Numerical values of Alphabet

D. Shakespeare's Reference Models of Gematria in Sonnet 136

A. The Riddle of Sonnet 136

B. Initial and Final Letters of Lines (I)

C. Gematric Values of Whole Sonnet

I. Sator Square and Ovid's Creation of MAN

II. Factoral Values

III. SHAKESPEARE'S HIDDEN EXISTENCE

IV. Synopsis of reference models

I. SATOR Square and OVID's Creation of Man

1.      So far I have tried to relate numbers to names. But is seems that Shakespeare knew a lot about the meanings of numbers. Two central numbers are 11 and 13. As has been shown in the first part, a group of 5 lines around line 6 consists of 50 words, the remaining 3+6 lines of 25+50 words. So it's reasonable to add up the gematric values of the 9 lines as well. It's 3601 = 277*13.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

sm

366

455

423

498

432

375

420

287

358

429

363

391

418

410

5625

2.      It's well-known that Shakespeare's favourite Latin poet was OVID, whose Metamorphoses he highly appreciated. The creation of man (1,76-88) consists of 13 lines, 85 words, and 480 letters, just as sonnet 136. The total gematric value of the 13 lines is also a square number: 73*73.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

sm

407

405

430

391

426

303

462

406

411

368

447

461

412

5329

3.      Line 6, which is so important in the sonnet, has the gematric value 303, which is the total value of the SATOR SQUARE:

Shakespeare must have known this square and also the nature of the TETRAKTYS STAR:

This graph shows how a tetraktys is constructed: 1 central point, 6 hexagonal points on the arc of the circle and 3 points on the outer circle. A reference to this construction may be seen in the number of the sonnet 136 and in the gematric value 163 of the initials of the 14 lines.

One tetraktys constists of 37 elements, 10 points, 18 lines and 9 equilateral triangles, points and triangles representing a unity of 19 against the number of lines. So the name WILLIAM with its gematric value 74 can be related to the elements of two tetraktys.

4.      The number 11 is not a prime factor in the 3 numeric sums of the SATOR-Square: 69 = 3*23, 52 = 4*13 and prime number 61. But it becomes important in composite results:

69+52 = 121 = 11*11; 52+61+52 = 165 = 15*11.

The second addition marks an inversion from one half to the next. The first can be repeated for the second half of the magic square so that the three sums total (11+15+11) = 37*11 = 407, which is the first numeric value (NV) of the 13 Ovid lines and in double size 814 by the symmetrical addition of lines 3+12 (423+391) in the sonnet.

The prime factor 13 appears again in the addition 69+61 = 130 = 10*13. So the three words SATOR OPERA TENET The creator holds his works has the total NV 182 = 13*14.

5.      The four prime factors of the SATOR-Square 23+61 = 84; 11+13 = 24, totalling 108 = 9*12, are contained in 6 NV of the 14 sonnet lines. Three of them are divisible by 11: 363+429+418 = 1210, indicating ten times the sum of 69+52 = 121. The other three numbers are 366+455+391 = 1212. The two sums form a symmetry around the number 1211. 1212 = 4*303 reflects the NV of the SATOR Square.

II. FACTORAL VALUES

1.     The study of numeric values (NV) so far have shown that Shakespeare included in his calculations the factors of numbers. The added prime factors of a number can be called its factoral value (FV). Factoral values furnish further meanings in gematrical practice. Numerical and factoral values can be related to each other, which leads by a calculating process to interpretable results.

In the present context I confine myself to the sum of 1210+1212 = 2422. The factors are 2*7*173, which add up to 182, the gematric value of SATOR OPERA TENET.

2.     If FV are applied to the four names, many new combinations of numbers become possible. Of course, the question is how far Shakespeare included them into his calculations. Beside the NV he could add 3 new categories. For this purpose it is necessary to specify the term Numerical Value: It means exactly "the Sum of Numerical letter values". Besides also the Sum of Factoral values can be determined. For the sake of distinction the abbreviations NS and FS are now used. The factoral values of NS and FS are abbreviated as FV1 and FV2.

3.     The four values of the four names look like this:

 

NS

FS

 

FV1

FV2

 

 

WILLIAM

74

52

126

39

17

56

182

WILL

52

38

90

17

21

38

128

 

126

90

216

56

38

94

310

AEMILIA

48

37

85

11

37

48

133

EMILIA

47

36

83

47

10

57

140

 

95

73

168

58

47

106

273

 

221

163

384

114

85

199

583

The four values 182 of WILLIAM correspond to the NV of SATOR OPERA TENET. The short form WILL has the NS of the FS of WILLIAM.

The four values of WILLIAM and EMILIA form the ratio 182:140 = 14*(13:10) = 24*13. The totals 310 and 273 contain important inverse numbers: 10*31 / 21*13.

The NS and FS of WILL and AEMILIA form the ratio 100:75 = 25*(4:3).

