Johnson on Acting

From Boswell, 1783

Johnson, indeed had thought more upon the subject of acting than might be generally supposed. Talking of it one day to Mr. Kemble, he said, “Are you, Sir, one of those enthusiasts who believe yourself transformed into the very character you represent.” Upon Mr. Kemble’s answering that he had never felt so strong a persuasion himself; “To be sure not, Sir, (said Johnson). The thing is impossible. And if Garrick really believed himself to be that monster Richard the Third, he deserved to be hanged every time he performed it.”

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