screw (one's) courage to the sticking place

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screw (one's) courage to the sticking place

To remain bold, resolute, determined, and courageous, especially in the face of possible danger, difficulty, hardship, or adversity. Taken from a line in Shakespeare's Macbeth: "We fail! But screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we'll not fail." Men, some of us may not make it back alive, but such is the nature of war; so screw your courage to the sticking place and show them what you're made of! I'm really nervous about asking Sarah out on a date, but I'm going to screw my courage to the sticking place and ask her by the end of the day.
See also: courage, place, screw, stick
References in periodicals archive ?
So I not only screwed my courage to the sticking place - one of Lady Macbeth's gags from Shakespeare's hit show - and ignored Ray's suggestions, but wrote a piece doubting the economic advantages of taking Winstone as your guide.