Shakespeare in the UK Web
By Jason Webber, Web Archive Engagement Manager, The British Library
It's Shakespeare week (15-21 March). William Shakespeare is, almost certainly, the most quoted literary figure (in English) and the popularity of his plays and poems endures into the digital age. His work is continuingly being taught, examined, analysed and most of all, quoted on the internet. Often quoted in unlikely places such as 'Now is the winter of our discontent' on the Butterfly Conservation website.
What are the most popular Shakespeare quotes? Perhaps unsurprisingly 'To be or not to be" has far and away the most mentions in our SHINE service - all .uk websites collected 1996-2012 (JISC dataset obtained from the Internet Archive):
If we take away "to be or not to be" this graph looks even more interesting:
Want to try your own Shakespeare quotes in our SHINE service?
- Go to the trends page of SHINE: www.webarchive.org.uk/shine/graph
- Add a word or phrase into the input box, NOTE: phrases should go in quotes e.g. "all that glisters"
- To compare multiple words or phrases, separate by a comma e.g. "william shakespeare", "christopher marlowe, "ben johnson"
- Click on any point in the graph to see examples of the context the word or phrase was used
Do let us know your own favourite quotes on Twitter: @UKWebArchive