In one of his handbills, the fraudulent duke bills himself as “world-renowned Shakespearian tragedian, Garrick the Younger, of Drury Lane, London.” This is an allusion to the very famous David Garrick, an extremely well-regarded actor from the eighteenth century who had a theater at Drury Lane in London.
The duke also alludes to the famous balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet when he mentions:
Juliet’s in a balcony, enjoying the moonlight before she goes to bed, and she’s got on her night-gown and her ruffled nightcap.
Some of the humor comes in the fact that the original Juliet would not have worn a ruffled Victorian nightcap.
When the duke tries to piece together Hamlet's "to be or not to be" soliloquy, he inserts an allusion to a different play, Macbeth, when he says "till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane."
A Macbeth allusion, again misplaced, enters the same Hamlet soliloquy in "the poor cat i’ the adage." The poor cat in the adage liked fish but did not like getting its paw wet catching...
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