Template:POTD/2009-03-26

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Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet
French actress Sarah Bernhardt, in a promotional photograph for her performance as the titular character of William Shakespeare's Hamlet in London, holding the skull of Yorick. The portrayal of a character by an actor of the opposite sex is known as en travesti, a "pseudo-French" term which derives from the misinterpretation of travesti (the past participle of the French verb travestir) as a noun. Before the late 17th century, it was considered immoral for women to appear on stage, and as such, males (usually adolescents) would play female roles. With the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 women started appearing on the English stage in both female and male roles.Photo credit: James Lafayette

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