The Winter's Tale Mystery



Mather Walker


(as seen in the beginning of the Shakespeare First Folio this "W" begins the name of William Shakespeare on the list of the names of the principal actors . There is a Janus Head in the "W" with the faces looking in the opposite directions of the past, and the future.)


I have tried to demonstrate in my articles on the various plays that by
crafting two faces in each Shakespeare play; one looking toward the past, and
one toward the future, Francis Bacon was following the intent he had
expressed in his very early work, the "Masculine Birth of Time."-M.W.


The Winter's Tale has many of the elements of a good mystery yarn. The clues are there. The one vital element which is missing is the denouncement at the end of the story which gives the reader the solution of the mystery. The play is like the card game Eleusis. In this game one player is God (the role of the author in the play) and makes up a set of rules which, in the universe of the game, correspond to the Laws of Nature.

 The name of the card game Eleusis was derived from the Ancient Mystery Cult at Eleusis, near Athens. Scholars have had a difficult time with Eleusis. Initiates were bound by an oath of secrecy whose violation was punishable by death. Scholars trying to reconstruct what went on in the ceremony had only the most meager hints to go on, but the greatest intellects of antiquity took part in these rites, and were awed by them. It followed from this that their content was governed by an internal logic satisfying the most exacting intellects, and scholars trying to deduce their internal content from their external hints could rely on the integrity of the internal logic of the rites.

 A similar situation exists with the case of the Shakespeare Plays. The author of the Plays is lauded by universal acclaim as at the very pinnacle of the greatest intellects in history. Whatever impression a play may give on the surface, we can rely on the integrity of its internal logic. A meaning which will satisfy the most exacting intellect, is there, if only we can uncover it.

 Very few people have shown any real insight into the true nature of the Plays. One of these people was W.F.C. Wigston. According to Wigston The Winter's Tale was based on the central myth at Eleusis - the story of Proserpine.

I think this was a valid conclusion. And I think the reader will endorse my conviction, once the clues, which I will present, have been digested. Furthermore, this view of the play ties in with Francis Bacon's avowed purpose of constructing two faces in each play, one looking toward the past, and the other toward the future. It is time to do some sleuthing. I take you back now to those days of yesteryear. Not the ones where there is a cloud of dust, and a hearty, "Hiyo Silver!", but the other one, where it is a bitterly cold and frosty winter morning, and Watson is wakened by a tugging at his shoulder, and the familar call:

 "Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot!"

 In the face that looks toward the past I will present twelve clues. I invite the reader to examine these clues, and see if they do not give an endorsement to Wigston's viewpoint.  



On the surface the one thing the play has in common with the myth of Proserpine is that both The Winter's Tale and the myth of Proserpine deal with the story of a daughter who is separated from and then restored to her mother. However, a careful examination of the play reveal certain features which establish a much closer relation between the two narratives. 

The first clue is the title of the Play. Winter's Tale has two possible meanings. The first is that of a tale told while away on a winter's evening. The type of tale the common Elizabethans, who huddled by the fireplace, in their little thatched roofed cabins, and told tales, while the bitter winter wind shrieked outside, would have been well familiar with. This is the kind of tale the boy Mamillius wants to tell before his father enters the room:

 A sad tale's best for winter. I have one

Of sprites and goblins,

 "Come on," His mothers says, taking him up:

and do your best

To fright me with your sprites; you're powerful at it.

Mamillius begins:

There was a man...

Dwelt by a churchyard. I will tell it softly;

Yond crickets shall not hear it.


This dialogue serves the purpose of letting us know that it is winter. It also points to the second meaning of the title which is a tale dealing with winter. For the story we read in the play (or at least the first half of it) takes place during the winter.

 In his book, "Wisdom of The Ancients" Bacon tells the story of Proserpine as follows:

 "They tell us, Pluto having, upon that memorable division of empire among the gods, received the infernal regions for his share, despaired of winning any one of the goddesses in marriage by an obsequious courtship, and therefore through necessity resolved upon a rape. Having watched his opportunity, he suddenly seized upon Proserpine, a most beautiful virgin, the daughter of Ceres, as she was gathering narcissus flowers in the meads of Sicily, and hurrying her to his chariot, carried her with him to the subterraneal regions, where she was treated with the highest reverence, and styled the Lady of Dis. But Ceres, missing her only daughter, whom she extremely loved, grew pensive and anxious beyond measure, and taking a lighted torch in her hand, wandered the world over in quest of her daughter,-but all to no purpose, till, suspecting she might be carried to the infernal regions, she, with great lamentation and abundance of tears, importuned Jupiter to restore her; and with much ado prevailed so far as to recover and bring her away, if she had tasted nothing there. This proved a hard condition upon the mother, for Proserpine was found to have eaten three kernels of a pomegranate. Ceres, however, desisted not, but fell to her entreaties and lamentations afresh, insomuch that at last it was indulged her that Proserpine should divide the year betwixt her husband and her mother, and live six months with one and as many with the other."

