In this presentation I tackle, and solve,  the problem of Shakespeare's most enigmatic work, the "most mysterious poem in the English language", The Phoenix and the Turtle.

The talk was given as part of the Shakespeare Authorship Trust's 2017 Annual Conference at the Globe Theatre in London, preceded by a reading of the poem by Mark Rylance and friends.

The poem has never made sense to generations of scholars. Clearly it is a song of mourning, but who are these two "dead birds"? 

The author must have been in the throes of a double grief in 1601, but no one has ever been able to successfully crack the riddle. 

Who were the two close friends for whom the author wrote this elegy?

If the works of Shakespeare were written by Francis Bacon, then the answer must be: the Earl of Essex, and Anthony Bacon, both of whom died in the first half of 1601.

Now we have an objective means to test the authorship theory, because if the poem does not yield to this solution, Francis Bacon could not have been the Bard.

Does the poem give any reason for thinking that the two birds are Essex and Anthony Bacon? For the answer, please watch the presentation below, or click on the slides.

Watch the presentation here:

Read the presentation and view the images here: Art of Forgetting Part III



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