Monday, April 09, 2007

Shakespeare Meme

There's a meme going around (mostly LiveJournal) that says "When you see a Shakespeare quote, post one of your own."  I'm not in the mood to play that, since I can quote Shakespeare whenever I want :).  But I thought it would be fun to see what people are quoting.  So I blog searched for "shakespeare meme" and "quote shakespeare" over the last few days and tallied the results.  Guess who wins?

Quoted Once :  Julius Caesar, Othello, As You Like It, Comedy of Errors, Venus and Adonis, Richard II.  I'm a little disappointed that Julius Caesar didn't get more love.  But can I just say bravo to whoever threw Comedy of Errors in there?  Nobody thinks to quote that one :).  Although you would have gotten even more points for Pericles, Prince of Tyre.

Quoted Twice : The Tempest, Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, Twelth Night, King Lear, Macbeth.  I think that if I kept looking I would have found more for all of these, they seemed like logical choices and very quotable.

Quoted Three Times : Any of the Sonnets.  I suppose this is misleading since there are lots of sonnets to choose from, but most people probably never even thought that the sonnets counted.  I'd have to go back and look but I'm pretty sure none of the three quotes I found was "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day", either.  That's good.

Runners Up, Quoted Four Times : Hamlet,  Henry V, Midsummer Night's Dream. 

And the Winner, Quoted Seven Times : Much Ado About Nothing 

So does that mean that the dialogue between Beatrice and Benedick is the most popular stuff Shakespeare ever wrote?  Is it a coincidence that Kenneth Brannagh has made popular movies of three out of the top four quoted plays?

 

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4 comments:

Lis Riba said...

Cool stats.

Here's a Titus for you...

And the last time this meme went around, I quoted AYLI

intertext said...

I quoted Sonnet 116 in my entry, actually a kind of metaquote because it was a video of someone reading the sonnet, rather a lovely one. Didn't tag my post though (BAD blogger)

Duane said...

I'm definitely losing some geek cred. To do this right I should have kept a spreadsheet of all the references I found and kept it up to date going forward (since the quotes are still coming). What I posted above was literally a snapshot where I looked at the first few pages of the blogsearch engines and summarized what I found.

evoshroom said...

No Coriolanus?

You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate
As reek o' the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
As the dead carcasses of unburied men
That do corrupt my air, I banish you;
And here remain with your uncertainty!
Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts!
Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
Fan you into despair! Have the power still
To banish your defenders; till at length
Your ignorance, which finds not till it feels,
Making not reservation of yourselves,
Still your own foes, deliver you as most
Abated captives to some nation
That won you without blows! Despising,
For you, the city, thus I turn my back:
There is a world elsewhere.