Bacon further says:

 "The second article of agreement, that of Proserpine's remaining six months with her mother and six with her husband, is an elegant description of the division of the year; for the spirit diffusedthrough the earth lives above-ground in the vegetable world during the summer months, but in the winter returns under ground again."

So the first clue, that the Play is a Winter's Tale, gives us an analogy with the story of Proserpine which was also a Winter'sTale. 

The second clue has to do with modification of sources. The source for the play was Pandosto: The Triumph of Time, written in 1588 by Robert Greene. One of the modifications Bacon made to His source was to transfer to Sicilia the action of the first half of the play which, in Greene's play, was located in Bohemia. So Perdita is originally in the court of Leontes in Sicily, when she is removed and taken away and abandoned in the wilderness of Bohemia. The modification Bacon made to his source makes the location correspond with the myth, since the place where Proserpine was abducted was Sicily. With only two clues the wind is already beginning to blow in Wigston's direction. The myth of Demeter and Proserpine was a tale dealing with the separation and restoration of a daughter to her mother; it was a winter's tale, and has the additional agreement that the abduction of daughter took place in Sicilia. 

The third clue has to do with the structure of the Play. Harold Goddard says the author has so divided the interest in the play that "many have called it two plays tied by the slenderest of threads rather than one." It is to be further noted that (if one excludes the recognition scenes) these two plays, or two halves of the one play, are of almost identical length, with the first set in winter, and the second in summer. The non-Stratfordians among you may remember that the story of Proserpine was equally divided between Winter and Summer. 

The fourth clue has to do again with the modification of the sources. In the myth of Proserpine, Ceres(Demeter) symbolized the earth. In Pandosto the role which corresponds to Demeter in the Winters Tale was that of the character Bellaria. In The Winter's Tale Bacon changes her name to Hermione which means "earthy." 

The fifth clue has again to do with the modification of the sources. In Pandosto Greene has the prototype of Hermione indulge in imprudent behavior which gives an obvious motivation to Leontes jealous anger. In The Winter's Tale, Bacon depicts a sudden jealous anger which is extreme and akin to madness since it is extreme, and almost without any trace of actual behaviour for its basis. If one follows the allegory, Bacon's motive for doing this is obvious. The name Hermione means "earthy". She obviously represents the earth, and this is further supported by the fact that just as the earth is frozen and seemingly lifeless during winter, Hermione is shown as becoming lifeless at first, and then is transformed into a statue. The name Leontes has a close resemblance to the name for the astrological sign Leo. Leo is ruled by the sun, and Leontes symbolizes the sun. This Winter's Tale shows Leontes and Hermione as separated symbolizing the separation of the earth and the sun during winter. In the Myths of The Sun (see the book of that name by William Tyler Olcott) the sun is depicted as subject to sudden, irrational rages, and to fits of madness. Tillyard says that Leontes' obsession of jealousy is so terrifying in its intensity that it reminds us not of other Shakespearian tragic errors, but of the god-sent madness of Greek drama such as the madness of Hercules. This is a peculiarly apt analogy since Hercules is a sun myth, and is an example of the irrational rages, or madness to which the sun is subject in the sun myths. In the play Paulina says that the king is mad.

  In the sun myth in the Gospels there are two suns. John the Baptist is born on June 24th, i.e. at the summer solstice when thedays are longest. Christ is born on December 25th, at the winter solstice when days are shortest. From the birthday of John the days will continually get shorter, and from the birthday of Christ the days will continually get longer. Therefore we find Christ saying of John the Baptist in the Gospels, "He will decrease while I will increase." In The Winters Tale Leontes is the sun of the winter half of the year, while Polixenes is the sun of the summer half of the year. They are shown as being alike as "twinn'd lambs that did frisk i' th' sun" in childhood. They are both subject to their fits of madness. Leontes rages against Hermione until she "dies" and would actually have had both Hermione and Perdita burned. When Polixenes finds out that his son intends to marry Perdita he flies into a fit of madness in which he says to his son,

"I am sorry that by hanging thee I can but shorten thy life one week."

