Five Book Characters Who Rock Costumes Beyond Halloween
Happy birthday month, Maurice Sendak! We love how Max wears his wolf costume, even if it does inspire him to wreak havoc and get in trouble. In tribute to his sartorial daring, we made a list of five characters who wear costumes on days other than October 31.
Odysseus in The Odyssey by Homer
Okay, we cannot give Odysseus too much credit here, because Athena designed his costume. Just because the gods use magic, does not mean it doesn’t count. When Odysseus returns home, Athena disguises him as a beggar so he can get the low-down on how his wife is doing. It turns out things are less than ideal—a bunch of suitors have taken over his home. They mock him because he is a beggar, but the joke is on them. He reveals himself after he wins an archery contest and slaughters them all. Fortunately for Penelope, his wife, she was faithful, so they live happily ever after.
Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
Benedick attends a masquerade and, in costume, asks Beatrice to dance (they have a love/hate relationship). When he asks about himself, Beatrice proceeds to describe in insulting terms. Benedick is obviously hurt, but he should have known better. Never ask someone about yourself while you are in costume (particularly if you are wearing a mask). You will probably hear some things that are less than favorable, especially if you know the person doesn’t particularly like you. It is kind of like reading the comments section of a major newspaper online: it is never a good idea.
The Big Bad Wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood”
We are kind of surprised The Big Bad Wolf’s costume worked. Throwing on an old woman’s clothes should not be enough to convince a young girl that you are her grandmother. We know Little Red Riding Hood has her doubts—she went through the whole exclaiming about the transformation of body parts routine—but it should have been pretty cut and dry. Little Red Riding Hood, we recommend glasses or more schooling. Or spend more time with you grandmother. Clearly you don’t know her very well.
Eowyn from Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
This is our favorite costume by far; we are all for costumes that enable “girl power” moments. Eowyn dresses up as a male soldier, named Dernhelm, in order to fight against the forces of evil. She kills the Witch-king—someone who cannot be killed by a man—because she is a woman. It is unfortunate that she has to disguise herself as a man to fight, but it does lead up to a pretty cool reveal.
Lola in Lola and the Book Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
We have to hand it to Lola; the girl has guts. High school is not always the most forgiving when it comes to being different, but she wears a unique costume every day. We are not talking about slightly quirky outfits; we are talking about wigs and costumes she made herself. She actually wore an eighteenth-century dress to the school dance. Oh Lola, the other kids might think you are weird now, but you will be the one laughing when your designs are displayed in Fashion Week.
Sarah Fox is an editor, writer, writing consultant, and pop culture enthusiast. Besides regularly contributing to Quirk Books’ blog, she has published an edition of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and Pembroke Welsh Corgi. You can find her online at www.thebookishfox.com.