III. SHAKESPEARE'S HIDDEN EXISTENCE

1.     To assume that Shakespeare practised some gematria now and then, wouldn't surprise anyone at all. To associate him with the SATOR-Square as a central model and motive for gematria, would appear somewhat more surprising. But to claim that every letter of classical Latin poetry was counted and given a numerical value according to the order of the alphabet, that Shakespeare did not only acquire a stupendous knowledge of numerology but was able to employ Roman gematria as perfectly as the classical poets Vergil, Horace and Ovid, seems to be beyond sound reason.

On the other and, so many phantastic things have been said on the poet that, paradoxically, my credibility needs would suffer damage if I didn't contribute another phantastic theory.

My theory can't do without two premises: First, the superlatives about Shakespeare's intelligence in general and his poetic genius in particular must not be called into question or diminished. Second, the rumours that he was a secret Papist who stayed on the Continent and even in Italy must not be discredited. In fact, the German professor Hildegard Hammerschmidt-Hummel produced a number of plausible arguments to support this premise.

2.     So, in pursuing Shakespeare's acquaintance with gematria, we mustn't set up any impediments to our imagination. His school education, right from the beginning, imbued him with all the hardships and blessings of Latin. He became familiar with original Latin prose and poetry. A bright mind that he was, he will, at some point of time, have wondered how there could be the most bitter conflicts between Christians, while classical literature, though written by pagans, was considered the indispensable foundation of perfect education.

3.     We may suppose that he, perhaps still in his teens, met with the famous SATOR-Square which exercised greatest influence on his frame of mind. He furthermore may have received the idea from somewhere to convert letters into numbers according to their alphabetical order and applied it to the SATOR-Square.

At the next stage he studied Latin texts, counting the numeric values of verses. He may have wondered, for example, at the value 1553 for the first four lines of the metamorphoses, showing him that Ovid in this way indicated the 15 books of his epic work as a full number and by the factors 3 times 5.

In studying Ovidian texts meticulously, Shakespeare learned

Let's also suppose that Shakespeare learned about the Pythagorean tetraktys and how it was constructed as a geometrical figure.

Still, there lay some work of reflexion before him, till he fully understood the Roman system of numbers.

4.     What Shakespeare at last understood, was this: God gave his spirit to all peoples and nations, before even Christ was born. The SATOR-Square showed that there was a belief in one God in a kind of trinitarian nature though Rome's public cults suggested the existence of numerous gods and goddesses. The idea of one God was inscribed and inherent in the structure of numbers. He surmised that the poets themselves did not confess their religious convictions openly, but elaborated them by numeric constructions. Perhaps he understood that the strength of a civilisation could consist in keeping divine wisdom secret.

In studying Ovidian and other texts meticulously, Shakespeare learned that the quality of classical poetry consisted in the employment of rational principles of form and structure, which secured it timeless validity. As an English patriot and ambitious poet he wanted to be for his nation what the Roman poets did for their Empire.

5.     Ovid could teach Shakespeare that God was not far away but was present in all the wonderful details of his creation. The God of his poetry was an implied God expressing himself in the richness and variation of his creation.So he decided to serve a universal God of all times and all peoples in the wisdom of numbers without defecting from Christianity. And we can imagine that as universal as his poetic principles were his religious beliefs which he may have seen more originally represented in the Catholic Church of Rome than in the Anglican.

Shakespeare was not unaware that perfect poetry could be written without gematria. But gematria was an essential addition of divine wisdom which the poet shared with God only. He understood what is the experience of many people that there are secrets that can't be shared with another human being.

Shakespeare experienced that he was rewarded for his infinite efforts of working out numeric constructions by receiving a freedom of mind that raised him above all his contemporaries. He was given the freedom to explore the depths of sexuality as a main field of human relations.

6.     In employing the concept of gematria, Shakespeare met with one difficulty that did not exist in Latin: the inconsistency of pronunciation and spelling. He obviously accepted this cultural fact and so made the English language, both sound and letter, a rational equivalent of Roman literature.

7.     Once he had comprehended the divine nature of numbers and God's plan to make the Latin language a perfect vessel to understand them, he could relate Latin terms to Christian words and names, and also to English words. Thus 105 is the numeric value both for NUMERUS and TRINITAS, and NUMBER has the same value 69 as SATOR. Finally, the name IESUS (70) CHRISTUS (112) has the same gematric value as SATOR OPERA TENET, which enabled Shakespeare to serve Christ under the chiffre of a numerological system.

The transition from Latin to English alphabet was rather easy for Shakespeare and other people who wanted to employ gematria. They had just to insert W after V/U, because I/J and V/U were used for the same sounds.

The letter X as 21st letter could be rendered by A+V so that the central word WE might read AVE, taking on a religious meaning in Shakespeare's mind perhaps in reference to Holy Mary.

 

 

Written: December 2008

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