Mary Queen of Scots and the allegory called Romeo and Juliet.

Dramatis Personae


The Earl of Bothwell and Mary Queen of Scots was the greatest tragedy that England ever produced.


Romeo and Juliet was the greatest tragedy that England ever produced.


James Hepburn, the Earl of Bothwell is a


Romeo is a

Protestant Montague
who fell in love with who fell in love with
Mary Queen of Scots who is a prominent Juliet who is a prominent



The earl was the opposite of Mary. Where she was mannerly, gracious, and spoke well, he was rowdy, uncouth, loud and confrontational in manner. Romeo was the opposite of Juliet. Where she was mannerly, gracious, and spoke well, he was rowdy, uncouth, loud and confrontational in manner.

David Rizzo - Mary's secretary and a friend to most everyone including the Earl of Bothwell. David was a good muscian

Mercutio is a friend to most everyone and is thought to be a poet since much of his dialog rhymes- but in two places (here and here) he sings and that is the only singing in the entire play. Yep, Mercutio could easily have been a 'good musician'.

Queen Elizabeth, is the law of the land.

Escalus, the Prince of Verona, is the law of the land.

dauphineThe Dauphin of France, whose name was Francis II was the son of the King of France, He was Mary's bethroed and her first husband. He was also a relative of Queen Elizabeth. (The rulers of Europe were all related. Royal spouses often came with treaties.)

Dauphin, Dauphine and Dauphiny are names for the same territory which was found in South Eastern France and Dauphin was also the title of it's ruler. Like a count used to be the ruler of a county.

ParisParis = France=Francis II. Italy and France warred almost continuously in the 16th century so it is strange that no one questions a prominent Italian having the same name as the French capital. That's like a German having the first name of Moscow, an English Lord named Berlin, a Chinese man with the name Tokyo, etc. 

County Paris (Often changed to Count Paris in later versions of the play Romeo and Juliet but still refered to as County within the play itself). He is 'kinsman to the Prince' of Verona.

The Bard used poetic license to corrupt 'Count Paris' to 'County Paris' so that you would know it was about the Dauphin of France.

King Henry II of France is the head of the Catholic Church in France and the father of the Dauphin of France. Capulet is the head of the Capulets and the father of Juliet.


Catholics and Protestants had a feud going almost continuously.

[Catholicism was a religion that had been recently corrupted by lots of Gold from the New World. This corruption is what created the actual need for an alternative to Catholicism, the Protestant religion. The Catholics saw the Protestant's as the problem. They did not see their own corruption as the cause. This ignorance and refusal to deal with the inner corruption threatened to destroy Catholicism.]

The corruption was seen as an infection in the Catholic Church which looked minor however was very serious which, it was thought at the time, could render it's complete destruction.

The Capulets and Montagues had a feud going almost continuously. By the way both names are actually medical terms!

Capulet is a sore that causes a bump on the elbow of a horse. It's often the result of a bruise from an injury. It was often seen as an isolated problem. However, a capulet was occasionally caused by an infection which should never be ignored. 

Which one was it? A Montague means a large infection. Mont=mountain  & ague=fever as resulf of an infection. A more accurate definition of Ague four centuries ago is broader and is more likely to be used to describe a severe or deadly infection as when used by Sir Walter Raleigh right before his execution. "At this hour my ague comes upon me. I would not have my enemies think I quaked from fear." Wikipedia

The infectious nature of the later type of capulet could  kill a horse or even a king like King Henry VIII. who was said to have died from a sore on his leg. It was called a capulet at the time and it was ignored. Then the infection spread throughout his body and killed him. 

The Capulet's and Montague's were a warning to the Catholic Church to clean itself up and not ignore the problem of corruption or the Protestants could destroy them.


Lord Darnley,

cousin (and husband) of Mary. A Catholic who had a mean and violent streak. 


cousin of Juliet. A Capulet who had a mean and violent streak. 

The Protestant Clergy

Friar Laurence

Jean Gordon-Bothwells wife Rosaline-Romeo's girlfriend

The scenes

The King of France wants his son, the Dauphin of France, to marry Mary Queen of Scots

Capulet wants his daughter Juliet to marry County Paris

without regards for her feelings. without regards for her feelings.
They are betrothed when she is 5 and marries him when she is 15 She is only 13 so he says she can marry in two more years when she is 15
The earl seduces Mary Romeo seduces Juliet
while hidding his true character behind the mask of being a kind person which he was not. while hidding his true identity behind a mask.
The Earl of Bothwell: 'His fiery temper and jealousy of the Earl of Murray involved him in a succession of riots and brawls which led him (on more than one occasion) to imprisonment and exile.'

