Shakespeare Crossword Clue, Macbeth, 4 Letters

Coworker:  “Shakespeare a clue in my crossword this morning.”

Me:  “I die.”

Coworker:  “What?”

Me: “Sorry. Was it, Romeo’s last words? Because I know that one.”

Coworker:  “No.  It was, ‘the witches in Macbeth’.”

I thought I had this one.

Me:  “Wyrd.”

Coworker:  “Nope.”

I admitted I was stumped.  What else could you say that was specific to Macbeth’s witches, in only 4 letters?

Coworker:  “They wanted ‘trio’.”

Me:  “Well that’s just … that’s annoying.  There’s nothing Shakespeare about that answer.”

Coworker:  “I know, but sometimes they’re like that.  Don’t feel bad, I had the t and the o and I still didn’t get it.”

I was obviously thrown off by Michael Fassbender’s Macbeth, because that one had four witches.  🙂


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Free Audiobooks From The Master of Verona

We can say we knew him when.  Author David Blixt has been around and commenting on Shakespeare Geek almost since its inception (I found this post from April 2008 to give you an idea).  That’s a review of The Master of Verona, book one of his Star-Cross’d series.

And now he’s giving away 10 copies of the audiobook version to Shakespeare Geek readers!

Cangrande della Scala is everything a man should be. Daring. Ambitious. Charming. Brilliant. Ruthless. To the poet Dante – indeed, to the world – Cangrande is the ideal Renaissance prince.

Until Dante’s son discovers a secret that could be Cangrande’s undoing.

Suddenly thrust into the schemes and betrayals surrounding Verona’s prince, Pietro Alighieri must navigate a rivalry that severs a friendship, divides a city, and sparks a feud that will produce Shakespeare’s famous starcrossed lovers, Romeo & Juliet!
Based on the plays of William Shakespeare and the poetry of Dante, THE MASTER OF VERONA is a sweeping novel of Renaissance Italy. Filled with swashbuckling adventure, unrequited love, and brutal treachery, this epic journey recalls the best of Bernard Cornwell, Sharon Kay Penman, and Dorothy Dunnett.

We’re going simple with this one – just comment below if you want one! First come first served.  Make sure you give the site a valid email address so we can email you back!

BONUS!  If audiobooks aren’t your thing, the Kindle edition will be available for FREE on September 26th!

Everybody say it with me now, “Thank you, David!”





When You’re A Jet (West Side Story Reboot Is Coming)

Are we ready for a new West Side Story?

What if I told you Stephen Spielberg is directing?

The casting call is up!  September 11.

The announcement comes from the office of casting director Cindy Tolan. Auditions will take place at Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet in Brooklyn, with the sign-in for men beginning at 9AM and the sign-in for women beginning at 1PM.

The call stipulates auditionees should be between 15 and 25 years old with a strong dance background and ability to sing, and also specifies: “the Sharks are Latinx, the Jets are Caucasian.”

The original is certainly dated (look at that dialogue!) so that’s screaming for a rewrite. Will all those dance numbers still hold an audience’s attention?  All the “coming to America” songs and aspects of the story are still as strong as ever, but I hope they don’t go over the top and make it purely commentary on the current administration.

West Side Story
A little bit of West Side Story dialogue.


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That’s What Friends Are For

One of my favorite things is when people come up to me and say, “I saw something the other day and thought of you,” and it turns out to be a Shakespeare reference of some sort. I especially love it when it’s friends I rarely hear from or coworkers with whom I wouldn’t otherwise interact during the day.  I always relay the story here and I always say “My plan is working.” Because every time that happens, that means that there’s a little more Shakespeare awareness in the world.  Whatever it is that I’m doing, that the people around me are picking up and taking with them in the back of their brains, made them recognize a Shakespeare thing they saw, and pay enough attention to it and think, “I have to tell Duane about that.”  (Seriously, just this week a coworker told me that at an antique store he spotted a coffee mug in the shape of Shakespeare’s head. “I thought you’d like that. But it’s not like I was going to buy an antique for you.”)

I am extra happy to report that the next generation has taken over.  As summer vacations wrap up and the kids get ready to get back into the school schedule, sports practices begin and so on, my daughter texted me a picture and said, “Look what I got!”

Turns out one of her friends went to Italy for vacation and, while in Verona looking at “Juliet’s balcony”, decided that she had to bring my daughter home a present.

On the one hand it’s a just little tchotchke brought back from vacation, like a souvenir spoon or refrigerator magnet. But I see it quite differently. I see it a whole new generation of Shakespeare geeks.  My daughter’s friends know that she’s “into Shakespeare.”  So now they’re the ones seeing Shakespeare things in the world and thinking, “Hey, I should tell her about that.”  Now my daughter’s actually starting her own collection of memories along those lines.  Hopefully one day (NOT soon!) one of her kids sees this hanging out on a knick knack shelf, takes it down to admire, and starts hearing stories about Romeo and Juliet?  

My plan is working better than I could have dreamed.


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Shakespeare and Friends

I admit it, this post is a complete advertisement for my latest merchandise. I think I honestly do a pretty reasonable job of not spamming you folks every time I put up a new t-shirt design, don’t I?  So surely you won’t begrudge me a Friday afternoon commercial.

When I’m working at night, chances are Netflix is on in the background. I’m one of those folks that just likes the noise. I would love to churn through all the new original shows they’re making, but then I have to pay attention to what’s on, rather than letting it just drone in the background. So instead I turn to old series that I  know I like, that have a lot of episodes (that will auto play, you see).  You see where I’m going with this.

The entire ten season run of Friends has graced my television so often I think I’ve memorized all the episodes.  But it wasn’t until recently that the idea hit me … that opening font of theirs is absolutely iconic.  If you do “Skip Intro” you may never even notice it, but when you see it that classic scribble font with the little colored dots you’re definitely thinking, “I recognize that!”

Shakespeare and Friends

I wasn’t even sure Amazon would let these up, so I didn’t go crazy with the “Look! It’s Friends!” keywords.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t tell the real story here.  To get started I made a bunch of versions of Shakespeare’s most iconic characters – Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, Romeo, Juliet, Mercutio. All are available in both t-shirt and hoodie. The t-shirts are available in men’s, women’s and youth sizes (the hoodies are unisex). All the images below are clickable, where you can see the colors available for each.

What do you think? Did I miss your favorite character?  What do you think looks better, character names or play names? For those first couple it doesn’t matter 🙂 but I soon ran out of 5-7 character single words. 🙂 Should I make Prospero and Malvolio and Viola and some other more lesser known characters?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!




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