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The graveyard scene in Hamlet as puppet theatre and early twentieth-century distrust of the actor
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of English.
2008 (English)In: Shakespeare, ISSN 1745-0918, Vol. 4, no 4, 351-361 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Against the background of the history of performances of Shakespeare's plays in marionette theatres in Britain and Europe generally this essay first provides a brief survey of productions of Hamlet in Sweden since 1787. It then describes the staging of the Graveyard Scene in Hamlet in puppet form at the Art and Industry Fair in Stockholm in 1909. The fact that the voices and demeanour of the characters in this production imitated voices and acting peculiarities of actual Shakespeare actors on the Stockholm stages at the time becomes the starting-point of a discussion of the function of the actor in the theatrical event in relation to the distrust of the actor which was widespread in early modernist theatrical theory around the turn of the century. It is argued that in addition to giving pleasure to the spectators through the humour of Shakespeare's play and through satirizing actors considered to be too self-centred, this performance of the Graveyard Scene also formed part of the debate of the role of the actor in the aesthetics of early modernism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge , 2008. Vol. 4, no 4, 351-361 p.
Keyword [en]
Shakespeare, puppet theatre, Hamlet in Sweden, role of the actor, August Strindberg, Alfred Jarry, Henri Bergson, modernist theatrical aesthetics
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-89278DOI: 10.1080/17450910802501055ISI: 000265722500001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-89278DiVA: diva2:159880
Available from: 2009-02-10 Created: 2009-02-10 Last updated: 2011-03-14Bibliographically approved

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