This book offers an interpretation of the handling of costume in
the plays of the fifth-century comic poet Aristophanes. Drawing on
both textual and material evidence from the fourth- and
fifth-century Greek world, it examines three layers of costume: the
bodysuit worn by the actors, the characters' clothes, and the
additional layering of disguise. A chapter is also devoted to the
inventive costumes of the comic chorus. Going beyond describing
what costumes looked like, the book focuses instead on the dynamics
of costume as it is manipulated by characters in the performance of
plays. The book argues that costume is used competitively, as
characters handle each other's costumes and poets vie for status
using costume. This argument is informed by performance studies and
by analyses of gender and the body.
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