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The Globe Theater was a model in miniature of the earth. When it burned down in 1613 Bacon’s friend, Ben Jonson, wrote a poem about the event in which he said, “See the world’s ruins.” The idea of the Globe Theater was that it was the theater of the world, on its stage was depicted all the human drama that is played out on the world stage. Julius Caesar is a written version of the Globe Theater, it not only depicts the world; it also depicts the theater of the world, and depicts the essence and rationale of all human drama on the world stage. This latter depiction is intimately related with the seasons of the planet.
Here again we see Bacon reflected in this mirror of the world that he created. The basic metaphor Bacon used in his system of thought was his concept of his Intellectual Globe. As God had created the great globe, the world, so Bacon created the Intellectual Globe. The Intellectual Globe was a replica in the human mind of the globe of the world. In his Novum Organum Bacon said, “I am building in the human understanding a true model of the world,” and ended his Advancement of Learning with the words, “And now we have finished our small globe of the intellectual world.” Bacon even gave an unpublished version of his Advancement of Learning, that he wrote in 1612, the title, “A Description Of The Intellectual Globe.” The Globe Theater was a wooden version of Bacon’s Intellectual Globe. Julius Caesar is a written version of Bacon’s Globe Theater.
One way Bacon depicted the earth was through his allusion to festivals. The earth’s biography is written every year in the change of seasons. The cast of characters in this biography includes the zodiac, the moon and the sun-principally the sun in Julius Caesar because the calendar of Julius Caesar replaced the lunar-based calendar with a solar-based calendar. The ancients chronicled the biography of the earth in festivals that marked out the seasons of the earth. Bacon used festivals in the play to allude to the earth. Thus Julius Caesar opens with an allusion to an ‘invented’ festival. Julius Caesar also opens on the festival of the Lupercal. Bacon changed his sources to conflate the festival of the Lupercal with the time of Caesar’s triumph. The Lupercal was celebrated on February 15, exactly one month before the assassination of Caesar on March 15, thus alluding in passing to the moon, but the Lupercal has another more important allusion that emphasizes the importance of festivals in the drama. Lupercal, “wolf day,” was one of the most ancient Roman festivals. It was a fertility rite relating to both individuals and to the entire earth. It was held in honor of Lupercus, the Roman equivalent of the Greek nature god Pan, so called because he protected the flocks from the wolves. Pan, according to Bacon symbolized universal nature, and therefore the earth.