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In Shakespeare’s lifetime, cards were extremely popular pastime.

Not having ipads, tv, or netflix, people read books, played board games, or often played card games to pass the time.

While there are many card games to choose from, card games are referenced at least three times, and Noddy is referenced by name at least once in Shakespeare’s plays including lines from Titus Andronicus, Antony and Cleopatra, and and King John:

“Eros has packed cards with Caesar and false-played my glory.” – Antony and Cleopatra 

“Have I not here the best cards for the game? To win is no easy match played for a crown.” – King John V. 2

“A sure card as ever won the set.” – Titus Andronicus V. 1

“That set together is noddy.” – Two Gentlemen of Verona I.1

When we ask the question: Did Shakespeare play cards? The answer is “most likely” and I hold off on firm YES just because, like so many things, I don’t have an affidavit or firm primary documents that certify this beyond a shadow of a doubt, but I do know it was popular in his lifetime, he references the game in his works, and I would be pretty shocked if when we jumped inside the Tardis to visit Shakespeare to find it otherwise.

Noddy is really fun since it’s also technically an “extinct” card game, only known to be played in modernity by a few people in Lancastershire, England. We’re bringing it back with this week’s episode of Did Shakespeare where I tell a little of the history of the game, and how you can play it at home.

Items from our shop you might like:

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16th Century German Playing Cards $6.00 USD

Bicycle Montague Vs. Capulet Playing Cards $9.95 USD

Shakespeare Quotes Playing Cards $10.07 USD