Eduard Philipp Devrient

* 11.08.1801 in Berlin; ✝ 04.10.1871 in Karlsruhe

Actor, Artistic Director, Theatre Historian



Eduard Devrient, brother of Emil Devrient, began his artistic career in 1819 as a bass at the Royal Opera in Berlin, but had to give up singing in 1831 on account of vocal problems. Instead he began acting and directing, and continued to do so for another twenty years or thereabouts, mostly in Dresden and Berlin, where he was active as the successor to Ludwig Tieck between 1844 and 1852. Until 1870 he was then steward at the Karlsruhe Court Theatre, where he introduced cycles of classic theatre – in the 1864/5 season alone twenty Shakespeare plays.

From today’s perspective, it is the reforms he initiated in the theatrical profession which are most important – whether it be in the matter of actor training (‘Über Theaterschule’, 1840), or in that of the introduction of historical costume, or that of the importance of proper rehearsal. For more than anything else, though, he is famous for his ‘Geschichte der deutschen Schauspielkunst’ (1848-1874), still referred to today, despite its occasional deficiencies. Together with his son he published an edition of Shakespeare’s plays in five volumes with the programmatic title Deutscher Bühnen- und Familien-Shakespeare (1873-1875).

Shakespeare Roles



Primary Literature

Secondary Literature

Album pages with this person

Citation and Licence

Devrient, Eduard Philipp, in: The Digital Shakespeare Memorial Album. Edited by Christa Jansohn. URI: (Accessed on 31.05.2023)

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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