Shakespearean Fool - Costumes


“Motley's the only wear.”
— Shakespeare, As You Like It, ii. 7.

The costumes worn by Shakespearean fools were fairly standardized at the Globe Theatre. The actor wore a ragged or patchwork coat. There were often bells along the skirt and on the elbows. They wore closed breeches with tights, with each leg a different color. A monk-like hood, covering the entire head was positioned as a cape, covering the shoulders and part of the chest. This hood was decorated with animal body parts, such as donkey's ears or the neck and head of a rooster. The animal theme was continued in the crest worn as well.

The actor had props. Usually he carried a short stick decorated with the doll head of a fool or puppet on the end. This was an official bauble or scepter, which had a pouch filled with air, sand, or peas attached as well. He wore a long petticoat of different colors, made of expensive materials such as velvet trimmed with yellow.

Read more about this topic:  Shakespearean Fool

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