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What the Butler Saw Essay | Critical Essay #1

This Study Guide consists of approximately 67 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of What the Butler Saw.
This section contains 2,404 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay #1

Cross is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in drama. In this essay she discusses the use of costume in Orton's play.

Joe Orton's What the Butler Saw is notable for its use of costume. Throughout the play, characters dress and undress, discarding and exchanging clothing, and thus furthering Orton's theme of the fluidity of identity. Orton also uses clothing and the removal of clothing in the play to establish and subvert authority, to highlight the vulnerability as well as the threat of the human body, and to create a confusing and comic effect. Costume in the play provides much more than decoration or even character illumination. In What the Butler Saw, Orton's use of clothing is central to the play.

From the beginning of What the Butler Saw, the characters' clothing is used to establish who has authority and power and who does not. From the moment he...

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This section contains 2,404 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our What the Butler Saw Study Guide
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What the Butler Saw from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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