Twelfth Night, Act III, Sc 3
While I hope I haven’t become one of those people who need to rely on the kindness of strangers…my six-month old Shakespeare’s Tao Twitter page just topped 2,000 followers and I’ll be damned if I know more than a handful of them. It’s a bit early for serious number-crunching, but this milestone, combined with the season, led me to a quick year-end analysis.
But first, as the year wraps up, I’m glad that I’ve found it fun to put the website together and then share it on FB and Twitter. It’s been fun – and a bit of work – going through my memory banks and researching to find Shakespearean quotes that match Lao Tsu in both spirit and text. It’s been a bit easier going through my old photos to match images to the quotes. This was a considerably longer process, since the photos brought back so many wonderful memories and generated some wonderful daydreams. The result? A website with 131 Shakespearean quotes for people to use and abuse. When you get there you’ll see a Shakespearean sampler, with my own favourites, as well as a tab with the full collection. https://tao-not-dow.org/tao-not-dow/galleries/
OK, so much for me. What do other people like? Well, since both Shakespeare and Lao Tsu spent a lot of time on the use and abuse of power, a few images jumped to the top of the list, with “likes” and “shares” spiking whenever the Tweeter in Chief did something more outrageous than usual.
Number one on the hit parade: “It is excellent to have a giant’s strength” from Measure for Measure. [Over 10,000 hits and counting]
Next in line, running neck and neck with each other, are “The fool doth think he is wise” from As You Like It and “An empty vessel makes the loudest sound” from Henry V.
As with all of life, if something’s important to us, we tend to repeat ourselves [hopefully not ad nauseum]. Shakespeare and Lao Tsu are no different from the rest of us. But they had the good taste to say the same thing in different ways, which is why you’ll see some of the same Shakespearean verses matched to different chapters of the Tao. Bill wasn’t beyond stealing from himself, either. Most of us will recognize Mark Antony’s eulogy to Caesar. Shakespeare recycled it in Henry VIII, as well. Since it appears in two different plays, it generated enough exposure to put it next in the top ten list.
I think you get the picture of what people on the Shakespearean side of the web’s echo chamber like.
Oh, and while I’d love to say that the nearly 300,000 hits last summer’s Shakespeare in the Park piece garnered were typical, they were a fluke because my post – a retweet in itself – inadvertently used a few keywords describing violent reactions to Julius Caesar, which teaches the consequences of violence. https://twitter.com/ShakespearesTao/status/876248288986619905 My site had only been up a few weeks and I didn’t have the knowledge or time to deal with the influx of bot-generated hits from both sides of the aisle. Even if the traffic generated didn’t get me a lot of followers, it gave me fodder for another blog: https://jpmaney.com/spin-cycle-bot/
So…if after all this you’d like to see more Shakespeare, here’s where you’ll find it. Feel free to like, follow and otherwise participate. After all, a quote that you like and share could find itself in next year’s top 10!
You can see the full collection of 131 quotes in the galleries section of my website: https://tao-not-dow.org/tao-not-dow/galleries/
It’s called Shakespeare’s Tao on both FB and Twitter. FB posts appear weekly and Twitter posts are [almost] daily.
And, drumroll please, for the rest of the top ten:
I guess fake news was a problem in centuries past, as well.
I’d always thought Oscar Wilde said this. Now I know where he stole it from. [This quote also had my highest “engagement” percentage – a measure of clicks, retweets and other active responses.
And finally, a couple of comments on the laws of nature.