Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,745 words)

1. Term

From the 18th century on, the expression Schauspieler/in in German referred to professional theater performers. Older terms, such as Acteur or Comödiant (Comedian players), were subsequently systematically suppressed. The lexicographer of the day, Johann Christoph Adelung, for instance, denounced both as superfluous loan-words or as pejorative.


2. The first phase: 1450-1700

Performers in medieval plays were mostly a…

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Marx, Peter W., “Actor”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_027027>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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