The Name Francis Bacon Hidden in Julius Caesar

In this post I will show where the name BACON is possibly hidden in Shakespeare’s First Folio, on page 110 of the Tragedies, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.

On page 110, Cassius and Brutus exchange words for the first time in the play. In the scene, Cassius is trying to determine whether Brutus opposes Caesar. Cassius begins by telling Brutus that he, Brutus, has been behaving in a cold and reserved manner towards his friends, including Cassius. Brutus responds that he has “veiled [his] look” and “I turne the trouble of my Countenance / Meerely vpon my selfe.” Cassius responds that as a response to Brutus’ reticence, he, Cassius, has hidden his own “[t]houghts of great value, worthy Cogitations.” Then, the following exchange occurs between Cassius and Brutus –

Tell me good Brutus, Can you see your face?

Brutus. No Cassius:

For the eye sees not it selfe but by reflection,

By some other things.

At this point, the name BACON appears in the letters of the words “Brutus” and “No Cassius.” It appears spelled backwards, as a reflection would. In the scene, Brutus says that one can only see oneself “by reflection,” and later Cassius says that he will act as Brutus’ mirror or reflecting “glass.” The alignment of the letters spelling BACON seem to visually imitate this metaphor.

Cassius closes the conversation with the following lines in which Cassius attests to his trustworthiness:

Cas. Therefore good Brutus, be prepar'd to heare:

And since you know, you cannot see your selfe

So well as by Reflection; I your Glasse,

Will modestly discouer to your selfe

That of your selfe, which you yet know not of.

And be not iealous on me, gentle Brutus:

Were I a common Laughter, or did vse

To stale with ordinary Oathes my loue

To euery new Protester: if you know,

That I do fawne on men, and hugge them hard,

And after scandall them: Or if you know,

That I professe my selfe in Banquetting

To all the Rout, then hold me dangerous.

Once again, there is an alignment of letters spelling BACON (shown in red).

What appears to be more significant are the final few lines:

Or if you know,

That I professe my selfe in Banquetting

To all the Rout, then hold me dangerous.

The lines point to a hidden message in the words “Banquetting” and “Rout” – “I profess my self in Banquetting / To all the Rout…” At this point, the words “Banquetting” and “Rout” hide the name BACON. The key to deciphering the clues are in the etymology of each word.

A banquet is “an elaborate, sumptuous meal; a feast.” The etymology of the word is:

[Middle English banket, from Old French, banquet, from Old Italian banchetto, from diminutive banco, bench, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English benc, bench.]

As can be seen, one origin of the word “banquet” can be traced, in part to Old Italian banchetto, from the diminuative "banco," of Germanic origin. The letters of banco can be rearranged, by moving the “N,” to spell BACON.

Furthermore, the Latin word for banquet is convivium. By placing the banquet above convivium, the words contain the name BACON:



(The Latin word convivium is related to the English word convivial:

[Late Latin convīviālis, from Latin convīvium, banquet : com-, com- + vīvere, to live]

It is interesting to note that the root of convivial contains the word vīvere, which may point to a hidden VERE as well.)

In the context of the lines, the word “rout” means a disorderly crowd of people, a mob. However, “rout” has another meaning: to root, as a swine. Therefore, the idea of a hog or swine rooting (at a banquet?) is alluded to in the lines. And, as many know, a hog cannot be Bacon until it is well hanged.

Once the hidden jest hiding the name BACON is understood, Ceasar’s speech about having fat men about him, and that Cassius has a “lean and hungry” look, and should be fatter, makes infinitely more sense – hogs raised for bacon must be fattened-up. I am sure that Francis Bacon's personality was just the opposite of the personality traits attributed to Cassius.

Caes. Let me haue men about me, that are fat,

Sleeke-headed men, and such as sleepe a-nights:

Yond Cassius has a leane and hungry looke,

He thinkes too much: such men are dangerous.

Ant. Feare him not Caesar, he's not dangerous,

He is a Noble Roman, and well giuen.

Caes. Would he were fatter; But I feare him not:

Yet if my name were lyable to feare,

I do not know the man I should auoyd

So soone as that spare Cassius. He reades much,

He is a great Obseruer, and he lookes

Quite through the Deeds of men. He loues no Playes,

As thou dost Antony: he heares no Musicke;

Seldome he smiles, and smiles in such a sort

As if he mock'd himselfe, and scorn'd his spirit

That could be mou'd to smile at any thing.

Such men as he, be neuer at hearts ease,

Whiles they behold a greater then themselues,

And therefore are they very dangerous.

I rather tell thee what is to be fear'd,

Then what I feare: for alwayes I am Caesar.

Come on my right hand, for this eare is deafe,

And tell me truely, what thou think'st of him.

There are numerous clues that Caesar’s lines here refer back to Cassius’ lines about banqueting and the “rout.” Some refer to whether Cassius is “dangerous.” Also, the line that Cassius “smiles in such a sort / As if he mock’d himself…” alludes to the fact that Francis Bacon has planted a little joke here and is, in fact, mocking himself.

