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Shakespeare Quotes to Describe the Year 2016

I think we can all agree that the year 2016 was just like a Thunderdome of terrible, with everything and everyone duking it out for the honor of being the most terrible. In Shakespeare’s time, people were contesting the rule of Queen Elizabeth, everyone was dying of the plague, and no one was using toothpaste, so he gets it.

With that in mind, here are some quotes of his to sum up the year. (It’s a little more eloquent than just constantly using the face palm emoji.)

When there were killer clowns running amok for some reason:
“Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.”
The Tempest, Act 1, Scene 2

When various celebrities were having feuds and dragging all of us into it:
“A plague o’ both your houses!”
Romeo and Juliet, Act 3, Scene 1

When no one thought Brexit would actually happen:
“Oft expectation fails, and most oft there where most it promises.”
All’s Well That Ends Well, Act 2, Scene 1

When David Bowie died:
Antony and Cleopatra, Act 2, Scene 7

When Alan Rickman died four days later, and we all kind of realized what we were in for:
“When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.”
Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 5

When the Pokemon GO craze swept the nation for that one summer:
“Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;
Brief as the lightning in the collied night…”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 1, Scene 1

When a gorilla was killed, and the memes went on for months:
“O, woe is me,
T’ have seen what I have seen, see what I see!”
Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1

When you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing “Damn, Daniel!”:
“I have not deserved this.”
Othello, Act 4, Scene 1

When the 2016 election cycle kept getting weirder and weirder:
“If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction.”
Twelfth Night, Act 3, Scene 4

When it actually WAS played upon a stage because there were upwards of, like, twelve debates:
“A kind
Of excellent dumb discourse.”
The Tempest, Act 3, Scene 3

When president-elect Donald Trump said no one has more respect for women than he does:
“You cram these words into mine ears against the stomach of my sense.”
The Tempest, Act 2, Scene 1

When Prince died:
“Good night, sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!”
Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 2

When Muhammad Ali died:
“For what is in this world but grief and woe?”
Henry VI, Part 3, Act 2, Scene 5

When Harper Lee, Arnold Palmer, Leonard Cohen, Elie Wiesel, and Anton Yeltsin died:
“True is it that we have seen better days.”
As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 7

Everyone at the beginning of this year:
“For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy.”
Henry VI, Part 3, Act 5, Scene 7

Everyone at the end of this year:
“Woe, destruction, ruin, and decay.”
Richard II, Act 3, Scene 2

Just 2016, in general:
“It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”
Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5

Looking for a pick-me-up after all that? Check out How to Flirt, According to Shakespeare, or Shakespeare Quotes for When Your Relatives Ask What You’re Doing With Your Life.