Shakespeare, iSejf and Facebook
William Shakespeare online. Romeo and Juliet on Facebook. Young people in the Czech Republic can win a London vacation and visit the Globe Theatre and Facebook's headquarters.
2016-03-30 Czech Safer Internet Centre
During the Safer Internet Day (SID) 2016 opening ceremony in Prague, a new round of the iSejf competition was launched. The main focus of the competition is the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, while also promoting internet safety. Thanks to a partnership with Facebook, the winner will be awarded a trip for two to London to visit the Globe Theatre and the headquarters of Facebook.
The task is to create a post which will connect the world of William Shakespeare with the online world: write an essay, short story or poem, make a video, create a Facebook profile for a character from Shakespeare's Making Connections, or some other means of connecting Shakespeare to the online world.
How could Romeo and Juliet communicate on Facebook? Would Hamlet have blogged on Twitter? How would a sonnet for antivirus sound?
Romeo returned from Juliet's balcony, his heart pounding. Yes, it was love. Oblivious to all those strange people who rode with him on the night tram, he took his cell phone from his pocket and opened the Facebook application. He entered Juliet Montague into the search, and found just one person across the whole of Verona. According to the photos, he was sure that it was the same beautiful girl to which he'd confessed just half an hour earlier. He took a breath and sent a friend request ...
... Juliet studied the selfies that she'd taken with Romeo when they'd last met. He was a really nice lad. She was just about to post them on Facebook, but at that moment she realised that her parents would certainly not share her enthusiasm. After all, he was a Capulet. Juliet's mother had recently added Juliet as a friend, so she could now spy on the social network.
But Juliet's desire to share their happiness was stronger. So she shared one of the fifty images that she'd taken with Romeo, chose the settings that she wants to share with everyone, except parents and their friends, and friends of their friends...
This is just a brief example of how communications might look like for Shakespearean heroes in the era of the internet and social networks. And this is just one example from one of his most famous plays.
And what about Hamlet? The modern world would, after all, provide an even better platform for his monologues. Twitter might be an option: "To be or not to be, that is the question!". It would certainly fit within the 140-character limit, along with a photo of a skull and the hashtag #dilemma.
In short, the theme of Shakespeare online offers a host of options to get involved. And the person who can do so in the most original way can look forward to a trip to London.
The competition closes in April 2016.
Read more about the Czech Safer Internet Centre.
Read more about Safer Internet Day celebrations in the Czech Republic.