Female Hamlets

Ritratti di attrici nel teatro americano del diciannovesimo secolo


  • Cristina Consiglio




American theatre, Shakespeare, Female Hamlet


In the early decades of the 19th century, the character of Hamlet often exerted a strange, compelling force upon many actresses and the breeches roles escaped the serious public censure that displays of female flesh could provoke. The great age of the female Hamlet was the 19th century, when nearly every major actress tackled the role. Starting from the broader perspective of how a woman performing Hamlet was no impediment to the paradox of theatrical authenticity, the aim of this paper is to focus on how female Hamlets in the mid-1800s claimed their visible place in the public sphere, asserted a woman’s right to experience and, in a few words, embodied a woman’s right to education.


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