shown some proposed message solutions in the margins of the images; however, other variations of letter alignments, phrases, words, and word order are possible. For example, in Image 3, the following message can be pieced together:
"So sweete a barre
Should sunder such sweete friends: [heads] from [bodies]."
In this example, the words "heads" and "bodies" can be formed by letters in and around the phrase "is no barre."
Another solution is also possible:
"So sweete a barre Should sunder such sweete friends: Here in her haires [heirs]." This message would imply that Queen Elizabeth I had more than one living illegitimate child, all of whom where separated and placed with different foster parents. My point is that I only had so much space to put solutions in the margins of the images and other solutions are possible. Whatever variations exist in the message text, I believe the general implication of the meaningful word and letter alignments, buttressed by the gematria (see below), is that Thomas Seymour and Elizabeth had at least one illegitimate child, and that child was Edward de Vere.
Gematria of the Solutions:
Image 1 shows parts of page 173 and 174 of The Merchant of Venice overlaid on each other. As I have shown in the post about the Rosie Crosse messages on page 173, the values of the initial letters of Rosie Crosse (R.C.) are 17 and 3, respectively, in Simple cipher of the Elizabethan alphabet. The value of the letters in ELIZABETH TUDOR in Reverse cipher total 174.
Image 2 shows parts of page 167 and 173 of The Merchant of Venice overlaid on each other. 167 added to 173 equals 340 (167 + 173 = 340). 340 happens to be the total value of the letters in ELIZABETH TUDOR in the Kaye cipher.
The number 167 is the value in simple gematria of the letters of "Solamona's House" and also "Unfinished Work," and seems to be related to other significant numbers related to the Rosicrucians:
"In Francis Bacon's novel New Atlantis, the head of the government is called 'Salomon's House', and alternatively 'Salomona's House', as well as the 'College of the Six Days' Work' (note that 'Six Days' conveys the idea of perfected Creation). Note the strange forms of the otherwise more familiar name 'Solomon'. The numerical values of 'Salomon's House' perfectly match those of 'Unfinished Work' in both the Simple and Reverse ciphers , while the value of 'Salomon's House' in the Illuminati cipher is 157, a well-known Baconian signature that matches the values of 'Six Days' Work', 'William Tudor I', as well as 'Fra. Rosie Crosse' in the Simple cipher. These are all names that are deeply connected, one way or another, to Sir Francis Bacon...."
Note: I have been in contact with Luís Gonçalves, the author of the Gematria Research Blogspot (see link above). He noticed that the letters in FAMA FRATERNITATIS, the first Rosicrucian manifesto, add up to 173 in Simple cipher. (Nice catch Luís!) This is yet another association with the number 173 with the Rosicrucians.
Image 3 shows parts of page 171 and 174 of The Merchant of Venice overlaid on each other. As previously discussed in relation to the pages in Image 1, The value of the letters in ELIZABETH TUDOR in Reverse cipher total 174. 171 and 174 total 345. The only possible significance that I can assign to this number is that it may be a reference to a 3:4:5 right-hand triangle. The 3:4:5 right-hand triangle is significant to the Freemasons, and I have used this triangle to find messages that can be found in some of my previous posts.
I will add more to this explanation later, or revise it, when I have an opportunity; however, I believe the explanations in the images below should be self-explanatory.
In Image 4, below, sections of pages 173 and 169 are overlaid on each other. Again, the key word is "barre," as in the other examples. Letter alignments spelling the names "elisabeth tudor" (Elizabeth Tudor) and "thomas seymour" (Thomas Seymour) are revealed by the juxtaposition of the two sections of text. Note that the name "Tudor" is spelled in part by letters in the words "well studied." Get it, "well studied" and tutor/Tudor? In the word "Grandam," the word "dam" means "mother" and "Grand" alludes to the fact that Elizabeth was the queen, and a very grand personage as a result.
One of the messages shown in the image is: "One halfe of me is yours, [Elizabeth Tudor], and the other halfe yours, [Thomas Seymour]. This messages identifies Edward de Vere's true parents.
The pages used are 173 and 169. These values have interesting association in gematria. As I have mentioned above, the value 173 seems to represent the Brotherhood of the Rosie Crosse. The values of the initial letters of Rosie Crosse (R.C.) are 17 and 3, respectively, in Simple cipher. The value 169 is equal to the sum of the letters in "Earl of Oxford" in Reverse cipher.