And to Perdita he says he will have her beauty scratch'd with briers and made more homely than her state, and he will devisea death as cruel for her as she is tender. The sons of both Leontes and Polixenes represent the sun also. It is significant that Bacon stresses each is a replica, an exact copy of the father.

Furthermore Florizel was born in the very same hour as Mamillius, a fact which is brought by Paulina's reminding Leontes of this. Mamillus dies, symbolizing the sun which, in the sun myths, dies at the beginning of the winter solstice. Florizel, the son of Polixenes is shown as the sun by direct reference to him as Apollo:

 " Apprehend Nothing but jollity. The gods themselves Humbling their deities to love, have taken The shapes of beasts upon them: Jupiter, Became a bull, and bellow'd; the green Neptune A ram, and bleated; and the fire-robed god, Golden Apollo, a poor humble swain, As I seem now."

 The sixth clue is the association of Perdita with flowers. According to the Homeric Hymn, when she was abducted, Proserpine was gathering flowers that grew in a soft grassy meadow: roses, lilies, crocuses, beautiful violets, irises, and hyacinths when she saw a magical, glowing narcissus. In the first scene where Perdita appears after the scene in the palace when she was an infant, she is associated with a profusion of flowers, and she says,

"O Proserpina, For the flowers now that, frighted, thou let'st fall From Dis's wagon!"

 The seventh clue is given by the speech of Florizel. He says to Perdita:

 "This your Sheep-shearing

Is as a meeting of the petty gods,

And you the queen on't." 

The "petty gods" are in contrast to the great gods of Olympus, and are the gods of the underworld. Since Proserpine was queen of the gods of the underworld this would equate Perdita with Proserpine.

 The eighth clue concerns the character Autolycus who is actually the one who returns Perdita to Leontes and subsequently to Hermione. In the Homeric Hymn which gives the myth of Proserpine it is Mercury who, sent by Zeus, returns Proserpine to Demeter. Autolycus is very closely associated with Mercury. He has many of his traits. According to Ovid he was the son of Mercury. And Bacon is careful to bring out this association in the play. He has Autolycus say,

"My father named me Autolycus, who, being, as I

am, littered under Mercury.." 

The ninth clue is that in the myth of Demeter and Proserpine, Demeter goes into seclusion where she is shut away from the world just as in The Winter's Tale Hermione is shut away from the world in the prison, and just as winter reigned throughout the earth, while Demeter was shut away from the world, so winter reigned throughout the earth while Hermione was shut away from the world.

 The tenth clue is that the mystae, who in the rite personified Demeter, underwent an apparent death, just as Hermione does in The Winter's Tale.

 The eleventh clue occurs at the point where Perdita returns to her father, and brings life to her mother, Leontes exclaims:

 "Welcome hither

As is the spring to the earth." 

The reunion of the lost Proserpine with her mother in the myth represented the return of spring to the earth.

The twelfth clue is the scene where Leontes, Polixenes, Florizel, Perdita, Camillo, Paulina, Lords, and Attendants, enter the chapel and see the statue of Hermione. In the Eleusenian Mysteries the Mystae conducted a night long search for Proserpine, and at the end of their search, entered a temple where they saw a statue of Demeter which then, apparently, came to life just as did the statue of Hermione, for the statue of Demeter rose in the air and hovered above the mystae.




Since the story of Perdita is obviously the story of Proserpine why didn't Bacon show her as an adult as she was in the myth? The change to make her an infant at the beginning of the play achieves only one significant feature in the play. It allows the passage of time which is noted in the middle of the play. In the middle of the play the speech of Time, that slender thread which connects, the two disparate parts of the play, tells us that 16 years have passed since the events which occurred in the first part of the play. It is apparent that the major change in the story was made to allow the 16 year period to be brought in. Obviously it is very important. What does it mean? Why this specifc period of time? Why 16 years?

