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Illinois Classical Studies


The stage-nudity of male characters is relatively common in comic scenes of the fifth century and first half of the fourth century, in both Attic and South Italian vase-painting. A review of the material evidence shows that stage-nudity is particularly frequent in scenes of vigorous physical activity; a few scenes indicate plot-prompted disrobing. These scenes indicate that stage-nudity may have been more common in the performance of Aristophanes than previously believed based on textual evidence alone. This paper reconsiders possible instances of male-stage nudity in extant plays, including the possibility of extended stage-nudity in Peace and Knights.