Costumes and Scripts in the Elizabethan Theatres by Jean MacIntyre

By Jean MacIntyre

This booklet examines the ways that costumes have been got and utilized in conjunction with the repertory of the crucial London performing businesses, typically through the years 1594-1621.

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Additional info for Costumes and Scripts in the Elizabethan Theatres

Example text

Susanna distributes seventeen roles among eight. The Tide Tarrieth No Man is more demanding, with four actors to play seventeen parts, and at one juncture the playwright compensated for a too-short interval between an exit and a recostumed entry by instructing Hurtful Help and the Vice, Courage, to fight "to prolong the time while Wantonness maketh her ready" (1118 SD). In an extreme case, two actors seem expected to play ten parts in Mundus et Infans, although what takes place in the first part of this play is not strictly doubling since the costume changes which bring Dalliance to Manhood occur on stage and clearly represent but one entity under successive names.

Doble vizaged thone syde lyke a man and thother lyke deathe"8 is so fully described that its apparel was probably not traditional, and no later record suggests that it became so. Since stage ghosts usually have died by violence and walk to haunt their killers, it may be that the wounds and "gory locks" of Banquo's Ghost indicate a convention applicable to Andrea, Albanact, Corineus, Caesar, and others. Still, King Hamlet walks "in complete steel" as when he killed Norway, not in a ghost costume, so the convention was probably never rigid.

Iii, 14), phrasing which in stage usage normally implies a gentleman's dress though not necessarily a gentleman's manner. Ambidexter remains "like a gentleman" for the rest of the play, and his activities after meeting Sisamnes are connected mainly with the Court. " Later, appointed the King's deputy, he changes on the stage to a gown trimmed with a "bordered guard" (Sc. i, 114), and finally undergoes the most drastic of all costume changes, when, stripped of his robe of office, he is executed and flayed "with a false skin" (v so 124).

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