The Monument
Shakespeare's Sonnets

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Essays Inspired by The Monument

A number of scholars and commentators have already been inspired by THE MONUMENT to create original papers with new insights into the question of who actually labored to produce the Shakespeare poems, plays and sonnets.  We are grateful to these bold thinkers and profoundly moved by their writings:

Anatomy of an Historcial Literary Breakthrough

By Peter Rush

"Just as Einstein began with only a few supporters in the community of physicists after his paper was published in September of 1905, Whittemore has won support for his solution to the Great Shakespeare Sonnet Conundrum from several notable scholars and lay Shakespeare enthusiasts, but has yet to convince the broader community of Shakespeare scholars or the general public...

"But since Whittemore’s solution to the mysteries of Shakespeare’s Sonnets is just as powerful and well-supported by evidence as Einstein’s solution to the crisis in physics at the turn of the last century, there is every prospect that it is only a matter of time before the central thesis of THE MONUMENT becomes the new orthodoxy by which Shakespeare, his life, and his works—all of them—will be understood."


With the Sonnets Now Solved...

By William Boyle

"The key to understanding Whittemore's MONUMENT theory of the Sonnets' form and content can be found in the language of the Sonnets, and in the extensive research that has been done to gloss each and every word and uncover not just the standard dictionary definitions of these words, but -- as no one else has ever done -- what these words meant to Shakespeare...

"Given this new semantic context, one finds that the language of the Sonnets begins to reveal real answers as to the time and place of their references and as to the nature of the relationship between the poet and the youth.  The most important observation about the large picture that comes out of this new context and analysis is that the oft-acknowledged wealth of legal terms used in the Sonnets can now be seen as directly tied to their primary subject matter -- the criminal offense, trial, death sentence, reprieve and release of the Fair Youth."


Light on the Sonnets

By Michael Brame & Galina Popova

"Where Whittemore's theory leads might be described as an embarrassment of riches. To mention a second example, it imputes specificity to the opening line of Sonnet 35: 'No more be grieved at that which thou hast done.' What Southampton has done is to follow Essex. Or for a third example, we recall Shakespeare's use of legal terminology, usually explained by the fact that Oxford studied law. With respect to Sonnet 35, however, Whittemore's thesis is corrective by elucidating the 'torrent of legal' terminilogy as relating in part to the trial and imprisonment of Southampton: 'Thy adverse party is thy Advocate.' Truly, Oxford was an adverse party within the context of Southampton's trial ... but he was also his advocate.  Miraculously, so much is now seen to converge under Whittemore's assumptions!

"...By Whittemore's approach the Tower theme is central and one cannot deny that politics abound. On the other hand, Shakespeare-Oxford is also recounting a story of love, his love for the fair youth, his disappointment in the dark lady, and much more. The genius of Oxford was such that he always related several stories simultaneously."




Prince Tudor & The Monument

By Jim Hammond

"Hank Whittemore argues that the Sonnets deal almost entirely with Queen Elizabeth and Southampton. They deal with the poets love for his son not with a homosexual passion, as many have supposed, nor with a heterosexual passion, as earlier Tudorites believed. Hank argues that the famous Dark Lady of the Sonnets is Elizabeth. Of course, he knows that Elizabeth wasn't physically dark, but he thinks that she was dark in a metaphorical sense, and he calls our attention to a line in Sonnet 131:

In nothing art thou black save in thy deeds.

"Hank argues that the Sonnets express the poet's anguish over his son's predicament (Southampton was imprisoned after participating in the Essex Rebellion, and his life was hanging by a thread). They also express the poet's anguish that his connection to Elizabeth will never be made public, that his son will never become King (even if he's fortunate enough to avoid execution), and that his own career as a writer will be buried in secrecy and silence.

"Thus, Hank believes that the Sonnets were motivated primarily by what has always motivated great writers: their own suffering."


Billy Budd & The Monument

By Dr. Charles V. Berney

"In the physical sciences, a theory is esteemed to the extent that its reach exceeds its grasp -- that is, to the extent that it sheds light on phenomena other than those it was intended to explain.  The prime example is the quantum theory, which was devised by Max Planck around 1900 to account for the distribution of wavelengths in the light emitted by a perfect absorber (a 'black body').  In 1905 Einstein used the theory to explain aspects of the photoelectric effect.  Then Niels Bohr adapted it to explain the structure of the hydrogen atom.  Eventually it was developed to the extent that it explained all of microscopic electrodynamics, and potentially all of chemistry. 

"The theory that Hank Whittemore propounds in THE MONUMENT was crafted to explain Shakespeare's Sonnets.  I believe it illuminates at least one level of Herman Melville's BILLY BUDD as well."


The Game and the Candle

By Carl Caruso

"In his epoch-making volume THE MONUMENT, author and actor Hank Whittemore demonstrates beyond all reasonable doubt that Lord Oxford, Edward de Vere, intentionally engineered the structure of the SHAKE-SPEARE SONNETS to serve as his lasting memorial and Monument to the young nobleman Henry Wriothesley, the Earl of Southampton, whom he loved like a son.

"The pattern of THE MONUMENT has been there all along, but it took Mr. Whittemore's insight and diligence to draw it out, and tie it down...

"You may have never thought that excitement and high drama could be found in a book of literary criticism, but after reading just the Introduction of Whittemore's THE MONUMENT, you are likely to realize that your view of literature, of the Elizabethan era, and of William Shakespeare will never be the same."


Michael Prescott's Blog: The Monument

By Michael Prescott

"Hank Whittemore has developed an exciting and fascinating new theory of Shakespeare's Sonnets, perhaps the most controversial and mysterious series of poems in all of literature...

"When you take the trouble to read Whittemore's detailed analysis -- and I am currently working my way through his 900-page book THE MONUMENT, which is crammed with detailed argumentation -- it begins to seem surprisingly convincing."


"Ideational Change: Why is it so Difficult?"  

By Paul Altrocchi

"Even humans who are aware of the universality of myths fail to recognize their own. We do not subject our core knowledge and viewpoints to regular scrutiny and reassessment and therefore we remain inflexibly blind to their intrinsic wrongness. Thus myths get piled upon myths in a devastating downward spiral of delusion, quite unbeknownst to the individual who remains completely oblivious to the warning cries of the 3% of mountain top thinkers whose admonitions are lost in the “business-as-usual” quagmire of wrong-think.

"Truth," as we have seen, is often backed by "prevailing opinion," enhanced by the unyielding authority of textbooks and rigidified professors totally convinced of their conventional wisdom which they defend, as Galbraith pointed out, with a tenacity akin to religious fervor. In all fields, resistance to change is mighty until the entire guild undergoes a paradigm shift and a new model prevails in a new generation."