Anna Cora Mowatt essay by John Cline

As stated in the text (The Lady Actress), actors and actresses were viewed as low and common person (2). Notable scholars commented freely on how the American public did not seem to accept theatrical expectations as proper. Actors and actresses alike were thought to be of low moral character, free-spirited and drunkards. Another scholar, Clara Morris, retorted that actors were not taken seriously because they were “buffoons” (p. 3). Because of this negative stereotype, actors were seen as having no social standing. To add to this chagrin, actors and actresses were also openly ridiculed in religious setting by figures such as Reverand Robert Hatfield, who declared the theater the “haunt of sinners” (p. 4).
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Anna Cora Mowatt essay by Tim Matyjewicz

Poetry was considered “proper” for Victorian ladies because of the societal limitations placed on women during the Victorian period. Emotions were considered to be the opposite of logic and rationality. For men, the expectation was to be completely logical and rational in their lives in order to facilitate the ordinary fixed workings of the world. More than this, men were considered to be “hardwired” as purely logical and mechanically thinking according to the Victorian mindset. Women, on the other hand, were presumed to be emotional and excitable. Just as men were viewed as being “hardwired” as rigidly mechanical in their thinking, so too were women viewed as being emotional and, as a result, somewhat frivolous and certainly less valuable and significant.
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