Romeo is involved in numerous fights and street brawls seemingly on a nearly continuous basis. 

Mary, David Rizzo, Bothwell and friends are having a good time (at Holyrood) when they are attacked by Darnley and his thugs Romeo and friends including Mercutio are having a good time when they are attacked by Tabalt and his thugs.
Darnley wants to murder Bothwell: The murder of Lords Bothwell, Huntly, Livingston and Fleming, and James Balfour, had also been planned..'
Darnley cannot get Bothwell to fight since he
'escaped by a back window' and ran away. 
Tybalt wants to get Romeo to fight so he can kill him but Romeo refused to fight. 
but David Rizzo does but Mercutio does
and is killed by Darnley and his men and is killed by Tybalt and his men 
while he was under the protection of Bothwell (Bothwell was acting as Mary's protector and had previously been Captain of the Scottish guards).
Oops, I can't find a reference to it. Well it looks like I will have to go to Scotland and look up the records of Bothwell's trial. 
while he is under Romeo's arm (Which was symbolic of Mercutio being under the wing of Romeo which in turn means his  protection)
As in Act III Scene I 'A plague o' both your houses! 'Zounds, a dog, a rat, a mouse, a
cat, to scratch a man to death! a braggart, a
rogue, a villain, that fights by the book of
arithmetic! Why the devil came you between us? I
was hurt under your arm.
David Rizzo was the only one that dies Mercutio was the only one that dies.
They are not even prosecuted for the crime. They are not even prosecuted for the crime.

Davids death is then avenged by the Earl of Bothwell 

Mercutio's death is then avenged by Romeo

who kills Darnley.

who kills Tybalt. 

He gets away with it.

He gets away with it

Bothwell and Mary elope to Dunbar (or else he kidnaps her it is not known if she was willing or unwilling)

Romeo and Juliet elope

and marry secretly

and marry secretly

at Holyrood Palace in a Protestant ceremony

in a ceremony by Friar Lawrence

leaving many people to wonder how he could so easily dump Jean Gordon who was his new wife of less than one year. who wonders how Romeo can so easily dump his girlfriend Rosaline.

They marry in the hopes of bringing peace between the feuding Catholics and Protestants.

They marry in the hopes of bringing peace between the feuding Capulets and Montagues.

However the Catholic Church does not recognize the marriage and it seems that the Protestants don't either

However the Capulets and Montagues do not know (recognize) that they are married

so most Catholics and Protestants were against them.

so most Capulets and Montagues were against them. 

No actual fighting took place. No actual fighting took place.
Mary agreed to give herself up Juliet gives up

on condition that Bothwell was given safe passage into exile.

Escalus, the Prince of Verona banishes Romeo from Verona threatening death should he ever return.

But he doesn't leave the country. But he doesn't leave the country.
If Mary had disowned Bothwell she could still have survived as sovereign but she refused. If Juliet had disowned Romeo she could have survived as a countess (wife of Paris) but she refused
Mary is imprisoned (put on ice) at Lochleven Castle, a virtual tomb, which made her completely immobile. She is thought to be as good as dead by everyone 
Juliet takes a potion and enters a deep sleep which makes her completely immobile. She is thought to be dead by almost everyone.
except for Bothwell who spent the next month trying, in vain, to raise more troops except for Romeo.

but then she escapes from her tomb of a prison at Lochleven.  

but then she escapes from her prison of sleep. 
At Langside the brave men who are most loyal to Mary fight against a force that has nearly everyone on their side,    At the tomb the brave man who is most loyal to Juliet, Romeo, fights Paris (who has nearly everyone on his side)
and many are killed who is killed 
but in the end it's a suicidal act. Also, the Earl of Bothwell virtually committed suicide by going to Scandanavia where he had previously jilted Anna Rustung after accepting and absconding with a dowry of 40,000 Tolars (equal to 40,000 Gold Ducats, a tremendous sum) from her father to marry her. She had him put in prison where he died. but in the end it's a suicidal act on the part of Romeo.  

Seeing the dead of both sides from the battle was thought by many to have caused Mary to have virtually commited suicide by going to England and trying to gain support from a Protestant Queen Elizabeth for her war with Protestant lords.  (Where Queen Elizabeth has her imprisoned until her death.)

Seeing the death of those closest to her which she caused horrifies and drives a distraught Juliet to commit suicide.

