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Shakespeare Connected - Costuming Shakespeare: Elizabethan Dress through the Centuries

Death and the Maiden

This painting (originally intended to remind the viewer of the inevitability of death) depicts a young woman wearing an extravagant, fashionable Elizabethan gown alongside an older man in a fur-edged garment and cloak. When Shakespeare’s plays were first staged at the turn of the 17th century, players performed in the clothing of the day. It is likely that garments similar to those featuring in this painting were worn on the stages of London’s first purpose-built playhouses.


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