The Shakespeare Codes

"William Shakespeare prepared the text of his sonnets
to embed various devices for communicating his
personal thoughts and his own message to the world.
These devices comprise an ingenious set of codes that have
awaited discovery ever since the poems appeared. It is this
communication from the Poet himself that has informed this book
and is what justifies yet another work
along this most beaten path...."

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Book Cover

by David Basch

"the central mysterious friend of the Sonnets
turns out to be none other than The Lord, God."

      The Shakespeare Codes (2000) is the third of David Basch's books in which he explores Judaic influences on the work of William Shakespeare. In doing so, he succeeds in deciphering the essential meaning of the Sonnets, a task that had long resisted attempts.

      While the Sonnets is one of the most popular of the poet's works it yet has been one of his most troublesome. While it is unique in presenting the poet speaking in his own voice, representing him directly and not as filtered by the characters and stories of his plays, this has not come as an unmixed blessing. In spite of the great beauty of the language and expressions of these poems, they are often marred by difficulties they pose in their meaning. Why this has been so and what it is the poet wished to accomplish through these poems can now be revealed through Basch's code discoveries.

      Among many revelations -- including the fact that more than one friend is honored -- the central, mysterious friend of the Sonnets turns out to be The Lord, God. (See the revealing article below analyzing the Sonnets Dedication.) When these aspects are recognized, sonnets of world-class distinction, which were formerly denigrated by the suspicion that they were dedicated to a shallow, unworthy, young friend, are suddenly transformed into the magnificent, majestic works they are, revealed as praises of The Lord. See, for example, how this transformation occurs when the true, high object of poet's love is borne in mind as it is expressed in the heartfelt couplet that ends superlative Sonnet 29:

          For thy sweet loue remembred such welth brings,
          That then I skorne to change my state with Kings.

      The newly found codes are unlike the alleged recondite ciphers and codes that have been reported decades earlier by commentators in attempting to prove that persons such as Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, or Edward de Vere wrote the poet's works. All such prior, alleged, hidden messages have for the most part been decisively discredited. Nor is the central new code now presented anything like the equal letter spaced codes (ELS) that are alleged to have been found in the Bible, although the poet can be found to have occasionally used ELS devices among his communications. The fact is that the key to Basch's unique code discoveries is their Judaic sources that involve not only many Judaic allusions but even the very numbering of the poems, aspects completely overlooked in prior investigations. It is such omissions that have frustrated all other attempts to find hidden content in the poet's work. But Basch, having had a Jewish education and having been trained as an architect and city planner, was not limited by the conventional assumptions of Shakespearean scholars that had insured diversion and failure. As a result, Basch was able to embark on the fascinating process of discovery and interpretation which he now shares with readers.

      The 634 pages of The Shakespeare Codes are arranged in two parts. (See the Table of Contents below.) The first part of the book is comprised of seven chapters dealing with the process of unraveling the mysteries of the Sonnets. What emerges is the discovery and gradual unlocking of the variety of the codes and devices that the poet used as well as the allegory that organizes these poems. This enabled the revelation of the inner meaning of even the most difficult of the poems. Most important, this has given access to the meaning of the work as a whole -- the grand, encompassing insight coming from the poet, one of the wisest and discerning of men.

      Part 2 of the book, a book in itself, presents a sonnet by sonnet analysis of the 154 sonnets -- most of these not treated in the earlier portion of the book -- and, for the first time, applies the insight of the codes to their understanding. This is followed by a copy of each sonnet marked with the poet's encoding. These are shown in the original odd Quarto spelling and approximate layout, including other format features that were found to have been essential in revealing these codes. Lest any reader think that this portion of the book would be an anticlimax in the light of the dramatic discoveries of Part 1, that reader is soon disabused as some of the most spectacular of the findings appear in this portion.

      In this new work, not only do Shakespeare's sonnets become understandable in a deeper and more essential way, but the poet himself is revealed in a new setting and, at last, free of the alleged obsessions that have tainted his personal reputation. Admirers of the poet will find this most welcome as they become aware of unknown aspects of Shakespeare's uncanny skill and genius that enabled him to bring to robust life this message to the world.

Revised 11.21.13


Table of Contents for The Shakespeare Codes:

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Introduction to The Shakespeare Codes

The Onlie Begetter: Analysis of Sonnets Dedication (7.27.08)

Sonnet 107: Song of Thanksgiving
Exploration of Sonnets devices (revised 3/4/16)

The Hidden Shakespeare (1994)
Shakespeare's Judaica and Devices (1996)