"Foolery does walk about the orb like the sun", said Shakespeare. Indeed "it shines everywhere", enough that Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton were fools, and Einstein relatively a crypto-communist.
For as weak and nonexistent as it is, by far the weakest of all supposed forces, much weaker even than the tiniest refrigerator magnet or an itsy bitsy spider, the Newtonian gravity of gravitation
would be an exclusively vertical force only if the earth were flat. And gravity is not a lateral force at all, and the earth is not flat, of course.
Shakespeare was born
in 1564, the same year as Galileo, and in all his works he never mentions Copernicus or heliocentrism. He never mentions Gilbert, Kepler, or Galileo. However, he did mention Aristotle as poetics or Plato as what-for, and the Christian faith, both or all of
which are geocentric sources.
From sentiments gathered from his plays and details of his life, he appears to have been a Catholic sympathizer, or even a sort of crypto-Catholic, getting by as wisely
as would be well in Protestant England. In "Troilus and Cressida" he wrote "one touch of nature makes the whole world kin" and phrases that fairly should be interpreted as a geocentric and Catholic view of the cosmos: Troilus saying, "as sun to day, as iron to adamant, as earth to center", and Cressida "as the very center of the earth drawing all things to it."
In the same play, Ulysses says :
"the Heavens themselves, the Planets, and this center [the Earth], observe degree, priority, and place."
The lines "as earth
to center", "the very center of the earth drawing all things to it" and Ulysses' statement would refer to the evident fact that the earth is the only sign always in every constellation of the ecliptic. Between all astronomical oppositions and in every constellation
all the time, the metaxological character and isometric view of the heavens from the earth, therefore, is central and unique.
In "As You Like It", he wrote, "all the world's a stage"; and, like the stage that he meant, the earth is not moving, but the players and their fates are. In "King Lear", he wrote "our foster-nurse of nature is repose",
and the stationary earth and the daily rest that it makes possible are as mother nature.
In Act II Scene II of Hamlet, it is evident
that Denmark is still of the old Aristotelian and Ptolemaic line. A pre-Newtonian country, where Lord Polonius reads Hamlet's aeriform letter to Ophelia for the court, which says, in part, "doubt thou the stars are fire; doubt that the sun doth move; doubt
truth to be a liar; but never doubt I love."
Doubt then that the sun does move, but not that Hamlet loves Ophelia. Then, ventilated as a coincidental matter, Copernicanism is wrong.
If not for comedy but tragedy, if Ophelia would be such a fool, perplexed with stupid doubts, she may doubt that the stars are fire, and that the sun does move and orbit the earth, and that the
truth is not the truth but a liar, but she should not doubt that Hamlet loves her.
Later in Act II Scene II Hamlet says to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, "and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition
that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to
me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours." Calling the earth "this goodly frame", not this "relative frame of reference", he likens the earth to a "promontory" with a "majestical roof fretted with golden fire". The metaphors here are geocentric
and classical not Copernican.
If it were not clear enough, In Act III Scene II, the Player King says, "Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round Neptune's salt wash and Tellus' orbed ground,
and thirty dozen moons with borrow'd sheen about the world have times twelve thirties been"... Phoebus' cart is the sun. Tellus is the earth.
And the Player Queen answers, "so many journeys may
the sun and moon make ... again ..." In these brief lines, the geocentric cosmology of Shakespeare and Hamlet's Denmark are self-evident.
Heliocentrism and scientific materialism, however, have
been like little tempests in a teapot, if for so many years after Copernicus they are still posing around. Yet like rattling stormwinds in a small world, they have blown some ships off course.
The "Tempest" was Shakespeare's last play, and retains a classic sense about the human condition
and state of man in the cosmos. As Prospero says, "We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep."
77 years before Newton's "Principia" and 250 years before Darwin and Marx, the setting of Prospero's deserted isle is like the world of honest science and honest government, so alienated and exiled from its proper place. Though in exile, however, things at
times may not be so bad. Some castaways may listen to the wind and hear a distant voice crying in the wilderness, "vox clamantis in deserto", et cetera.
So it goes, and some
people on rare occasion may make up Shakespearese, since "if you can play Shakespeare, you can play anything." For nothing but embarrassment and the boredom, social damages may be difficult to assess. If not very good, it may not be far worse than the Three
Stooges or "I hate it when that happens". Although things could be quite bad at times, and painful, Shakespeare may not have said it, but it could be close from a distance not too far apart.
is the sometime corny and ouchy state, that may erupt, per occasion; and then there is the corruption of astronomy and the oddest circumstances to explain it as well. People can see that, it only makes sense, like Mars in Cancer, if whatever with bygones of
For example, In Act III, Scene 2, Stephano, Trinculo, and Caliban drink to their hearts content from some
kegs of rum near the beach, in another part of the island, away from Prospero's court; and there they plumb the shallow depths of their place in the cosmos.
