“The game’s afoot”

A Sports Lover’s Introduction to Shakespeare


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About the Book

Like the age-old feud between the Montagues and Capulets in Romeo and Juliet, the enduring rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the LA Lakers makes for great drama. Macbeth’s career began with promise but ended in ruin—not unlike Pete Rose’s. Twelfth Night’s Viola’s disguise as a boy to enter into a man’s world is echoed in Babe Didrikson Zaharias’ challenge to the pro golf patriarchy when she competed in the Los Angeles Open. Exploring parallels between Shakespeare’s plays and famous events in the world of sports, this book introduces seven of the best-known plays to the sports enthusiast and offers a fresh perspective to Shakespeare devotees.

About the Author(s)

Cynthia Lewis is Charles A. Dana Professor of English at Davidson College in North Carolina. She regularly publishes literary criticism on Shakespeare and his contemporaries and is a recognized literary journalist.

Bibliographic Details

Cynthia Lewis
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 223
Bibliographic Info: 31 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7006-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3191-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Introduction 3
1. “Ancient grudges”: Rivalry in Romeo and Juliet and the Lakers versus the Celtics 13
Inside Shakespeare: Pronouns in Romeo and Juliet 32
2. “Glory like a shooting star”: Richard II, Over-Confidence and “The Miracle on Ice” 34
Inside Shakespeare: Subtext in Richard II 52
3. “The uses of adversity”: The 1988 World Series, Kirk Gibson and As You Like It 55
An Interview with Coach Bob McKillop 74
4. “Even play of battle”: Henry V, Agincourt and Super Bowl III 84
An Interview with Kevin and Della ­O’Neill, Leicester City Soccer Fans 103
5. “I am the man!” Twelfth Night and Women of Prowess 113
Interview with Shakespearean Actor Graham Smith 131
6. “Vaulting ambition”: Team versus Self and Macbeth 142
Inside Shakespeare: Macbeth and the Question of Emphasis 164
7. “Sea change”: The Tempest, Andre Agassi and Second Chances 166
Inside Shakespeare: ­Over-Simplification in and of The Tempest 184
Appendix: Professional Actors Comment on Parallels Between Spectator Sports and Shakespearean Performance 187
Chapter Notes 189
Bibliography 197
Index 203