All the World’s a Stage – Modern Version (UCC First English Shakespeare Writing Competition Entry)

All the world’s a television series,
And all the men and women merely characters:
They are written in and written out of the show;
And one character in their screen time played by many actors,
Their acts being seven ages. At first the tot,
Howling and heaving on the midwife’s (and then the mother’s) arms.
And then the sulking student, with the ragged school bag
And the bleary morning face as a slinking snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the awkward admirer, 
Intoxicated from the fumes of love’s stove, featuring a romantic soundtrack
Made to woo to love interest. Then an action hero, 
Brimmed with mysterious motives and hard favoured rage
Preserving glory, prepared to fight and kill.
Seeking a fatal reputation
Even facing the barrel of a gun. And then the champion,
Well rewarded and well fed, 
With intense eyes and stunning good looks
They have seen the world and can speak with great wisdom; 
And so their part is played. The sixth age shifts
Into the comfortable cloth confinements (rather than fashionable),
With large bifocals and matching crow’s feet;
The youthful attire, well kept, a world too harshly vast
For small frail bodies; and their strong eloquence,
Turning again to childish folly, complete 
With comical sound effects. Last episode of all, 
That ends this strange eventful programme, 
Comes full circle with the start and then the tear-jerking death scene,
Closing eyes, closing mouth, closing credits.  
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