Costume change in Aristophanic comedy
Ferguson, Erin Jeanne
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In this thesis I argue for the consequential role costume change plays in Aristophanic comedy, that these changes either advance the plot or convey a change a character has undergone. Specifically, I focus on changes of hair, clothing, and mask, because these are the parts of costumes that characters most often manipulate. My first chapter draws from Knights, Ecclesiazusae, Thesmophoriazusae, and Wasps and argues for the clothing changes of certain characters as central to turning point of the plot. My second chapter is centered on manipulation of hair in Lysistrata, Ecclesiazusae, and Thesmophoriazusae, looking especially at gender and the role hair plays in establishing gender boundaries. Finally, my third chapter focuses on Knights, Plutus, and Clouds, all of which contain a character who undergoes a significant transformation of lifestyle. These transformations, I argue, could possibly have been made visually more effective by a change of the character’s mask.