Fictionista, Foodie, Feline-lover

Monday, June 9, 2014

Shakespeare in 144 characters

Photo courtesy of Bigstock
I think if Shakespeare were alive, he'd have embraced social media. "All the world's a stage," he wrote and isn't it thrilling to contemplate what he would have done with a global stage like the Internet? It's already amazing enough that his work remains potent nearly half a millennium after he was born.  And when we reach the stars, somewhere we will take Shakespeare with us. Because he is alive and well on social media.

There is a Facebook group devoted to Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, who many believe was the "real Shakespeare." There is a group devoted to Kill Shakespeare, a comic book in which Shakespeare's greatest heroes are pitted against his most menacing villains (more on that later in the summer.) Goodreads has a Shakespeare Fans group that has more than a thousand members. There are study groups and reading clubs and appreciation circles all over the place, including the Michigan-based Oberon's Shakespeare Study Group, which is particularly interested in the authorship question.

Shakespeare is vibrantly alive on Twitter.

I follow a lot of Tweeps who tweet Shakespeare. Here in L.A. there are a number of Shakespeare-centric drama groups and theater companies that I keep up with (like Theatricum Botanicum) and it's a way of making sure I don't miss their special events. There's @ShakespearePost who has more than 32,000 followers and is following nearly 27K.  Not quite George Takei numbers, but if it were really Bill S posting, I bet he would have gotten to 1 million followers at least as fast as Anderson Cooper. Mostly this account tweets quotes from the plays and sonnets but every once in a while, there's something else, like a link to an article about very unfortunate tattoos that was quite entertaining.

If you're on Twitter and want to find more Shakespeare-friendly folk, all you have to do is type the bard's  name in the search bar. There are a lot of us out there.

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