Diary: Shakespeare’s explicit tweets stun readers

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Like any theatregoer with a heart, Tabard has been known to well up at the transcendent beauty of some of Shakespeare’s poetry. Our nation’s – arguably the world’s – greatest writer can still, after 400 years, move audiences to unthrottled tears and deafening applause simply with the force of his words.

Now, Tabard believes strongly in the power of the internet to educate, to fill people with the seed of knowledge, and to that end only follows the most erudite people on the quagmire that is Twitter. Among them is the account for the Shakespeare Institute, a respectable body whose stated aim is “to push the boundaries of knowledge about Shakespeare studies”.

It was with some confusion, then, that scrolling idly through Twitter on a Sunday afternoon there appeared on the Institute’s account some Shakespearean quotations previously unknown to Tabard.

“#Sex scenes playboy Ziggy sex” went one, “#cum porn sites penny flame fucking” ran another. Tabard couldn’t quite place these lines – the Hamlet bad quarto perhaps? Or one of Shakespeare’s late romances?

No, instead it transpired that the venerable institute’s Twitter account had in fact been hacked. With the tweets swiftly deleted, their response was:

Oh, who is Tabard kidding? The cunning linguist loved shoving a filthy line into his works. Just look at this smut from Romeo and Juliet: “Oh, that she were/An open arse, and thou a poperin’ pear.” And they teach this stuff at school…

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