I love Twitter. I’ve made several friends and important contacts while being on Twitter. I especial love playing hashtag games. My favorite is a weekly game called Shakespeare Sunday. Each Sunday a group of Shakespeare geeks who go by the Twitter handle @Hollow Crown Fans host a game devoted to a particular Shakespeare theme. It’s up to the players to come up with Shakespeare quotes using 140 characters or less, making sure there is room to tag the post #ShakespeareSunday.
One of the things I’ve noticed while participating in the game over the last year is that the quotes which receives the most retweets are brief and to the point. My shortest quote, “Exist pursued by a bear” garnered me 52 retweets in 15 minutes. I am not sure what this says about our attention span but it says a lot about Shakespeare. He had the ability to tell us immense stories using few words. Some of his best quotes are one-liners, yet they speak volumes
I had a chat with someone today on Twitter about Shakespeare’s ability to tell us stories using few words. We agreed that one of my Tweets used said so much in just 10 words. It moved a lot of people to retweet and comment on it. This became my personal challenge for the day. Could I find 10 quotes under 10 words that told a story or moved us to think beyond the brief statement? The ones I picked had to tell a larger story than the words being offered. If not a story, then they had to give us pause and reflect on the implications of the words. It wasn’t enough just to find a brief quote, there had to be something beyond them.
I give you 10 short stories from Shakespeare, using 10 words or less
The day frowns more and more. A Winter’s Tale
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs. Othello
The course of true love never did run smooth. Midsummer’s Night Dream
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. Henry IV
She is so self-endeared. Much Ado about Nothing
I am a man more sinned against than sinning. King Lear
An honest tale speeds best being plainly told. Richard III
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me. Richard II
In a false quarrel there is no true valor. Much ado about nothing
The rest is silence. Hamlet