The Topics

There are six issues each year on repeating topics. Our focus is always on educating, clarifying, elucidating, enlightening— we guarantee that in each issue you will learn something that helps illuminate some small aspect of the Shakespearean works.

Motifs (January/February): These issues focus on quotations around certain topics—the number of ways Shakespeare describes the dawn, or death, dogs, loyalty, revenge, children, fathers, stupidity, kingship, lechery, literacy, etc. By focusing on these motifs in groups, we can how Shakespeare uses them and thus perhaps gain new insights.

Potpourri (March/April): This catch-all includes a range of ideas, from foods mentioned in the plays along with period recipes; short stories told from quotations; a treasury of miniature versions of the plays; and much more—but always with the purpose of teaching us something new.

Language (May/June): The language issues focus on Shakespeare’s careful craft of writing—rhetorical devices that are used so cleverly, poetic devices, rhythms, tropes, first and last lines, riddles, weird and wacky words, lost words, rare words. Each issue illuminates another layer of Shakespeare’s brilliant gift of language.

Collections (July/August): Collections might include the drinks mentioned in different taverns and what they were drunk out of; music and musical instruments; gods and goddesses; battles and battlefield maps; rings that are symbolic in various plays; the Mothers in the plays; clarifications of the holidays mentioned; prophecies that come true.

Correspondences/Symbology (September/October): In every play, Shakespeare mentions a variety of flora, fauna, stones, ancient historical characters, Greek and Romans gods and goddesses, mythological characters and events, etc. If we look closely at the underlying significance of these items, we see that the author fully understood the connotations and “correspondences” of each object. Surprising layers of information appear when we shine a focused light on these elements.

Games & Puzzles (November/December): Once a year, test your knowledge with these inventive and clever games based on the works, or play a game that Shakespeare knew, or travel the world with Shakespeare. We promise these issues will stimulate your brain and be great fun, plus you’ll learn new things—all at the same time!