I finally stopped home after the first leg of the tour, and a really fun lecture series I gave on Shakespearean locations in the Mediterranean (and Aegean) for Harvard. It was really wonderful to discuss the plays while on a ship headed to the very places we were discussing. The company was also very stimulating - a very broad range of accomplished people in very diverse fields.
I started by discussing Shakespeare's language and biography, with an emphasis on violence in his day. My second lecture was a Jungian analysis of Othello, the third a talk about Orson Welles's Othello, and I wrapped it up by looking at Romeo & Juliet in popular culture, from West Side Story to Dire Straits.
What was so interesting for me, in revisiting this field that I last studied formally about ten years ago, was all the ways in which my study of literature - and Shakespeare in particular - influenced my writing. It's very indirect of course, but plugging into some of these narratives again gave me a really fresh perspective on how I came to writing and some of the themes I've chosen.
I have a few more tour stops (San Diego, Orange, Milwaukee, Florida, Oakland) but am now home for the most part, getting ready to dig into something new.