 The answer becomes apparent when a little thought is given to the speech of time in the middle of the play. The period of 16 years applies to both the winter half, and the summer half of the play. Logic tells us this, but Bacon also tells us this when he has time say, "I turn my glass" implying that the two halves of the play are analogous to the two halves of an hour glass. When one realizes that the period of 16 years applies to both halves of the play, one also realizes that with two periods of 16 what we have here again is Bacon's Intellectual Compass with the 32 directions. In this context the compass is divided into two parts. Winter, the dark or negative part, and summer, the light or positive part. In the play Bacon has created a model of his Intellectual Compass. We may visualize this model by imagining a circle with half dark, and half light, and the 32 compass directions arranged around the circle, realizing at the same time that the circle represents the circle of the year. The play merits much more attention then I can give here, since it hides many of the secrets of Bacon's system.

 It is important to note that the itemization of the perogative instances in the Sylva Sylvarum indicates that Bacon's intellectual compass was divided into two parts: a negative, and a positive part.

 Bacon's Intellectual Compass was composed of those basic qualities which are included in his Alphabet of Nature. But apparently it was made up only from those select ones which he referred to in his Norvum Organum as the "Prerogative Natures with Respect to Investigation."

 These were the natures which were needed for directions while navigating on his Intellectual Globes, and they were not published until after his "death" in experiment 846 of his SYLVA SYLVARUM.

 "The differences of impressible and not impressible; figurable and not figurable; mouldable and not mouldable; scissible and not scissible; and many other passions of matter, are plebeian notions, applied unto the instruments and uses which men ordinarily practise; but they are all but the effects of some of these causes following, which we will enumerate without applying them, because they would be too long.

 The first is the cession or not cession of bodies into a smaller space or room, keeping the outward bulk, and not flying up. The second is the stronger or weaker appetite in bodies to continuity, and to fly discontinuity. The third is the disposition of bodies to contract, or not contract, and again, to extend, or not extend. The fourth is the small quantity of great quantity or the pneumatical in bodies. The fifth is the nature of the pneumatical, whether it be native spirit of the body, or common air.

 The sixth is the nature of the native spirits in the body, whether they be active and eager, or dull and gentle. The seventh is the emmission or detention of the spirits in bodies. The eighth is the dilation or contraction of the spirits in bodies, while they are detained. The ninth is the collocation of the spirits in bodies; whether the collocation be equal or unequal; and again, whether the spirits be coacervate or diffused.

 The tenth is the density or rarity of the tangible parts. The eleventh is the equality or inequality of the tangible parts. The thirteenth is the nature of the matter, whether sulphureous or mercurial, watery or oily, dry and terrestrial, or moist and liquid; which natures of sulphureous and mercurial, seem to be natures radical and principal. The fourteenth is the placing of the tangible parts in length, or transverse (as it is in the warp and woof of textiles); more inward or more outward, &c.

The fifteenth is the porosity or imporosity betwixt the tangible parts, and the greatness or smallness of the pores. The sixteenth is the collocation and posture of the pores. There may be more causes; but these do occur for the present."

 In his exposition of the myth of Proserpine Bacon said Proserpine denotes the spirit which "diffused through the earth lives above- ground in the vegetable world during the summer months, but in the winter returns under ground again." It is significant that in Bacon's itemization of the 32 qualities in the Slyva Slyvarum, eight of these: 2 and 22; 7 and 23; 8 and 24; and 9 and 25 has to do with spirit.

 What is also highly interesting about this listing is that not only does it give 32 (16 dualities), it also gives 24 (12 dualities) since six through nine(and 22 through 25) of these deals with spirits. Thus it combines 24 and 32. By combining the 24 and 32 Bacon was able to combine the alphabet (his alphabet of nature) and compass. In addition, his bi-literal cipher used 24 out of 32, so he could combine these also.

 The second half of the play is the opposite, or reverse of the first half, just as are the qualities in the 32 perogative instances. It is significant that in the second half, in Perdita's presentation of flowers, time runs not forward but backwards,

"to fetch the age of gold, from winters herbs to August's carnations and striped gillyflowers, to the June marigold that goes to bed with the sun...and so back to the spring flowers she would give Florizel."

In the first half the movement is from court to country and from kings to shepherds. In the second half this reversed, and the movement is from country to court and from shepherds to kings. These instances are repeated in many other less obvious ways. Although we may have difficulty perceiving what is presented here because of our linear consciousness, it is obvious that the play is the product of an aeonic consciousness in which the entire play was present in the consciousness in one moment of perception.

