On my way to a coffee shop, I was pondering whether all the changes that the digital revolution has brought made us creative or not. As I was mourning our social media obsession, an immediate rebuttal unfolded as I stopped by the bank on the way.

I approached the bank around quarter to six, and the door was closed. I showed the security guard my mobile phone to point out that the time was not up. He said that there was nothing he could do as he was following orders. Suddenly, a man approached us from the ATM queque, shouting that his card had been taken by the machine. His loud voice was enough to get the branch manager come out and address the complaint. Finally, we were allowed to get inside and receive service.

I was on my way to meet a long time friend, following a verbal agreement that I made to meet up every weekend and discuss Shakespeare's plays. His theme was "Romeo and Juliet," while mine was "Titus Andronicus." I was looking forward to it.

I started my presentation as I was still fuming over the previous incident. I whined about the 16th century play of Shakespeare's earliest tragedy imitating the matter with the characters heavily loaded with violent and bloody revenge. It is reported to be extremely popular in its time. However, the play's graphic portrayal of violence is evident. No wonder it became the cause of a quarrel that flared up a heated argument with my friend.

The discussion derailed entirely from its course. I got emotional as I argued that Shakespeare's least respected play could not be worth our time. My friend in return, concluded that I came up with a lame excuse because I was not well prepared.

Firmly determined to put fire in his stance, I went out of the way and lamented my doubt that Shakespeare wrote the play. Encouraged by the fact that little was known about the personal life of the world's greatest poet and dramatist, my perspiration infused anger got out of control. I was further flooded with a jaw-dropping surprise, as my friend calls Shakespeare a "perpetual paradise" thanks to his plays, which are his permanent companions.

It was after a barrage of anecdotes of numerous stories surrounding the dramatist's life,  that Francis Bacon wrote all his plays. My friend, a Shakespearean, was shocked that his words mean more than the works of William Shakespeare, that represents a profound universal majesty and vision in writing.

Shakespeare is often credited with coining phrases, "Out of the jaws of death", but it was used earlier by Guillaume de Sallust du Bartas, as other "Shakespearean" phrases, such as "The world's a stage," "Night's black mantle," and the "four corners of the world".

It was by then that we started to cool off and listen to each other. We saved our coffee evening that was about to go down in flames, which kept our literary adventure from the jaws of death. We agreed that there is no wonder that these rumours used to be common back in the days.

It was a mammoth task and imagination to come out as Shakespeare. Playwrights used a quill sharpened to a point and dipped it into a pot of ink to write. Paper was expensive. Thus, playwrights were not always regarded to write a new story.

I was happy that my friend understood my grievance that day. It is as though we do not have enough paper, and violent lies are peddled around social media, reportedly intended to make people shake their heads at “hoax, disinformation, fakery and flimflam.”

By then, I came to terms with my friend. We not only talked about Shakespeare but also the need for a much better tomorrow supporting the digital revolution. We decided that if we have to talk about any violence, it is the war on the misuse of technology fields, to tell the visionary stories of these digital bravados and make room for humanity's increasing demands.

PUBLISHED ON Oct 15,2022 [ VOL 23 , NO 1172]

Tadesse Tsegaye (seetadnow@gmail.com), a polyglot with experience in multicultural-cum-institutional settings in resources management.

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