Communities and Collections

Siddons’s ghost: Celebrity and gender in Sheridan’s Pizarro

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • This essay reexamines Richard Brinsley Sheridan's Pizarro (1799), shifting away from the critical tendency to focus on Rolla's speech as a reuse of Sheridan's speech against Warren Hastings to consider instead the significance of Sarah Siddons's performance in the role of Elvira. Drawing on Jacky Bratton's insights into embodied theatre histories and Marvin Carlson's theory of celebrity ghosting, I argue that Sheridan adapted Kotzebue's play with Siddons's abilities and status in mind, and that her prominence as one of the greatest actors of her generation and as an icon of British womanhood created an emphasis on remorse, thus weakening the monolithic nature of the British colonial project.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
  • License
    Copyright © The Johns Hopkins University Press. This article first appeared in Theatre Journal 65:2 (2013), 183-196. Reprinted with permission by Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • Couture, S. (2013). Siddons’s ghost: Celebrity and gender in Sheridan’s Pizarro. Theatre Journal, 65(2), 183-196.