The Banker and His Player
This chapter focuses on the game-theoretic relationship between William Cecil (the banker) and Edward de Vere (his player). Cecil accompanied the offer of his daughter Anne in marriage with a large dowry; this lure successfully tempted Oxford; the wedding took place in December 1571. The financial settlement dominated Oxford’s reasoning; this control suited the dynastic ambition behind Cecil’s gamesmanship, and that extraludic mastery soon became apparent to Oxford. Banker–player relations would condition Oxford’s life until Queen Elizabeth granted him an annuity in 1586. Hereafter, the player in statecraft became a banker in stagecraft, and Oxford realized his ultimate aim: he wrote. The Policy of the Plays required his anonymity, so the authorial Oxford adopted the sobriquet William Shakespeare.