Carl (also known as: Seydelmann, Karl) Seydelmann

* 24.04.1793 in Kłodzko (Lower Silesia); ✝ 17.03.1843 in Berlin




Seydelmann was the son of an Upper Silesian merchant, and served as a soldier in the Napoleonic Wars. However, he deserted after two years in order to become an actor. After first finding employment at the theatres of various noblemen, in 1819 he managed to attain a fixed position in Breslau. Further engagements saw him grace the stages of the Court Theatres in Kassel, Darmstadt, Stuttgart and, finally, Berlin, where he worked for the last five years of his life.

Seydelmann gave many guest performances and can be considered as a prototype of the ‘virtuoso artist’, favouring individual performance and audience response over ensemble interaction and directorial unity.

These considerations also shaped his most famous Shakespeare role, Shylock. According to sources, Seydelmann portrayed Shylock not as a comic caricature, but as a sublime, almost tragic character – an act of radical reinterpretation very much in accord with the mood of the time.

Shakespeare Roles


Secondary Literature

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Citation and Licence

Seydelmann, Carl (also known as: Seydelmann, Karl), in: The Digital Shakespeare Memorial Album. Edited by Christa Jansohn. URI: (Accessed on 26.09.2023)

This text is published under the following licence: CC BY-ND 3.0 DE. Digitzed media reproduced with the permission of the library of Birmingham.

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