Pickelhering was the most popular stage clown on the seventeenth-century German stage, yet his origins are shrouded in mystery and controversy. On the basis of a careful analysis of this persona, as represented in the first major collections of the English Players from 1620 and 1630, with what is known about two heralded English actors from the 1590s, i.e. Shakespeare's clown, Will Kemp, and his counterpart on the Continent, the linguistically talented Thomas Sacheville, I will present strong circumstantial evidence that both actors, in particular Kemp, may be regarded as comic prototypes for the English Pickelhering.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Literature and Literary Theory