This bloodshed and huge sacrifice in the name of love brought peace between the Catholics and Protestants in the British Isles. This bloodshed and huge sacrifice in the name of love brought peace between the Capulets and Montagues in Verona.

The End

The End


By the way one thing that was left out of the published play 'Romeo and Juliet' is that Romeo wore a monkey mask as his disguise at the masque when he meets Juliet. It's a subconscience exposure of his true self. In Act 2 Scene 1, when Romeo jumps the orchard wall in order to see Juliet in the balcony scene right after the masque Mercuito calls out : 'The ape is dead, and I must conjure him.' Here This is a direct reference to Romeo having worn a monkey mask. 

rhesus macaque monkeyI could not help myself. It was more than symbolic that my neighbor had a monkey which was all the rage at the time (which I think was a Rhesus Macaque and so was the mask). Every time I wrote about Romeo I could not help but see my friend's monkey acting the part...and all Romeo's emotions seemed quite consistent with those of her monkey.

It may seem like a small point to most but I put it in the play early so that young women would not become enamored of the likes of Romeo. It didn't work and I am horrified to find out that many have become enamored with Romeo. Come on, by comparison to Juliet Romeo is an idiot, foolish, cynical, brutish and impractical.

Since I seem to be on a path which is destined to alienate every one who is reading this I'll add to the above that Romeo (and Lord Bothwell) is impulse driven, vulgar, spineless and cruel. He is sacreligious and doesn't know right from wrong. In short he is a sociopath. Fun? Yes, but dangerous fun, like in a outlaw biker sort of way. 

This all leads us to the real reason Mary Queen of Scots was vulnerable to Lord Bothwell (and Juliet to Romeo). The following passage in Romeo and Juliet describes Mary Queen of Scots abuse when she was a child. 

Act 1 Scene 3

    Even or odd, of all days in the year,
    Come Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen.
    Susan and she--God rest all Christian souls!--
    Were of an age: well, Susan is with God;
    She was too good for me: but, as I said,
    On Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen;
    That shall she, marry; I remember it well.
    'Tis since the earthquake now eleven years;
    And she was wean'd,--I never shall forget it,--
    Of all the days of the year, upon that day:
    For I had then laid wormwood to my dug,
    Sitting in the sun under the dove-house wall;
    My lord and you were then at Mantua:--
    Nay, I do bear a brain:--but, as I said,
    When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple
    Of my dug and felt it bitter, pretty fool,
    To see it tetchy and fall out with the dug!
    Shake quoth the dove-house: 'twas no need, I trow,
    To bid me trudge:
    And since that time it is eleven years;
    For then she could stand alone; nay, by the rood,
    She could have run and waddled all about;
    For even the day before, she broke her brow:
    And then my husband--God be with his soul!
    A' was a merry man--took up the child:
    'Yea,' quoth he, 'dost thou fall upon thy face?
    Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit;
    Wilt thou not, Jule?' and, by my holidame,
    The pretty wretch left crying and said 'Ay.'
    To see, now, how a jest shall come about!
    I warrant, an I should live a thousand years,
    I never should forget it: 'Wilt thou not, Jule?' quoth he;
    And, pretty fool, it stinted and said 'Ay.'

Court records at the time show that Mary was found bruised beyond belief with a fractured skull when she was 3 years old (14 minus 'eleven') after wandering around in the garden ('rood') by neighbors. The fracture was determined to have happened at least a day earlier ('for even the day before') and since her nurse had not seeked medical attention it was almost solid proof that it had been abuse and not an accident. The excuse of her nurses husband was that it had been an accident because Mary fell down a lot (which is even today a very common excuse of child abusers). When asked why the fracture look like it had been caused by being hit with a fist in the face ('she broke her brow') he stated that she often fell on her face ('dost thou fall upon thy face') because she was too stupid to fall backwards but that as she got smarter she might learn to ('Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit').

The part about 'God be with his soul'? That concerns the body of the nurses
husband's which was later found massively riddled with three sizes of many sword holes, lots of them. So at least three killers had taken turns slowly stabbing him until he died the 'death of a thousand cuts'. And of course as often happens with child abuse the wife is either complicit or in complete denial.

In the play Mary's abuse as a child was abreviated but you missed all of it didn't you? Well don't worry you are in the company of kings, queens and about two billion other people who have seen the play in it's multitude of forms and venues and not realized the absolute horror that it really is.

I have never studied English history or the plays. If I can recall all of these allegories from memory then you can likely come up with some more. Please let me know about them if you do and I will add them to the above paper.

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