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Hamlet Lives in HollywoodJohn Barrymore and the Acting Tradition Onscreen$
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Murray Pomerance and Steven Rybin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474411394

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411394.001.0001

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Dangerously Modern: Shakespeare, Voice, and the “New Psychology” in John Barrymore’s “Unstable” Characters

Dangerously Modern: Shakespeare, Voice, and the “New Psychology” in John Barrymore’s “Unstable” Characters

Chapter:
(p.22) Chapter 2 Dangerously Modern: Shakespeare, Voice, and the “New Psychology” in John Barrymore’s “Unstable” Characters
Source:
Hamlet Lives in Hollywood
Author(s):

Michael Hammond

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411394.003.0003

John Barrymore’s 1922 Hamlet introduced Freudian interpretation as a means of character development into American acting. It also provided Barrymore with a screen star persona that based his acting virtuosity on portraying unstable characters. This chapter explores the way his star persona was articulated through the production and reception of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) and then in The Mad Genius (1931) a decade later.

Keywords:   Hamlet, John Barrymore, performance, star persona, Freud, psychoanalysis, interpretation

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