Mar 21

Shakespeare in Dice, Part 5

Shakepseare & ToaGM


Today is the last instalment of the Shakespearean dice quotes to celebrate Shakespeare week on Tales of a GM.


Part four of the series had two quotes from dice rolling in Act III.


Obedient Dice

Antony      He hath spoken true; the very dice obey him.


This quote is from Antony and Cleopatra (1623), Act II Scene III.


Poor Antony is clearly playing a game with someone who rolls just what he needs. We all know Players like that, who seem to roll that critical just at the right time. If Antony was facing a Player like that, then he really is doomed.


False Dice

Leontes False as dice are to be wish’d by one that fixes


Our final quote of the series comes from The Winter’s Tale (1623), Act I Scene II.


Leontes seems to be having the opposite problem from Antony’s lucky Player. Just as some people seem to always roll well, there are others who roll badly, no matter how hard they wish. Sometimes we all wish for false dice, ones that would roll to our command, rather than as fate wills it.


I hope you have enjoyed this look at dice in the plays of William Shakespeare. It is clear that the Elizabethans knew Gamesters as well as we do today, and Shakespeare mentions a familiar range of characters and rituals involving dice.


May your dice be never false.


Happy Dicing



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