The opening ceremony for the Olympics in Sochi are due to start in less than two hours, so we thought it would be fitting to reshare a blog post from the last Summer Olympics in London!
What if Shakespeare lit the Olympic Flame?
To be to thee this night a torch-bearer! (1)
[Lights the cauldron]
O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright / It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night / Like a rich jewel (2) / Like twenty torches join’d! (3)
Can you think to blow out the intended fire your city is ready to flame? (4) This is the place where the torch doth burn (5) a fortnight and odd days (6). ‘Tis time, ’tis time. / Round about the cauldron go! (7)
London doth pour out her citizens! / The mayor and all his brethren in best sort (8), a medal hanging/ About his neck (9) / As victors wear at the Olympian games (10):
The first, of gold, who this inscription bears, / ‘Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire;’ / The second, silver, which this promise carries, / ‘Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves;’ / This third, dull lead [the new bronze…] (11).
To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride / On the curl’d clouds (12); horses…/Printing their proud hoofs i’ the receiving earth (13); Olympian wrestling (14) – now, blow wind, swell billow and swim bark! (15)
BE NOT AFRAID OF GREATNESS: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em. Thy Fates open their hands; let thy blood and spirit embrace them! (16)
Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back, / When gold and silver becks me to come on – (17)
I wish ye sport! (18)
Shakespeare re-arranged by Laboni Islam
1) Romeo & Juliet, III.v, 2111
2) Romeo & Juliet, I.v, 666-668
3) Julius Caesar, I.iii, 438
4) Coriolanus, V.ii, 3417-3418
5) Romeo & Juliet, V.iii, 3140
6) Romeo & Juliet, I.iii, 400
7) Macbeth, IV.i, 1550-1551
8) Henry V, V.o, 2839-2840
9) The Winter’s Tale, I.ii, 414-415
10) Henry VI, Part III; II.iii, 1081
11) Merchant of Venice, II.vii, 990-994
12) The Tempest, I.ii, 309-310
13) Henry V, Prologue, 27-28
14) Troilus and Cressida, IV.v, 2818
15) Julius Caesar, V.i, 2420
16) Twelfth Night, II.v, 1166-1169
17) King John, III.iii, 1311-1312
18) Cymbeline, IV.iii, 2352
We also want to wish the best of luck to our Canadian athletes competing in the games!