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Prince of Denmark
165
 

senting a supposed god of the Saracens in some of the mystery plays.

III. ii. 16. out-herods. I.e., outdoes even the extravagant acting of the character of Herod in the mystery plays. Cf. the stage direction in the Coventry play of The Nativity, "Here Erode ragis in the pagond;, and in the strete also."

III. ii. 45. there he of them, etc. Examples of gags and stage business introduced by clowns are found in The Pilgrimage to Parnassus, V:

"if thou canst but drawe thy mouth awrye, laye thy legg over thy staffe, sawe a piece of cheese asunder with thy dagger, lape up drinke on the earth, I warrant thee theile laughe mightilie."

III. ii. 89. Vulcan. He was the armorer of the gods.

III. ii. 95. he idle. This may have its usual meanings of 'purposeless,' 'intent upon nothing in particular.' So in King Lear, I. iii. 17. However, in Hall's Chronicles, the phrase 'ydle and weak in his wit' occurs.

III. ii. 98. chameleon's dish. It was believed that chameleons fed on air.

III. ii. 109. Julius Cæsar. The universities gave many representations within their walls of plays in Latin and English. A Latin play on Cæsar's death was acted at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1582. Cf. also the title-page of the 1603 Quarto of Hamlet.

III. ii. 110. Capitol. The murder of Caesar actually took place in the Theatre of Pompey, which stood in the Campus Martins. Shakespeare transfers the scene to the Capitol both in Julius Cæsar and in Antony and Cleopatra.

III. ii. 144. hobby-horse. In the morris dance, a figure of a horse made of light material and fastened around the waist of a performer, who went through various antics. The quotation here may be from a