Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: August ::
Re: Elizabethan Costuming for Historical Dramas
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1477  Thursday, 10 August 2000.

[1]     From:   Marti Markus <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 09 Aug 2000 16:11:58 +0100
        Subj:   Re: Elizabethan Costuming for Historical Dramas

[2]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 09 Aug 2000 16:02:24 -0400
        Subj:   Re: Elizabethan Costuming for Historical Dramas

[3]     From:   Rick Jones <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 09 Aug 2000 09:08:33 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Elizabethan Costuming for Historical Dramas

[4]     From:   John Briggs <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Aug 2000 09:07:50 +0100
        Subj:   RE: Elizabethan Costuming for Historical Dramas

[5]     From:   Paul Franssen <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Aug 2000 11:13:10 +0200
        Subj:   Re: Elizabethan Costuming for Historical Dramas


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marti Markus <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 09 Aug 2000 16:11:58 +0100
Subject: 11.1466 Elizabethan Costuming for Historical Dramas
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1466 Elizabethan Costuming for Historical Dramas

>A friend has asked me whether Elizabethan actors in plays set in ancient
>times (Julius Caesar, Timon of Athens, etc.)  wore costumes appropriate
>(so far as they knew) to the periods.  I didn't (and don't) know, and
>wonder whether any SHAKSPERians might have a ready answer to this
>question.

Some of them did, as we can see on the "Peacham-Drawing" dating from
1594 (?), others just wore slightly older (15th or 14th Century)
costumes. You will find the drawing reprinted in most editions of Titus
Andronicus. You can also look at it on the net, there is a link at:
http://www.unibas.ch/shine/linkstoworks_tragedies.htm#Titus

Costumes were quite expensive, the companies would certainly not have
costumes for all the actors (about 30 actors for "Titus Andronicus") and
we may assume that only the main actors could afford them - if they had
to buy their own costumes.

You may find more about costumes and their prices in: Cerasano, S. P.
"'Borrowed Robes', Costume Prices, and the Drawing of Titus Andronicus".
Shakespeare Studies XXII. Leeds Barrol. London: 1994.

The Admiral's Men had 1 "senetores gowne, 1 hoode, and 5 senetores
capes" , "The Mores lymes, and Hercolles lymes", 1 "Dido's robe", cf.
Foakes, R. A.  and R. T. Rickert, Eds. Henslowe's Diary. Editied with
Supplementary Material, introduction and notes. Cambridge, Cambridge
University Press: 196, p. 317ff

Markus Marti

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 09 Aug 2000 16:02:24 -0400
Subject: 11.1466 Elizabethan Costuming for Historical Dramas
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1466 Elizabethan Costuming for Historical Dramas

There is a sketch, often called a "contemporary illustration of Titus
Andronicus," in which one figure (Titus? Marcus?) is apparently wearing
something akin to a toga.  One or two of the other figures may also
being wearing modified togas.  Otherwise, the figures look pretty early
modern.  (See Bevington's updated fourth edition, lix.)  One may argue
from this sketch that early modern actors made some attempt to dress as
(they thought) Romans may have dressed.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rick Jones <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 09 Aug 2000 09:08:33 -0500
Subject: 11.1466 Elizabethan Costuming for Historical Dramas
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1466 Elizabethan Costuming for Historical Dramas

Martin Green asks:

> A friend has asked me whether Elizabethan actors in plays set in ancient
> times (Julius Caesar, Timon of Athens, etc.)  wore costumes appropriate
> (so far as they knew) to the periods.  I didn't (and don't) know, and
> wonder whether any SHAKSPERians might have a ready answer to this
> question.

No, until well into the 19th century, actors might wear costumes
appropriate to the character's rank but not to the character's period.

Rick Jones

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 10 Aug 2000 09:07:50 +0100
Subject: 11.1466 Elizabethan Costuming for Historical Dramas
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.1466 Elizabethan Costuming for Historical Dramas

The simple answer is yes, but their idea of costumes appropriate to the
period would not be ours!  The conventional wisdom is that Elizabethan
actors had a general purpose 'ancient' costume in what was believed to
be an 'antique' style, and this was used for plays set in the classical
period (or otherwise sufficiently in the past).  All other plays that
were thought to be roughly 'contemporary' would be in 'modern' dress.

John Briggs

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Franssen <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 10 Aug 2000 11:13:10 +0200
Subject: 11.1466 Elizabethan Costuming for Historical Dramas
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1466 Elizabethan Costuming for Historical Dramas

Martin Green asked about Elizabethan costuming conventions for Roman
plays.  Peter Thomson's article in *The Cambridge Companion to
Shakespeare Studies* (ed. Stanley Wells) points to a "surviving drawing,
dating from about 1594, of a scene from *Titus Andronicus* [which] shows
a bizarre mixture of Roman and Elizabethan costumes," and concludes that
"attempts at historical accuracy were sporadic and inconsistent" (p.
82). The drawing is reproduced in S. Schoenbaum's *William Shakespeare:
A Compact Documentary Life,* p.  162, as the "Peacham drawing." More
recently June Schlueter has argued that the scene depicted is not, in
fact, from *Titus Andronicus* but from some other Roman play of the
period, but that does not affect the issue at hand.  Last year's
production of *Julius Caesar* in The New Globe seems to have based its
costuming practice on this and similar evidence of Elizabethan staging
conventions: the (male) Romans were dressed in Elizabethan doublet and
hose, but donned a sort of toga for the senate scene.

Paul Franssen
Department of English
University of Utrecht
The Netherlands
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.