There are 24 hours in the diurnal period which is composed of the dark half and the light half, and which in Bacon's system corresponds to the Winter and Summer half of the annual cycle. Bacon has a peculiar symbolism in the play which apparently relates to the diurnal period. Perhaps the most famous of all stages directions is "Exit, pursued by a bear", where Antigonus lays Perdita down and then is pursued and slain by a bear. This is followed by the Clown with the peculiar stress on the differentiation between the drama taking place in the sea and on the shore:


I have seen two such sights, by sea and by land! I am not to say it is a sea, for it is now the sky: betwixt the firmament and it you cannot thrust a bodkin's point.


Why, boy, how is it?


I would you did but see how it chafes, how it rages, how it takes up the shore-but that's not to the point. O, the most piteous cry of the poor souls! Sometimes to see 'em, and not to see 'em: now the ship boring the moon with her mainmast, and anon swallowed with yeast and froth, as you'd thrust a cork into a hogshead. And then for the land-service: to see how the bear tore out his shoulder bone, how he cried to me for help, and said his name was Antigonus, a nobleman. But to make an end of the ship: to see how the sea flap-dragoned it; but first, how the poor souls roared, and the sea mocked them; and how the poor gentleman roared, and the bear mocked him, both roaring louder than the sea or weather."

 In "Hamlet's Mill" Santillana and Dechend say, "First, what was the "earth"? In the most general sense, the "earth" was the ideal plane laid through the ecliptic. The "dry earth," in a more specific sense, was the ideal plane going through the celestial equator. The equator thus divided two halves of the zodiac which ran on the ecliptic, 23 1/2 degrees inclined to the equator, one half being "dry land" (the northern band of the zodiac, reaching from the vernal to the autumnal equinox), the other representing the "waters below" the equinoctial plane (the southern arc of the zodiac, reaching from the autumnal equinox, via the winter solstice, to the vernal equinox). The terms "vernal equinox," "winter solstice," etc., are used intentionally to angular measures, and not with tracts in space."

 What the above drama from the play seems to depict, becomes evident if you divide the globe vertically into the night and day half, and horizontally into the halves of the northern and southern hemispheres, allowing for the slightly skewed declination of the ecliptic. Antigonus is right at the division between the night half and the day half. Ursa Major (the Great Bear) is on dry land (the northern hemisphere) and Argo Navis, the Ship, is near shore, since Argo Navis is located near the beginning of the southern hemisphere. Argo Navis is particularly appropriate in connection with a shipwreck since it appears to have no bow and in the poem by Aratos is depicted as near shore:

 "Sternforward Argo by the Great Dog's tail Is drawn; for hers is not a usual course, But backward turned she comes, as vessels do When sailors have transposed the crooked stern On entering harbour; all the ship reverse, And gliding backward on the beach it grounds."

 Since there are 24 sidereal hours in the period of a year, Bacon also included the annual period in his symbolism. Here we begin to penetrate into the inner recesses of Bacon's symbolism. I have tried to demonstrate in my articles on the various plays that by crafting two faces in each play; one looking toward the past, and one toward the future, Bacon was following the intent he had expressed in his very early work, the "Masculine Birth of Time":

 "Nevertheless it is important to understand how the present is like a seer with two faces, one looking toward the future, and the other towards the past. Accordingly, I have decided to prepare for your instruction tables of both ages, containing not only the pastcourse and progress of science, but also anticipations of things to come. The nature of these tables you could not conjecture before you see them. A genuine anticipation of them is beyond your scope, nor would you be aware of the lack of it unless it was put into your hands. It is a compliment reserved to some of the choicer spirits among you whom I hope to win thereby. But generally speaking Science is to be sought from the light of nature, nor from the Darkness of Antiquity."

 It is necessary to follow everything Bacon says very closely. He is giving notice here of his intention to construct the plays so each has two faces; one looking toward the past, and one toward the future. But he is also adopting the god Janus as the symbol of his plays and it is important to understand everything that this implies. Janus was said to be father of all the gods. He was also the god of the year. January is the month of Janus. From his position at the beginning of the year Janus looks backward to the past, and forward to the future. Janus held in his hands a key and numbers signifying the 365 days of the year. It appears that Bacon has constructed both the plan of the plays, and of his discovery device on the pattern of the annual cycle, and that by his figure of Janus he insinuates this provides the key to the metaphoric construction of the plays, and that this construction is connected with the annual cycle.

 We have some hint of this in the play Love's Labour's Lost. Here is a model of The Academy, and a play which apparently contrasts learning and loving, with the palm going to loving. But the scenes concerning loving are filled with those conventionalized and specialized devices of the trattati d'amore, and the two songs at the end of the play make direct identification of learning with winter, and loving with spring or summer.

