Leaving aside seeming metaphysical and mystical analysis, the particular building blocks of this BARRIER, to the belief that he did uncover and make use of in unrivalled fashion the ‘higher knowledge’ dimension, are:
that Shaxpere/Shakespere/ Shakspere had a modest Stratford background and an incomplete grammar school education (probably until the age of 15, but it could have ended at 13)
that he had no known further education ie University and in the classic subjects; and there were just a few libraries available as an aid to his expanding consciousness
that there is no evidence of his early apprenticeship and growth in experience of the burgeoning Elizabethan ‘professional’ theatre, locally, or in London before 1592 (except his youthful attendance in Stratford during performances by four-five touring Companies of players)
that there is displayed in all his Works an impressive (and unexpected) learning; this covers some 25 or more areas of specific expertise and understanding; two very different examples might be Law and legal terminology, and falconry, each with its particular, even strange and specialised word and phrase structure
that his vocabulary was exceptionally large, anything from 15,000 to 21,000 words, as displayed in his Works (the differences in totals given by many ‘authorities’ are due to leaving out or including inflectional forms, dialect, jargon, some ‘new’ words)
Elizabethan England was a world where people sang, talked, breathed language and words, says a leading actor today; but Shakespeare’s mastery of words is outstanding, emphasised by the fact – and I haven’t counted – that he is calculated to have used 7,000 of his words only once
that, taking the lower calculation of 15,000 words, this was way beyond the vocabulary of the parish labourer of his time (300 words), the educated thinkers and scholars, selective and accurate (4-6,000 words); Milton (8000 – and he invented many new words himself); and highly educated and precisely-verbal humans with remarkable eloquency up to 9,000 words
that, while obviously he loved and thought about words (as did Bacon), he also generated them, some 1,500 to 2,000 new words are within the Works. Some say he HAD to, as a way of succinct expression of what was needed AND in order to adroitly avoid giving insult or affront to the strict Elizabethan ‘Court censorship’ and Secret Service environment
(His brilliance then is our gain today: we use so many Shakespeare words and phrases…without knowing their origin; your latest modern glossary offers explanation of 10,000 words found in Shakespeare)
that the specific areas of ’technical knowledge’ and the manipulative flexibility shown in the (mostly excellent) construction in 36 plays (and poetry) suggest a writer “who knew everything” needed for and about playmaking
It’s all due, say some, to an almost unbelievable combination of awareness, perceptivity, innate and emotional intelligence, brilliant memory, and snatching up and interpreting all of life’s experiences
that one man, lauded as playmaker and poet, could achieve such obvious continuous growth in emotional intelligence even intellect, and in humanist and spiritual expansion (as witnessed in the arguable-dated ‘early works’ as compared with the ‘later’ period)
And then, we are asked to take as proof of his ACCESS to that knowledge dimension, the following
that when he wrote the plays, he so obviously was writing FOR the stage and rowdy, appreciative audience as he knew it, and NOT the ephemeral of posterity’s fame; and the plays even now are so ALIVE and communicating. Though then there was virtually no scenery, perhaps a tree or two; one raised balcony to act from, curtains for entrance and exit, and few ‘props’ as were effective, occasionally a note of music. There was no close-down between scenes and acts; until the Blackfriars Theatre few of the plays then had ‘scenes’ or ‘acts’ – As You Like It had an ‘Actus primus’ and a ‘Scaena prima’ but this was rare and may have been added by following editors
Today scenery enhances stage environment and performance… but room for audience imagination now as then is necessary, the intangible unmanifest ingredient…. freed for use by the masterly touch: “Can this cockpit hold …. The vasty fields of France?….” (opening of Henry V at the Globe)
that the effectiveness, with which his Works engage our minds and imaginations, ranging over the whole of human life, from grossest to finest, is universally powerful and transformational
that the canon reflects a breadth and depth in Self-consciousness, creative imagination, and remarkable understanding of human psychology (exemplified supremely, for sake of argument, in some 150 or more key and unforgettable characters out of 1,200 in the canon)
that his mastery in depiction of our ‘archetypes of consciousness’ – in our individual attributes, skills, strengths, failures, awareness of and obedience and the reverse to ‘good’ and ‘evil’ – denotes access by the playmaker to a higher level of consciousness, beyond the human ‘norm’ and into an area we would appreciate as genius
that he was able to demonstrate such all-encompassing awareness of humanist and higher knowledge, Being and loving that his Works are infused with assured psychological judgement (giving facility in characterisation) and both temporal and spiritual wisdom
that though in the Works there is rarely specific reference to God, there is to ‘gods’ and the ‘higher worlds’, guiding us to the value of our inner Self as universal and true: not preached about but left to our individual awareness, perceptions and understanding …”such harmony in immortal souls… but whilst this muddy vesture of decay doth grossly clothe it in, we cannot hear it” (Merchant of Venice).
