Literature Sharpe Discussion

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07:46:43 PM Feb 12th 2014
edited by
Entries up to the second line are Sharpe specific and are being placed here until they can checked against the Series page for Sharpe for possible example placement.
This appears to be a Sharpe specific entry. If someone can find an example in the books we can

  • Badass Longcoat: Greatcoats were pretty common for soldiers in that period, but Sean Bean made them look awesome.

This was under Artistic License – History and appears to be specific to the Series.

  • The TV series uses the term "Chosen Men" a lot more than the novels, where it's just the equivalent of "Lance Corporal" instead of a term for all Rifles.

  • Bawdy Song: Permanently inebriated General Runcorn (played by Ian Mc Neice) sings a stunner in Sharpe's Battle-
    Runcorn: So wrap your legs round me and dig in with your heels, 'cos the closer we get, the better it feels!
    • And Hagman singing a soft little ditty 'I watched a maid milk a bull'
  • Boot Camp Episode: Sharpe's Regiment, where Sharpe and Harper have to infiltrate a corrupt recruitment scheme.
  • Cadre of Foreign Bodyguards: The King of Spain's Irish Companions of Honour in Sharpe's Battle. Subverted since they're utterly useless... before Sharpe starts training them.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Characters in early episodes like Captain Leroy and Rifleman Tongue disappear for no reason. In Tongue's case, his namesake died in the book of Sharpe's Gold though he didn't appear in its episode, while Leroy eventually becomes a Colonel. Gavin O'Herlihy, who played Captain Leroy, actually was Chuck Cunningham.
    • Leroy is actually one of many characters who only appears in one episode of the series despite being in several books. The various intelligence masters (Hogan, Nairn, Munro) are straighter examples, as is Rifleman Cooper, who actually disappears mid-season. (He is reported injured in his last episode but plays an active role throughout the rest of the story so it doesn't seem to have been serious.)
  • Dirty Old Man: Simmerson is particularly lecherous towards Lass in Sharpe's Sword.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Although you perhaps wouldn't expect it to work, Hagman's folk rendition of the Rifles' marching song Over the Hills and Far Away (with altered lyrics to fit the particular episode's events) often comes close to Crowning Music of Awesome.
  • Finish Him!: Twice in Sharpe's Battle; first Sharpe willing Lord Keily to finish off a french hussar he's engaging in single combat and second when Keily's turncoat lover tells him to kill Sharpe.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: Unreciprocated in the case of Lass with Sharpe, but reciprocated with Lucille and Sharpe.
  • Friend or Foe: Often the last line of the poor git on watch
  • Ironic Echo: The use of "Chosen Men" as a mark of honor becomes a sort of long-running one. Sharpe mocks the term in the first movie by saying "Chosen men, eh? Well, I didn't choose ya." By the end of the movie it's clear he would indeed choose each and every one of them, so they wear the name with pride even if, as the Artistic License entry notes, it was really just a rank.
  • I Want My Mommy!: Type 2. There is a truly heartbreaking scene in Sharpe's Battle when young Rifleman Perkins is stabbed in the stomach and alternately begs for his mother and apologises to Sergeant Harper (not that he did anything wrong - he was bayoneted by a traitor in the ranks after heroically clearing a path for them through the enemy). Harper's there, at least, holding him as he dies, and tells him "Your mother's here, lad. Mothers never leave you!"
  • Law of Inverse Recoil: Averted, especially with the Nock volley gun.
  • The Pornomancer: Richard Sharpe to an almost ridiculous degree in the series. Women, usually some Broken Bird or neglected officer's wife/mistress will (often literally) throw themselves at Sharpe, although being a good man he will frequently refuse rather than take advantage of them. Sharpe's Girl of the Week earned the Fan Nickname of 'Sharpe's Totty'. Among many miraculous effects of Sharpe's power of love (even unconsumated) include curing a convent girl of trauma-induced mutism
  • Precision F-Strike: Sharpe gets an amusing one in Sharpe's Waterloo. When the Prince of Orange attempts to have Sharpe arrested for desertionnote , Sharpe gives him the Reverse Peace Sign and says, "F*** you, ya orange twat", with the "Fuck" cut off by cannon fire.
  • Rated M for Manly: Sean Bean as the title character
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sir Arthur Wellesley (the later Duke of Wellington)gives an epic one to Sir Henry Simmerson in Sharpe's Eagle:
    Wellesley: He says you lost the King's colours.
    Simmerson: The fault was not mine, sir. Major Lennox must answer.
    Wellesley [at the top of his voice] : Major Lennox answered with his life, Sir! As you should have done if you had any sense of honour. [calmer] You lost the colours of the King of England. You disgraced us, Sir. You shamed us, Sir! You will answer. [coldly] The South Essex stood down in name. If I wipe the name, I may wipe the shame. I am making a battalion of detachments. You will fetch and carry. The Light Company put up a fight. So I will let it stand under the command of a new captain.
    Simmerson: be commanded by the newly gazetted Captain Gibbons?
    Wellesley: To be commanded by the newly gazetted Captain Sharpe, sir.
  • Shameful Strip
  • She Is All Grown Up: Sharpe's reaction to Jane Gibbons
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Specifically
    • Wellesley still reigns supreme with these, though. Before his yelling at Simmerson, he has this exchange, which completely breaks the idiotic Colonel:
      Wellesley: Major Hogan has written a report which differs substantially from your account, Sir Henry.
      Sir Henry: Major Hogan is an engineer, sir.
      Wellington: Major Hogan's coat buttons up tightly over a number of other duties, Sir Henry. (*Sir Henry has an Oh, Crap! moment when he realizes that Wellington is going to chew him out instead of letting it drop). Major Hogan's report details a number of losses, on your part. He says that you first lost your head, and that instead of destroying the bridge you marched over it. He then says that you lost your wits, and deployed skirmishing formations against cavalry, which resulted in the loss of those men. He says that you then lost your sense of honour and destroyed the bridge, cutting off a rescue party led by Lieutenant Sharpe. Major Hogan leaves the worst to the last: He says you lost the King's Colour!

