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The meaning and origin of the expression: Stiffen the sinews

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Stiffen the sinews

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What's the meaning of the phrase 'Stiffen the sinews'?

Become resolute and purposeful.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Stiffen the sinews'?

From the celebrated 'Once more unto the breach' speech, from Shakespeare's Henry V, 1598:

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood...

Cobbe family portrait of William ShakespeareSee other phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.

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