 Many commentator have noted that The Winter's Tale has some connection with the idea of the dichotomy between Nature and Art.We have seen how The Winter's Tale is almost exactly divided between Winter and Summer. In the Winter half Hermione becomes a statue which only comes back to life in the summer half, directly illustrating Bacon's comments:

 "...philosophy, like a statue, is surrounded by crowds of
worshippers but never moves."


Thoughts and Conclusions

"Philosophy and the intellectual sciences, on the contrary, stand like statues, worshipped and celebrated, but not moved or advanced."


Preface to The Great Instauration


In the entire cycle of the plays in the First Folio there are traces of a pattern constructed on a plan whereby all of the plays fit into an annual cycle. If plays with more than than one part are counted as one, the number of plays in the catalogue add to 32. Furthermore, various plays take place at various times during the annual cycle.

 W.F.C. Wigston says that the sonnets contain the creative principles of the plays. There certainly does seem to be some indication of this in the design of The Winter's Tale. We find the following dialogue in the play where Perdita presents flowers to her guests:


"Perdita: Sir, the year growing ancient,

Not yet on summer's death, nor on the birth

Of trembling winter, the fairest flowers of the season

Are our carnations and streak'd gillyvors,

Which some call nature's bastards: of that kind

Our rustic garden's barren; and I care not

To get slips of them.

Pol. Wherefore, gentle maiden

Do you neglect them?

Perdita: For I have heard it said

There is an art which in their piedness shares

With great creating nature."

Perdita: O Proserpina!

For the flowers now, that frighted thou let'st fall

From Dis's waggon! daffodils,

That come before the swallow dares, and take

The winds of March with beauty; violets dim

But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes,

Or Cytherea's breath; pale primroses,

That die unmarried, ere they can behold

Bright Phoebus in his strength-a malady

Most incident to maids; bold oxlips and

The crown imperial; lilies of all kinds,

The flower-de-luce being one!"


And the sonnets seems to be referring to the same two periods in the year in sonnets 97 and 98:


How like a winter hath my absence been

From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!

What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen-

What old December's bareness everywhere!

And yet this time removed was summer's time,

The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,

Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,

Like widowed wombs after their lord's decease.

Yet this abundant issue seemed to me

But hope of orphans and unfathered fruit,

For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,

And, thou away, the very birds are mute;

Or if they sing, 'tis with so dull a cheer

That leaves look pale, dreading the winter's near. 

 From you have I been absent in the spring,

When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,

Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,

That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him.

Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell

Of different flowers in odour and in hue,

Could make me any summer's story tell,

Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.

Nor did I wonder at the lily's white,

Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;

They were but sweet, but figures of delight,

Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.

Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,

As with your shadow I with these did play.

 What does this all mean? Why the constant depiction of the opposition between winter and summer? Bacon said, "Strife and Friendship in Nature are the spurs of motions, and the Keys of Works." He seems to be presenting in these passages the very principles of his scientific system, just as Wigston said. It is to be noted that Harmione in the play, the character around which all the other action centers is a variant of the name Harmonia. Harmonia was the daughter of Venus and Mars, the two antagonistic powers of Love and Warfare (or Strife and Friendship as Bacon terms it). Wigston says, "It is the orderly conflict or antagonism of these two, alternating with Winter or Summer (which is the alternate triumph of one over the other), that constitutes the year. It would appear that the secret at the very core of Bacon's system of science had to do with the application of this principle, and that he embodies the principle in The Winter's Tale along with a model of his Intellectual Compass.

 In the first 32 speeches in the play one finds only harmony. In the second 32 speeches one finds strife and discord. In the demonstration of the operation of his discovery device in The Winter's Tale Bacon seems to be saying that the "form" of harmony is the two opposites, strife and friendship, or Love and Warfare just as is embodied in the myth of Harmonia or Hermione who was the daughter of Venus and Mars.. He seems to point back to the theme in The Tempest where the same ideas are expressed which are expressed in the Vedanta. That is, since everything in the universe is the product of maya and the intrinsic quality of maya is the presence of opposites, so, harmony is composed of friendship and strife and these two are, in fact, the two parts of one whole which is harmony, just as the two parts of the year,--winter and summer are two parts of one whole.


comments for Mather Walker


 - Sir Francis Bacon's New Advancement of Learning