Assuming that on the early English stage there must frequently have been the need to distinguish a disguised character from a doubled character, this note considers the problems arising from time constraints and the pressures exerted upon a company's wardrobe, to make some suggestions about how disguise might have been performed. It suggests that frequently disguised identity could not have involved a change of costume as such, but must have been signalled by some kind of costume shorthand.

Author Biography

Peter Hyland , Professor of English Literature at Huron University College, has published Disguise and Role-Playing in Ben Jonson's Drama (1977); Discharging the Canon (ed. 1986); Shakespeare: Troilus and Cressida (1989); An Introduction to Shakespeare: The Dramatist in His Context (1996). He is currently completing a book on Shakespeare's non-dramatic poetry.