The Apparel Oft Proclaims the Man: Interpreting Shakespeare through Knitting

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For my Honors Thesis, I’ve taken on the challenge of translating characters from Shakespeare’s 4 Great Tragedies (Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth) into hand-knit garments. From each play, I made a sweater for one man and one woman, totaling eight sweaters. For the most part, these are the lead characters of the play, with the exception of Cordelia, who is the most beloved daughter in King Lear, but nowhere near as active on-stage as her cruel sisters. The sweaters I’ve designed exist somewhere in between costume, illustration, and interpretation. Some are garments that I would want my actors wearing on stage, if I were to direct a play. But more often than not, these sweaters express what is at the core of each character—their conflicts, their personalities, their words. They can be worn every day in the modern world, but are encoded with literary interpretations.
Thesis completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Alfred University Honors Program.
Honors thesis, Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616, Hamlet (play), Othello (play), King Lear (play), Macbeth (play), Knitting, Clothing