Sarah Bernhardt’s audiences often described feeling thrilled by the star performer, and they relished the ways in which her agency exceeded their own. She developed a style of setting her entire body in motion, often in arresting, unusual ways. Using Sharon Marcus’s concept of “exteriority effects”-mobility, framing, tempo control, and hyperextension-this article analyzes Bernhardt’s stage movement in her most famous cross-gender role, Hamlet. It seeks to prove that the most revolutionary aspect of her performance was, ironically, not its cross gender aspect, but rather its virtuosic physical interpretation of the Prince as a determined man of action, which profoundly challenged the prevailing Romantic interpretations.
Starr, Juliana. "Something in the Way She Moves: Bodily Motion as Innovation in Bernhardt’s Hamlet." American International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, vol. 6, no. 1, Sept. 2020, pp. 24-33.