Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief:

Polonius, Hamlet, Act II Scene II

I had the good fortune to see the recent RSC production of Hamlet last night. And I really enjoyed it. When I looked around the theatre, there were many youngsters about, including a few of my own. I could not help noticing how bored many of them looked. Bored because they didn’t understand what was going on, bored because they’d never been exposed to the plot.

I guess this was somewhere at the back of my mind this morning, when I took a break from preparing my preach for tomorrow. Whatever the reason, I decided to try and summarise Hamlet in 140 characters, see if I could encapsulate the play in a single tweet:

That was my first attempt. So if you’re feeling bored or creative or mischievous or whatever sometime over the next few weeks, see what you can come up with. Then tweet it, using the hashtag #TwitBard

This isn’t meant to be a literary exercise, there’s nothing serious about it. Just a bit of fun if you feel like it.

8 thoughts on “Brevity”

  1. JP:

    This is the most apt and wonderfully contextual Twitter project I have seen. I contributed Romeo and Juliet and am trying hard to do A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The use of the hashtag means that really, one does it in 130 chars, including the play’s name.

  2. Shefaly, to avoid the hashtags taking up space, what I did was to tweet the entire 140 character message and then refer to it in a separate message, with the hashtags.

    Glad you like it.

  3. David, in keeping with Dickens’ style, we should probably go for one tweet per chapter for him. But for now I want to see whether we can get all of Shakespeare first.

  4. Guy defaults on loan that helped pal woo gal via casket-based dating game. Lawyer outsmarts blood-thirsty lender. Boats come in. All happy.

    Had to omit the blood-thirsty to get the hash-tag in.

  5. Thanks John. This business of getting the hash-tag in reminds me of how frustrated I was at *not* being able to get @jp in twitter. It makes sense to have a small name. The smallest I know of is Tantek Celik, who managed to get @t, I guess he needed special clearance. Of course we have @ev, I think there are other 2 character names, but we should bear in mind that a long twitter name reduces someone else’s ability to send us a brief message.

  6. The smallest I know of is Tantek Celik, who managed to get @t, I guess he needed special clearance.

    Or maybe the rules changed at some point? You might recognise @u.

Let me know what you think

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