These entries lack the context to explain how the character or situation fits the trope inside of the story they appear in.

02:59:05 AM Mar 3rd 2014
Excellent work.

Righty-hoo then. I'll start with the series-specific ones:

For Badass Longcoat - I am fairly sure Sharpe or others does wear a greatcoat at some point in the books, but whether it is noted for being badass is another matter, and I can't be arsed re-reading them just for that. Boot Camp Episode and Cadre of Foreign Bodyguards can probably be re-added under the books entry as they stand, because Regiment and Battle both feature them. Law Of Inverse Recoil likewise is noted throughout the books.

I'm happy to fill out the ZCEs later.
07:33:35 AM May 13th 2013
Is the specific novels/episodes section really needed? Most of the tropes cross over between the two sections anyway. I mean i think separate pages for the books and tv series would be good, but the current division is too vague.
03:48:47 PM May 19th 2013
Yeah, I think you're right. I'm not sure I've ever seen this particular sort of division work well, but it would be better suited where there's more variety in the individual episodes/books (like, e.g., if one book had Sharpe traveling back in time to meet Cleopatra, and another had him searching for the Holy Grail or something).
01:55:15 AM Jan 26th 2013
The page quote. It's from the TV series, and doesn't apply to the books at all. Since this is listed under literature, it doesn't really belong.
07:03:45 AM Oct 17th 2012
  • Badass Spaniard: A lot of the action takes place in Spain. Some of the locals are useless. Some of them are freakin' scary. And then there's Teresa.

Badass Spaniard has been renamed to Dashing Hispanic. The trope requires some necessary characteristics, like being a rogue Anti-Hero of wit and charm, kind of like Zorro. There is not enough context to tell if it fits here.
02:30:31 AM Oct 19th 2012
Hmm, looking at the trope description, probably no. She's badass, but basically a La Résistance guerilla leader type.
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