Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Celebrity Culture in Shakespeare's Time

Since I'm thinking about celebrity culture today, I started wondering about who the star of Shakespeare's day was. And then I realized I already knew--Richard Burbage. He and his older brother Cuthbert (don't you wonder how poor Cuthbert got saddled with a name like that while Richard got a perfectly normal name?) were both actors. Their father had been a joiner-turned-theatrical impresario.
Burbage was a member of a number of prestigious acting companies but made his name as Shakespeare's leading man, originating the roles of Hamlet, Othello, Richard III and King Lear.
Burbage later managed his own theater. His epitaph is brief, "Exit Burbage."
Martin Clunes plays Burbage in Shakespeare in Love. Wonder if they'll still be talking about Brad Pitt in 500 years.

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