How to Read Shakespeare Like a Royal (Vol 1): Historical Background and Interpretive Keys


About this ebook

The Shakespearean plays contain a stunning breadth and depth of knowledge about English history, European royal history, classical and contemporary literature, and about the complex relationships between the various royal courts of the day. Authorship by the Elizabethan Court is therefore discernible based on content alone, that is, by what the plays revealed and just as importantly, what they threatened to reveal about international royal affairs if the will of Elizabeth was not respected. One of the most significant (and surprising) functions of the plays was to act as a type of "Defense Program" for Queen Elizabeth's throne against her European rivals. However, the plays also served to instill solidarity in the members of the Elizabethan Court and to inspire the English people as well. The plays accomplished all of this without coming across as overly pedantic. They were not merely great works of literature, but a brilliant expression of Elizabethan foreign and domestic policy!

The story of Shakespeare turns out to be the story of Don Juan of Austria, from his princely legitimization as a boy; to liaisons with royals ladies from his teens; to being hailed at the age of 24 as “Savior of Europe” at the Battle of Lepanto (1571); to his suppression by jealous males of the Habsburg royal family (1578); and to his rehab by Queen Elizabeth under the English identity of George Carey. As George Carey, Don Juan had been present at the christening of his true son King James in Scotland (1566) and in command of the strategic Isle of Wight during the invasion of the Spanish Armada (1588). He was intimately involved in the founding of the Shakespeare Company both before and after becoming Queen Elizabeth’s “Lord Chamberlain.” The rise, fall and rising again of this international man of mystery was the central theme of the Shakespeare plays. He and Queen Elizabeth appear again and again in the plays, and under such character names as Claudio and Isabella in Measure for Measure; Claudio and Hero in Much Ado About Nothing; Claudius and Gertrude in Hamlet; Bassanio and Portia in The Merchant of Venice; Duke Theseus and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Petruchio and Kate in The Taming of the Shrew; and even Falstaff and Mistress Quickly of the Henry IV plays. Don Juan was the love of Queen Elizabeth’s life and she found a way to keep him near. Together they not only founded the Stuart Dynasty but became the progenitors of future generations of European royalty.

About the author

Charles N. Pope is an independent historical researcher and host of since the 1990's.

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