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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VI. The Drama to 1642, Part Two.

X. The Elizabethan Theatre

§ 23. Costumes

The main appeal to the eye in public playhouses before the rebellion was made by the costumes of actors. Now and then, as in miracles, a rudimentary attempt at dramatic propriety in costume was made. For the most part, players wore the ordinary dress of the day, some, even of the male characters, appearing in wigs, and some—especially, it would seem, in cases of disguise and of minor players acting more than one part—having their faces concelaed by masks. Makeshift and errors of taste were not unknown even in London playhouses; but Henslowe’s extant accounts show that the costumes were splendid and costly—velvet, gold lace, copper lace and other rich materials being freely used. The speaker of the prologue appeared in a black cloak.