The Birth of Edmund Kean

Edmund Kean was a famous british stage actor who revolutionized the protrayal of Shakesperian villians in the Romantic Period. Before Kean, Shakespearian actors were see as up-standing, tall, handsome, aristocratic men. Kean, however, was praised for his wild, theatrical, distorted protrayal in Shakespeare classics like Othello, Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, and more. Kean had a big hand in revitalizing and reinventing Shakespeare productions, mainly the tragedies, completely changing the perception and adaptations of Shakespeare for the rest of the Romantic period and on. Haunted by many demons and not handling fame well, his acting career was cut short, as his life ended after only 45 years. Even though his career was not long, he influenced many stage actors and writers of the Romantic period. Samuel Coleridge even claimed that "Seeing him act was like reading Shakespeare by flashes of lightning", showing just how influential and electric Kean was as an actor and story teller.

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