By her thirties she was widely adored by high society. She brought a new interpretation to the part, choosing to play her as a devoted wife distorted by ambition for her husband rather than the manipulative fiend of tradition.
Some even began to take on male roles in order to expand their repertoire and showcase the full extent of their abilities. Siddons had experimented with playing Hamlet on tour in the provinces, but this type of cross-gendered casting did not receive a wider audience until Charlotte Cushman — played Romeo at the Haymarket in The Parisian Sarah Bernhardt — was a canny self-promoter who cultivated her image as a mysterious, exotic outsider.
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In , she took the controversial decision to play Hamlet and was rewarded with acclaim throughout Europe and America. The French actress, Sarah Bernhardt, crossed gender boundaries when she played the male hero in Hamlet. The critics, however, were not so sure. Many felt that Bernhardt and the actresses she inspired were fundamentally incapable of understanding male drives and emotions.
These attitudes would persist into the 20th and 21st centuries, presenting yet further challenges to women determined to enjoy the same opportunities as their male equivalents. Bernhardt used this human skull for the graveyard scene in her performance as Hamlet. Despite the achievements of Cushman and Bernhardt, Ellen Terry — , the biggest star of the 20th century, chose to present a socially respectable and traditionally feminine public image.
By the age of 36 she was the highest-paid woman in Britain and a confirmed national treasure. But in order to reach such heights, Terry was obliged to exert considerable control over her public profile. She concealed the illegitimacy of her two children and allowed Henry Irving, her professional partner, to choose her roles and set her salary. In her autobiography, Terry revealed feelings of compromise and regret at some of the opportunities she had missed.
Ellen Terry was the biggest theatre star of the 20th century. Here she plays the role of Portia disguised as a male lawyer in The Merchant of Venice. The second-wave feminism of the s—70s had a limited impact on Shakespearean performance as a direct result of the absence of women in positions of power within the industry. In recent years, however, there have been a number of female-dominated productions in prestigious theatres. In spite of the persistence of such outdated views, the Shakespearean canon remains as enticing to the modern actress as it did to her Restoration counterpart.
And although men still hold the majority of senior roles in the theatre, greater representation will surely usher in a new era of possibility for female Shakespeareans. Her PhD thesis is on Provincial Shakespeare Performance, — and explores the connections between Shakespeare performance and local and national identity. Gilman, Sander L. Gow, Andrew Colin. Leiden: Brill, Greatrex, Joan. Greenblatt, Stephen. New York: Norton, Gross, Kenneth. Shylock is Shakespeare. Hall, Kim F. Ithaca: Cornell UP, Harris, Jonathan Gil. Hattaway, Michael.
Elizabethan Popular Theatre: Plays in Performance. Heng, Geraldine. New York: Columbia UP, Hirsch, Brett D. Hirschfeld, Heather. Holmer, Joan Ozark. John W. Mahon and Ellen Macleod Mahon. Hopkins, Lisa. Johnson, Willis.
Kaplan, M. Katz, David S. Kaufmann, Thomas. Dean Phillip Bell and Stephen G. Kennedy, Richard F. Judith Perryman. Heidelberg: Winter, Kruger, Steven F. Lampert, Lisa. Gender and Jewish Difference from Paul to Shakespeare. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, Langmuir, Gavin I. Toward a Definition of Antisemitism. Lindberg, Carter. Nancy A. Philadelphia: Temple UP, Loomba, Ania. Shakespeare, Race, and Colonialism. Oxford: Oxford UP, Cambridge: MIT P, Maclean, Ian.
The Renaissance Notion of Woman. Marlowe, Christopher. The Jew of Malta. The Revels Plays. Doctor Faustus and Other Plays. David Bevington and Eric Rasmussen. Oxford World's Classics. Martin, John D.
Mellinkoff, Ruth. Metzger, Mary Janell. Middleton, Thomas, and William Rowley. The Changeling. Wing M Orgel, Stephen. Palfrey, Simon, and Tiffany Stern.
Complete Catalog: Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Shakespeare in Parts. Platter, Thomas. Journal of a Younger Brother — Sean Jennet. London: Frederick Muller, The History of Anti-Semitism. New York: Vanguard P, — Resnick, Irven M.
History of women in the United Kingdom
Rosen, Alan. Joyce Green MacDonald. Cranbury: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, Roth, Cecil. Rubenstein, Frankie, ed. Rubin, Miri. Russell, Nicholas. Schreckenberg, Heinz. John Bowden. New York: Continuum, Shakespeare, William. The Complete Works.
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Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor. The Merchant of Venice. Jay L. New York: Oxford UP, The Oxford Shakespeare. Charlton Hinman. The Sonnets. Blakemore Evans. The New Cambridge Shakespeare. Henry IV, Part 2. New York: Penguin, The Pelican Shakespeare. The Complete Sonnets and Poems.
Colin Burrow. Leah S. Norton Critical Editions.