Today, the spotlight turns to Act IV of Henry the Fifth (1600).
Constable. Why, all our ranks are broke.
Dauphin. O perdurable shame! let’s stab ourselves.
Be these the wretches that we play’d at dice for?
The climax of Henry the Fifth is the Battle of Agincourt, fought on October 25th, 1415. This proved to be a massive victory for the English army.
This quote from Scene V shows the level of despair felt by the French Dauphin, the eldest son of the King of France. Here the Dauphin is presented as just the kind of sore loser every gamer knows. I have not heard of anyone threatening to stab themselves over some poor dice rolls, but perhaps that is an Elizabethan thing.
Winning Against the Odds
Chorus Proud of their numbers, and secure in soul,
The confident and over-lusty French
Do the low-rated English play at dice;
In a neat piece of symmetry, the second quote for today, from the Chorus, illustrates some good fortune at dice. As the Chorus tells the story, Agincourt was an uplifting example of winning from behind, a plot so beloved of gamers everywhere.
I shall be back again tomorrow with some more dice quotes. In the meantime, remember is it better to be low-rated than stab yourself.