Caliban: This isle is full of noises, hidden sounds, sometimes sweet airs that give delight and hurt not. But no womens have I seen other than
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices. The clouds methought would open and show riches ready to drop upon me that I
could not count.
Stephano: In this intoxicating sun? where to look too long is almost going blind? It must be Venus or Jupiter hidden in
Galileo and Newton were fools. Kepler and Copernicus too. Einstein, of course, was an old communist, perhaps an idiot.
would sing a little) "Flout 'em and scout 'em, scout 'em and flout 'em. Hey, ho, come on, Trinculo, sing 2 and 2 are 4, not 5, and thought is free".
Caliban: Is that a tune from that magic book
you would call geocentricity? Prospero should not see it. He has enough books already.
Stephano: May the bird of paradise fly up his nose.
... and an elephant caress him with his toes.
Stephano: of course. (they drink)
Trinculo: You'll teach this poor creature too, not
to believe in gravity? Is this some strange island madness in you, to not believe in Newton's recognized theory of the system of the world?
Stephano: No, certainly not. I don't believe Newton's theory at all. Even if gravity may seem the attractive word, like alchemy perhaps, and being an atttractive word, it may create for some an attractive force, like gravitas. Eh, Caliban?
Caliban: hhhu-aw-ottle-ah, gravity and love of parrots in the breeze -- if Prospero's daughter had a phone number and I could read, I'd call her.
Caliban: of course, hold the thought (takes a folded piece of paper from a pocket in his "Miami Vice" sport coat)
Trinculo: (looking at it over his shoulder) "Fervor of love escorts ... 8-6-7-5 and 3-0-9, for a good time call Jenny."
Howls my heart, and look at the drawing (howls).
Trinculo: That notice is not from this island. Where did you get it?
Caliban: Curiosity about its import? No area code. In truth, it washed ashore: a message in the bottle romancing the stone.
Trinculo: The wagging
Stephano: Pluto of Venus, let me see that mail ... (takes it. Caliban snarls. Stephano examines it then hands it back)
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
Caliban: (looking at it, then putting it away) that's a precious fillip.
Well, as we were, gravitas in Latin means weight, of course. To acknowledge that weight exists which may exert force as it operates with density, mass, and impetus is not necessarily to accept Newton's theories at all.
For one, recall the earth's a sphere of unique density, and gravity's not a lateral force. Since gravity's not a lateral force, and the earth's a sphere, it's not a vertical one either -- except, of course, as it holds earthly bodies
in place or compels air to let things to fall.
Caliban: ah, paper boats, quoquo quaqua ...
Stephano: Not lateral, quoquo, then not
radial either, quaqua, since radial force is lateral from the axis at the center.
Caliban: tuku tuku tiki taka.
Stephano: The only
way that gravity could be operative on an exclusively vertical plane is if the earth were flat; but the earth's not flat, of course, it goes without saying: we have here a sphere with no equatorial bulge and no squeezed-in polar caps.
Caliban: That's it, ya-ya yo-yo, thwip. One can feel it, even from the stars.
Stephano: To sense that well of Jupiterial
élan all round, as an ancient and wise Roman King once said, "telluris ingens conditor terram dedisti immobilem".
hmm, Dom Prospero has often begun to tell me what sort of freak I am but stopped and left me to a bootless inquisition.
Stephano: "Conturbare grave, falso auctum" ...
Caliban: yes, it could be
Stephano: ... disturbingly burdensome, therefore, falsely exaggerated, heliocentrism
aggrieves proper celestial mechanics and common sense physics. Isn't that right, Caliban? What's correct and much better is the classical theory of impetus, momentum, and accomodation.
If the world be trained by such morons as thee, for the pleasure of sick fools, then many wretched poor will still be doomed as ever.
Caliban: Yo-Yo tragical and the stupid looks of you. Everyone
has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth.
Stephano: See, the seasons change, sorely in these times. Yet tell me not, when the barrel's out, we'll drink water. Not one drop sooner. Cheers, therefore, bear up and board 'em, servant-monster, and drink to me, you ugly fellow.
hhhu-aw, pffaw, gravity -- curiosity killed the cat ... but satisfaction brought him back.
Trinculo: Servant-monster? The folly of this place! And they say there’s but five upon this
isle. We are three of them. If the other two be brained like us, the state totters.
Stephano: Drink, servant-monster, when I bid thee. Thine eyes are almost set in thy head, foul companion.
Trinculo: Where should they be set else? He were a brave monster indeed, if they were set in his tail, even for such an atavistic end.