The image below shows a circle centered on one instance of a BACON letter alignment. The circle is of a standard radius. It is one of three circles I use to discover messages hidden in the First Folio. I discuss how I discovered the circles in previous posts.

The image, with explanations in the margins, should be self-explanatory.

The circumference of the circle falls on or near the following text:

1. "I have veiled my countenance...I am vexed..." The etymology of "vexed" is 1375-1425, from Old French vexer, from Latin vexare to shake, jolt, annoy. Therefore, the appearance of the word "vexed" and this point may be an allusion to Shakespeare, or a more direct statement -- "I am Shakespeare."

2. Moving to the right in the image, the words "I was borne free as Caesar" may allude to the name "Francis," which can be traced to the concept of being free. Thus, there seems to be an association of FRANCIS with the BACON letter alignment at the center of the circle.

3. On page 111, the circumference crosses the words "names meat" (or "name [is] meat"). Obviously, this message is a pun that plays on the fact that Francis Bacon's last name is the name of a tasty meat. The words "names meat" also sounds like "names meet," which may be an allusion to the names of Brutus and Cassius "meeting" in the lower left-hand column of page 110 such that some of the letters in the names align to spell BACON. The highlighted line reads "[u]pon what meat does this our Caesar feed, / That he is grown so great?" Again, this is a little joke playing on the idea of Caesar eating meat (bacon) and growing "great" (i.e., fat) like a hog that will eventually become bacon.

Also note that the line drawn from the BACON at the center of the circle passes directly through the letters "ban" in "banquetting." This might be a way to show that the first letters "ban" of "banquetting" and the first three letters of the Latin word convivium, meaning banquet, are the clues needed to spell the name BACON. In addition, the word "ban" may be an allusion to some sort of ban being placed on Francis Bacon, perhaps it alludes to a "bar sinister" -- the mark of bastardy.

In the next image, two circles (in red) are added. These circles are of a smaller radius. I call a circle of this size the "marke vpon him, two courses off" circle. I describe how I discovered this circle in previous posts.

In the text, Brutus and Cassius discuss how Brutus can see himself by "reflection" of the "eye" and "other things," and in this way Brutus can see his "shadow." The circles are drawn from the word "Eye" and the word "Thing" in the right-hand column. Both of these words are mentioned in the dialogue around the BACON letter alignment in the left-hand column, so they appear to be clues to locations where to draw circles from. The word "Eye" (in blue, and the only capitalized word "eye" on the page) appears at the center and circumference of one circle, and another word "eye" appears along the circumference of the circle in the lines near the BACON letter alignment in the left-hand column. Similarly, the word word "awe" (in purple) appears near the center of the same circle and also on the circumference near the word "Thing." Thus, the words "eye" and "awe" may be clues that the circle has been drawn correctly because these key words appear at both the center and circumference of the circle.

The word "Thing" appears at the center of the other red circle, and the word "thing" also appears along the circumference of the circle in the lines near the BACON letter alignment in the left-hand column where the circumferences of the circles cross. Again, this seems to be a clue that the circle has been drawn correctly.

As can be seen, the circumferences of the two circles cross at one point near the BACON letter alignment, so the circles pointing this out.

Although it is not marked in the image, at the location where the circumference of the circle centered on the word "Eye" crosses the left-hand margin on page 111, there may be another BACON letter alignment in the words near "I will." It looks like this:

BE Any...

I will CONsider...

I will...

In the image below, two circles, one red, the other blue, are centered on the word "Ayre" on the last line of page 111. The circle in red is the "mark upon him...two courses off" circle and the circle in blue is the "mark upon him...three courses off" circle. (Previous posts discuss how I discovered these circles.) The last few lines of page 111 are --

And for mine owne part, I durst not laugh, for feare of opening my Lippes, and receyuing the bad Ayre.

I decided to try to draw circles from this point because the lines mention the word "laugh." The lines of Cassius on page 110 about a banquet also mention laughter, and since the hidden messages are often humorous, or have silly puns, I thought the lines might be important. Also, the word "ayre" (air) in the line "receiving the bad air" sounds like "heir," and since the messages often are about illegitimate children being unrecognized -- being a "bad heir" -- I thought this was a clue. The concept of not opening ones lips, that is, remaining silent about a secret, factors in as well.

As can be seen, the blue circle falls on a letter alignment spelling the name BACON. Nearby this, there are letters grouped together that spell "name" and the word "meete," which form the message "my name meete [meat]." This same message -- "names meate" -- was found in previously associated with a different BACON letter alignment (see above).

The red circle falls on the words "thrice...thrice...thrice." (There are also some E. Vere messages at this point.) The letters of BACON have the value thirty-three 33 in Simple cipher. The value 333 may refer to "thirty-three plus three," which might refer to the Triple Tau cross. These ideas are explored in the paper Bacon-Rosicrucian Ciphers, An introduction to the cryptography used by Francis Bacon and the Rosicrucian-Freemasonic fraternity, by Peter Dawkins. See here:

The circumference of the red circle also falls on the words "Hear, hear[!] To what you have to say, and What you have said." Research indicates that the expression "Hear, hear" originated in the mid to late 17th century. Perhaps it was used even earlier.

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