Summing up on barrier-and-access, he (even SHE is one possible source) displayed an accuracy, insight and understanding about which specialists find more to praise than to criticize, most unexpected in that the range of subjects found in the plays is so comprehensive, seemingly unbelievably large:
Theatre and players, the Royal court and the court of Navarre
Mind, manners and expressions of aristocrats
The sports and pastimes of aristocracy, the wealthy and of
the country – hunting, horses, falconry, angling, archery, tennis
Statesmanship, statecraft and the Secret intelligence service
Classical literature and Bible scholarship
History of England and Scotland, and of Europe, and Heraldry
Travel in France, Italy and Spain, Denmark court and customs
Languages classical and languages of his time
Law and legal terms, Philosophy and esoteric philosophy
Nature and the animal kingdom
Medicine and natural history
Mythology, folklore and the supernatural
Military personnel and life, Seamanship and navigation
New World exploration
Horticulture and garden design
Mathematics, astrology and astronomy
Music and its terms, Sculpture and painting
University of Cambridge terminology
Welsh people and Wales
the Printing press, and Freemasonary
TODAY we have access to vast Libraries built up and lovingly tended since say the 1700s. We also have a GLOBAL library – the Internet – opening up our access in spectacular manner.
It is sad that the most valuable libraries of Belvoir Castle (Midlands) and Wilton House (Wiltshire) available in Shakespeare’s day were damaged by fire in the mid-17th century and their pre- and early-Elizabethan books lost (Shakspere’s possible visits unproven, but ‘ what if ’…?)
Shakspere due to his modest family beginnings and local environment could have had access to few libraries of note. The Vicar Bretchgirdle of Stratford died when Shakspere was one. His library was passed on locally, and who is to say the young Shakspere did not benefit? Richard Field and Richard Quiney, Stratford contemporaries, built up libraries, usually “kept locked”.
It is possible he had support of one or more people of influence in his ‘teens in broadening, deepening his understanding and further education.
A budding genius, say between 13-20 he may well have been. Yet it is hard to argue that even geniuses can spring full-grown and effective, by natural talent alone, into the demanding worlds of ‘poesy’ or ‘the new’ playmaking; such understanding that Shakespeare brought to his Works (25 or more areas of apparent expert knowledge) must surely be earned by firming up the foundation?
Leonardo learned much at Verrochio’s studio from the age of 15 and then under the Pollaiolo brothers. A constant reader, brilliant, but a difficult student, Einstein was in his ‘teens before he found focus under sympathetic guidance of teachers in a Zurich school.
A contemporary literary genius to Shakespeare, Lope de Vega of Spain, is said to have written poetry at five and plays at 10. He remains unheralded because few of his plays extant have been translated into English. Born of humble origins, he was described as “a monster of Nature” and prolific… his output was vast, believed way beyond 500 plays. He lived from 1562 to 1635 and unlike Shakespeare he left behind much of a literary and personal life history. He remained untranslated, as his country’s star declined while England’s and Shakespeare’s shone brightly.
Shakspere at 18 was married, with child; one of the first and few facts we know. Was his understanding of love fostered there – at home in Stratford with wife Anne?
Or was his enforced marriage (Susanna was born six months later) a source of pain in relationship and beginnings of his study of love, indifference, emotion’s power to torture, the mind’s power to offer the path to freedom or for imprisonment?
Whence his beginning – was his phenomenon rooted in his keen observance of the natural world around him, in Stratford ? For instance, there are 200 ‘natural world’ references in the plays, from horticulture plants and seasons, flowers and flowering to weeds and insects, the flight of a bird. And his references to and ‘knowledge’ of Nature is exceptional, yet understandable as nature and knowledge was all around, waiting to be harvested by awareness, just as later his perceptions led to his glorious ‘invention of the human’.
(However, yet some complain, in three instances, he knew not the ways of nightingales, bees and weasels, giving wrong references to their activities).
But how do we explain his legal terminology (although almost every man-in-the-street was then fascinated by law and litigation)? his ‘seamanship’ (five references to shipwrecks?) his understanding of Courtly manners and ‘decorum’ (even in Continental countries?)…
The Detective Mystery proceeds…