Over the weekend, as countries around the world began or continued to shut down, many Twitter users, the most prominent among them being Rosanne Cash, reminded their followers of how productive one William Shakespeare managed to be when the plague swept his country:
Just a reminder that when Shakespeare was quarantined because of the plague, he wrote King Lear.
— rosanne cash (@rosannecash) March 14, 2020
Well, it’s (probably) true. But the writers and creators of the internet were . . . not particularly impressed by this reminder:
Fair point, but I’ll bet he had childcare. https://t.co/DjEhSMN1n8
— Emily St. J. Mandel (@EmilyMandel) March 14, 2020
I, on the other hand, will be playing Words with Friends. https://t.co/u1i5mNKf8S
— Susan Orlean (@susanorlean) March 14, 2020
This inspires me. I also will write King Lear. https://t.co/tUytqNjo0a
— A.R. Moxon (@JuliusGoat) March 14, 2020
what if ugly-crying onto a burrito is your King Lear
— Sandra Newman (@sannewman) March 15, 2020
have fun writing king lear everyone, i’m going to play mario kart
— Rumaan Alam (@Rumaan) March 14, 2020
Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine… I myself will be writing a spec script about Britney and Ryan Gosling switching bodies at the mouseketeer tryouts in Orlando in ‘92
— Naomi Fry (@frynaomifry) March 14, 2020
My 12-day meal plan is my King Lear
— Lydia Kiesling (@lydiakiesling) March 14, 2020
Just a reminder that when Shakespeare was quarantined because of the plague, he whined incessantly and was an insufferable bitch, and was probably taken care of by a woman who probably also ironed out all the rubbish in King Lear.
— Alan Baxter (@AlanBaxter) March 15, 2020
YES SURE when Shakespeare was quarantined he wrote King Lear but did he have the option to watch love is blind instead??? I rest my case, you’re doing amazing sweetie.
— Alisha Rai (@AlishaRai) March 14, 2020
Trying to work on this new book but I just keep getting distracted and writing King Lear instead 😕
— Heather Christle (@heatherchristle) March 15, 2020
so far I’ve got a google doc titled “King Lear 2: The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show” and an otherwise blank page. slow and steady.
— Eric Lach (@ericlach) March 15, 2020
the “just remember, Shakespeare wrote King Lear during the plague” people know Shakespeare wrote pretty much everything during the plague right. Including the really boring parts of Titus Andronicus
— Jennifer Tepper (@jenashtep) March 15, 2020
i solemnly swear i will not use this time to write king lear
— Madame Clairevoyant (@MmeClairevoyant) March 14, 2020
— Marie-Helene Bertino (@mhbertino) March 14, 2020
[I finish writing King Lear in quarantine] what is this shit. fuck kind of name is “Goneril.” I don’t even like plays. never doing this again
— The Talented Mr. Reply (@tonytula) March 15, 2020
Shakespeare wrote King Lear during the plague. Behold, my own work of feverish genius. LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS is an 800-page fiction novel about Pam & Jim, a couple stranded during the luxury cruise that was supposed to revive their sexless marriage—HAH.”
— Tessa Dare (@TessaDare) March 14, 2020
Further reminder: King Lear is about an unfit leader who loves to be flattered, makes a lot of bad choices … and then everybody dies. https://t.co/jcrahqUyd8
— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) March 14, 2020
King Lear: A Hip-Hopera
— Hanif Abdurraqib (@NifMuhammad) March 15, 2020
did ‘king lear’ help anyone? no
— 𝘋𝘈𝘙𝘊𝘐𝘌 𝘞𝘐𝘓𝘋𝘌𝘙 (@333333333433333) March 15, 2020
No pressure but anyone not writing King Lear right now is a worthless piece of shit and waste of everyone’s time https://t.co/DiIh3FX36g
— Chris Scott (@iamchrisscott) March 14, 2020
I think the reason Shakespeare managed to write King Lear while a plague was going on is primarily because he didn’t have Twitter.
— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) March 15, 2020
Just a reminder that when Shakespeare was quarantined because of the plague, he masturbated incessantly.
— Emily Nussbaum (@emilynussbaum) March 14, 2020