- An old term for tragedy. It alludes to the cothurnus, a high thick-soled boot worn by the Greek tragic actors to elevate their stature. Sophocles is said to have introduced the custom to distinguish the principal actors from the chorus, who wore low shoes. The cothurnus somewhatresembled the later European buskin, a sandal-like covering for thefoot and lower leg. Compare sock.
Or what (though rare) of later age
Enobled hath the buskin'd stage.
John Milton: Il Penseroso