“Motley” arises in As You Like It precisely eight times, half of which appear within twenty-two lines of each other, and the majority of which are spoken in the same act, the same scene, and by the same character. To no surprise, this character so seemingly infatuated with “motley” is none other than Jacques.
The fashion excesses of the Elizabethan era dwarf even the most outrageous walkways in Milan today. One earl was reported as spending half his annual income on clothing alone. It was common practice for landlords to part with some of their valuable turf merely to bolster their closets. The wealthy swanked about in outfits often richly decked with gold, silver and jewelry, elaborately ruffled and stitched to the very bottom seam. Continue reading