Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Shakespeare and sharks

When I saw the ads for Sharknado 2, I found myself wondering if Shakespeare ever used the word "shark." (After all, he knew about tigers, and there are no tigers in England while there are most definitely sharks in the waters around the island.) Turns out he used it twice, once as a noun and once as a verb. In Macbeth, shark parts are listed as ingredients of the witches' potion: Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf, Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf, Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark. In Hamlet, Horatio uses the verb in reference to Fortinbras: Now, sir, young Fortinbras, Of unimproved mettle hot and full, Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there Shark’d up a list of lawless resolutes and of course, in the Broadway musical West Side Story, inspired by Romeo & Juliet
, one of the street gangs is called "the Sharks."

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