Even Shakespeare would struggle to capture these Games

Mon Aug 6, 2012 9:44am EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - If only Shakespeare could have tweeted.

Transported 400 years into the future, he would have relished trying to sum up what he saw at the London 2012 Olympics in 140 characters or less.

He came closer than most in around 1599 with lines from the prologue of "Henry V": "A kingdom for a stage, princes to act/And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!"

But not even a full five acts of the Bard at his best could do justice to the endless twists and turns of the Games, which enter the home stretch of the final week on Monday.

The Olympics began with an exuberant, and distinctly British ceremony called "Isles of Wonder", inspired by Shakespeare's "The Tempest".

As the sporting drama unfolded in boxing rings, on rowing lakes, along running tracks and beyond, the playwright's famous phrase "all the world's a stage" seemed more apt.

Some 10,500 athletes from 204 countries are taking part, including Libya and Egypt which have emerged from the tumult of revolution. Seeds of social change were reflected in Saudi Arabia sending its first women to the Olympics.

On the field of play there has been the spectacle of agonizingly close contests.   Continued...