The barber's chair fits all buttocks but his: lost on an uncharted isle in the middle of the cosmos, ah, the last resort of Ptolemy's goose or somebody's fixed-Earth location.
Stephano: Must we speak such drivel, to say that the desert in China does not orbit the Sun?
Caliban: Cheers! If you will, sirrah, by impetus
Stephano: Right, by the inverse squared, and the momentum.
Trinculo: bah, no, and the reptilian-hybrid's so drunk he can't talk
without spitting spittle and spilling from his kettle of rum.
Caliban: (spilling and drinking) If I were not thirsty, I'm not sure what I would do?
Trinculo: What an awful beast of fear and loathing he is! For what would you teach him geocentricity?
He might destroy us all,
if he's not set again to his chain. Therefore, get the lock, or this island will be wrecked as well like our old ship.
Stephano: Hang fire. He's off the chain now and will not easily be put back on it. Fear and pray for our assembly then, if you will, but this toothsome creature must run his course. (laughing and rubbing the
servant-monster's head. The servant-monster laughs, spits, howls, and drinks more rum.)
Caliban: (singing) It's so hard to keep the smile from my face, since I tol' you I'm all over the place.
Clowns to the left. Jokers to the right. Stuck in the middle. Nothing to lose.
Trinculo: He sings like a dog.
Caliban: woo hoo, and
Stephano: Whatever happens will happen by fortune, virtue, or design. Yet Copernicanism's of a nature on which nurture can never stick. Isn't that right, thirsty savage?
Caliban: He who would eat it, the moldy bread of Copernicus, 'twill make him sick to queasy, even worse than bad rum. (Caliban drinks more)
Quo fata ferunt, whither the fates carry us, I wouldn't want it, even for a biscuit, and I wouldn't smoke it either.
Trinculo: Heavens guard this island and its humane society against sordid
beasts, malignant spirits, and against all ignorant science.
Stephano: Coconuts and premature apocalypse, our triumvirate state totters and has fallen away from the truth, if the world spins from
gravity more than rum.
Caliban: Aye, but I'd be full of pleasure and jocund to know that the earth does not orbit the sun.
Even without television (looking at Caliban), I would change the channel.
I'm afraid our eyes and thirsts are bigger than our bellies, that we have more curiosity than capacity; for we grasp at
all, and drink too much, but catch nothing but foul wind and confusion.
Caliban: Ta ha iffthowwa -- thou makest me merry with thy eyes askance. If there were a cookie, I would certainly
Trinculo: No pickles and no cookies today.
Caliban: Oh, for legion
Stephano: 'Tis no government where there's no science, and bad ones where there's no honor but power
hungry and devious minds instead -- and faked moon landings.
Caliban: Faked moon landings! Ha! ha, ha, and I'll go to Mars sans souci!
Stephano: Moon-calf, speak and barf again in thy vitals, if thou beest a good beasty boy.
Caliban: Hhrrar, pfuaw -- How does thy honour? Let me lick thy shoe.
Stephano: Which way goes the moon?
From east to west around our isle, of course, clockwise when spectated from above the North pole with Santa and his elves.
Trinculo: What astronomy quoth he! That a monster should be such
Stephano: Ha, this devil knows the way of the moon better than NASA and the Federal Reserve scam. In vino et aquae vitae veritas!
a castle and the stars, this could almost be Camelot.
Caliban: Yet so, the gods keep hidden the means of life, else we would do easily work
enough in a day to supply a full year.
Why must I labour with sorrow by day, then perishing
madness by night? (He drinks more) The gods have laid sore troubles on me.
Trinculo: Even without working, things for
us would seem stranger still. Woe is us, as the world turns. Are we not lost?
Caliban:(drinking and speaking) ... t'ooku t'ooku, teeki
Stephano: Erica Kane's long gone, it's true, and all our cousins, except this servant-monster breed here. If we but had the budget from NASA, we could send him to Mars for cookies and whipped
(A crystalline voice ringing out of thin air says, "that was 'All My Children' not 'As the World Turns'.")
Trinculo: Wo, that
sounded from another sphere.
Stephano: What frequency was that?
No wonder I sometimes howl myself to sleep at night. This isle's enchanted with spirits.
Ariel: Odd angles three, how now, moodies?
A hidden sprite plays some mischief with us from the trees?
Stephano: Who goes there? Where are you?
Ariel: It's only wind chimes
and the trees. They call me, "the Breeze".
Stephano: It's coming from that way, up there. A monkey and wind chimes.
Ariel: ha ha ha, creatures for a day! What is of man that was not but a
shadow of a dream? Three fools like you cannot catch me, but as you will, come and see.
Trinculo: The sound's
going away; let's follow it, and after later do our work.
(Following the voice, they wander up an elevation off the beach to the woods.)