School exam reliables Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, and King Lear top the list for most-searched Shakespeare plays in Ireland in the last year
It’s not much ado about nothing, but to celebrate William Shakespeare Day on the 23rd April Google has compiled the top web searches and most-viewed YouTube videos in Ireland from the last year that were related to the world’s most famous playwright.
It’s been double, double toil and trouble for the last twelve months as Macbeth leads the field by topping both the Google Search and YouTube most-watched lists, a result likely due to its inclusion in the syllabus for 2019’s Leaving Cert English exam. Similarly, the third most-searched Shakespearean play was King Lear, which appears in this year’s Leaving Cert exam, while in fourth was Hamlet, which students faced in summer of last year. Forsooth!
Meanwhile Romeo and Juliet, the Junior Cert favourite, unsurprisingly appeared in second place in Google Search and third in YouTube views in the last year, while students also demanded their pound of flesh from the exam’s alternative choice, Merchant of Venice, which came in at fifth and fourth respectively.
But despite the popularity of “The Scottish Play”, as it is otherwise known to the superstitious, there are no Macbeth quotes in the 10 most searched-for lines from Shakespeare’s works – instead, Hamlet’s famous “To be or not to be” takes top spot, followed by “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” from Romeo & Juliet.
Of the remaining eight quotes in the most-searched list, the Irish have shown ourselves to have a preference for the political, with two quotes from Julius Caesar (“Et tu, Brute?” in 3rd place and “Beware the Ides of March” in 6th), and for the romantic (“This above all: to thine own self be true” (5th place, from Hamlet) and “If music be the food of love, play on” (8th place, from Twelfth Night)).
Speaking about the results, Elijah Lawal, Google UK & Ireland Communications Manager, said, “Ireland hath long has’t a deep love of Shakespeare, with his worketh f’rming a parteth of the Irish education curriculum for decades. That students useth Google and YouTube as part of their learnings – bringing a 21st century twist to this most prestigious of playwrights – is a most wondrous source of jubilation for us.”