These days you only ever encounter the works of William Shakespeare in high school English class (and every now and then, on the big screen), but while the Bard was clearly a genius, he wasn't as stuffy and classical as your teacher would have you believe. He wrote his plays for the common people, which is why they're often so full of violent fights and raunchy puns (Seriously, the "nothing" in "Much Ado About Nothing" is slang for a lady's nether regions. Good ol' Billshakes is not above naming a play after a vagina joke.)
So what's the best way to capture the spirit of what Shakespeare was actually trying to do in a modern setting? By taking popular songs and reciting them in that old-timey theatrical style, of course -- and using the #15SecondShakespeare tag, actors (especially British ones, hooray!) all over Twitter have been doing just that.
The hashtag itself was started by a UK-based actor and producer, David Fynn, and soon spread across the Internet as his co-stars and friends challenged one another to get in on the action. Even better, the hashtag is meant to raise awareness and money for the Red Cross. Let's hope it's the next ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, only with less freezing cold water and more Shakespearean rapping.
David Fynn, "Undateable"
Fynn began the hashtag on September 11 with the most perfect pop-bard reenactment of all time.
Phil Lewis, "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody"
Mr. Moseby is a Pitbull fan, evidently. Let's hope Cole and Dylan Sprouse take him up on his challenge.
Rahuil Koli, "iZombie"
Slim Shady never sounded so erudite.
Arthur Darvill, "Doctor Who" and "DC's Legends Of Tomorrow"
Michael Jackson doesn't care if you're black or white, and neither does the bard.
Karen Gillan, "Doctor Who" and "Guardians Of The Galaxy"
She really commits to the Proclaimers song, and we applaud her for it.
Stephen Moyer,"True Blood" and "Bastard Executioner"
Wow, you know what? "Down In The Tube Station At Midnight" by The Jam straight up sounds like a "Hamlet" soliloquy when you do it like that.
Ben Barnes, "The Chronicles Of Narnia" and "Westwood"
Prince Caspian, that is straight up Ludacris.
Minnie Driver, "Good Will Hunting" and "About A Boy"
I mean, Kanye is a modern day bard. So this checks out.