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Grant number like: FT-54887-07

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Amy Muse
University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN 55105-1096)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2007 – 8/31/2007

Serious Travesty: Actresses and the Making of the Modern Hamlet

This study asks, “How did actresses help to create the image of Hamlet as the figure of modern mankind? It examines the performances of two of the first female Hamlets, Sarah Siddons and Jane Powell, showing how their performances reveal Romantic-era re-imaginings of selfhood, and arguing that they helped to transform the way we interpret the character of Hamlet from masculine Renaissance revenger-hero to androgynous, intellectual figure of modern mankind. The study connects literary criticism and performance studies and demonstrates the influence of actors’ performances, not just critics’ analyses, on the changing views of a literary character and play that become central to Western liberal arts education and cultural experience.