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Shakespeare on sport – 400 years on.

Shakespeare on sport – 400 years on.

By Craig Sharp

400 years after the death of the bard many continue to reflect upon the use of the word sport in the works of William Shakespeare.

This small contribution continues such a tradition.

“He…hath drawn him and the rest of their company from their sport, to make another experiment of his suspicion.” (Mistress Page to Mistress Ford.Merry Wives of Windsor IV.ii.31).

“This sport well carried shall be chronicled” (Helena to Hermia Midsummer Night’s Dream III.ii.240).

“O Jesu this is excellent sport.” Hal to Falstaff. Henry 4 part 1. II.iv.383. Could be a comment on the whole marathon, with its 35,000 or whatever runners.

“Sport and repose lock from me day and night.” (from the visiting players Hamlet III.ii.227).

“I have some sport in hand, wherein your cunning can assist me much.” (Lord to players; Taming of the Shrew. Induction I.90).

“The body of our sport, of no small study.” (Two Noble Kinsman. Schoolmaster to all III.v.120).

“He is given to sports, to wildness and much company.” (Julius Caesar. Brutus to Cassius II.1.189).

“I wish ye sport” (Imogen to Guiderius;Cymbeline IV.ii.31).

“For this, be sure, tonight thou shalt have cramps,

Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up.” (Prospero to Caliban:

The Tempest I,ii.325).

“What will you do, good greybeard? Break a lance,

And run a-tilt at death within a chair?” (PUCELLE in Henry VI)

“This push will chair me ever, or dis-seat me now.” (Macbeth to a servant. Macbeth V, ii. 21).

“With thy brawls, thou hast disturbed our sport.” (Titania to Oberon. Midsummer Night’s Dream II.i.87).


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