The term “comedian", in the sense of “comic poet”/“comic actor”, came into use towards the end of the 16th century and entered German (Komödiant) through the English acting troupes (“Engelische Comedianten”; English comedian players) who toured Germany. In German it became the term for a professional actor, before the word Schauspieler superseded it in the 18th century (Actor).
Whereas in 16th-century Germany, theater was an exclusively amateur preserve, a profession of acting had developed in England since the 15th century. The first English comedian …
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“Comedian players”, 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 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_022464>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170206