Cornhill Magazine,  8 (1863), 733–37.

On the Stage

Frances Anne Kemble




Anti-Scientism, Botany, Boundary Formation

    Complains that many modern actors have lost their 'dramatic and emotional temperament' and should strive to be 'less sophisticated and less civilized', noting that the 'plays brought out and revived at our theatres of late years bear doleful witness to this. We have in them archæology, ethnology, history, geography, botany (even to the curiosity of ascertaining the Danish wild-flowers that Ophelia might twist with her mad straws) [...] everything, in short, but acting, which it seems we cannot have' (734). Insists that the essential spontaneity of 'dramatic art has neither fixed rules, specific principles, indispensable rudiments, nor fundamental laws; it has no basis in positive science' (736).

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