"How he met the spectator's heart and held it tight" : on F. L. Schröder's and J. F. H. Brockmann's Hamlet in eighteenth-century Germany

Title: "How he met the spectator's heart and held it tight" : on F. L. Schröder's and J. F. H. Brockmann's Hamlet in eighteenth-century Germany
Source document: Theory and Practice in English Studies. 2022, vol. 11, iss. 1, pp. 13-30
Extent
13-30
  • ISSN
    1805-0859 (online)
Type: Article
Language
 

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Abstract(s)
This article proposes an analysis of J. F. H. Brockmann's Hamlet performance based on F. L. Schröder's adaptation of 20th September 1776 in Hamburg, which is regarded as the beginning of Shakespeare's conquest of the German stage. After inserting Schröder's work within the Shakespeare-debate of eighteenth-century Germany between the advocates of the French-inspired Regelpoetik on the one hand and the adversaries of Germany's dependency on French culture on the other, its mise en scène is read on the backdrop of Schröder's 'revolutionary' conceptions of acting as inspired by the Italian actor Francesco Riccoboni. Secondly, and most importantly, the essay explores J. F. Brockmann's performance of Hamlet as conveyed by Schink's and Chodowiecki's literary and figurative attestations. In this regard, it offers a comparison between Schröder's and Brockmann's Hamlets facing the ghost, which proves crucial in order to understand the difference between two competing, but at the same time innovative, acting styles on the German stage of the time. This intertwining of eighteenth-century German literature, figurative arts and performance theories will lead to an as yet unattempted foray into Schröder's and Brockmann's interpretations of Hamlet, which from that moment on enjoyed constant appreciation throughout the centuries and led to Shakespeare's success all over Germany.