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(68) — give order, that these bodies
High on a stage be placed to the view] This idea was apparently taken from Arthur Brooke's Tragicall Hystory of Romeus and Juliet, 1562: “ The prince did straight ordaine, the corses that wer
founde, “ Should be set forth upon a stage hye raysed from the
grounde,” &c. STEEVENS.
(69) Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts] Of sanguinary and unnatural acts, to which the perpetrator was instigated by concupiscence, or, to use our poet's own words, by “ curnal stings.” The speaker alludes to the murder of old Hamlet by his brother, previous to his incestuous union with Gertrude.
* AS YOU LIKE IT.] Shakespeare has followed Lodge's Rosalynd, or Euphues' Golden Legacye, 4to. 1590, more exactly than is his general custom when he is indebted to such worthless originals; and has sketched some of his principal characters, and borrowed a few expressions from it. His imitations, &c. however, are in general too insignificant to merit transcription.
It should be observed, that the characters of Jaques, the Clown, and Audrey, are entirely of the poet's own formation.
Although I have never met with any edition of this comedy before the year 1623, it is evident, that such a publication was at least designed. At the beginning of the second volume of the entries at Stationers' Hall, are placed two leaves of irregular prohibitions, notes, &c. Among these are the following:
“ The Comedy of Much Ado, a book.) The dates scattered over these plays are from 1596 to 1615.
STEEVENS. This comedy, I believe, was written in 1600. See my Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakespeare's Plays.