Shakespeare in the Civil War

The Civil War audience's love of Shakespeare is hard to fathom in this day and age. Shakespeare, nowadays, is a byword for excess, unbearable overacting, immense self-indulgence; he seems to entice contemporary players to let their hair down, scream their heads off, and wave their arms like windmills.

What could be more repulsive than the acting in a Shakespeare play in this day and age? The directing, perhaps? Surely, Civil War audiences did not experience Shakespeare as currently presented.

Some representative images from recent productions are interleaved below with quotes about or from Edwin Booth, the foremost Shakespearean actor of the Civil War era (source here):

Reviewer: The salient attributes of Booth’s art were imagination, insight, grace, intense emotion, and melancholy refinement. ... But the controlling attribute,–that which imparted individual character, colour and fascination to his acting,–was the thoughtful introspective habit of a stately mind, abstracted from passion and suffused with mournful dreaminess of temperament. The moment that charm began to work, his victory was complete. It was that which made him the true image of Shakespeare’s thought...
Booth: When I was learning to act tragedy, I had frequently to perform comic parts, in order to acquire a certain ease of manner that my serious parts might not appear too stilted...

Reviewer: In all characters that evoked his essential spirit–in characters which rested on spiritualised intellect, or on sensibility to fragile loveliness, the joy that is unattainable, the glory that fades, and the beauty that perishes–he was peerless.
Reviewer: It is the loftiest type [of acting] that human nature affords, because it is the embodied supremacy of the soul, and because therein it denotes the only possible escape from the cares and vanities of a transitory world.
Booth: ... remember that dignity does not consist of over-becoming pride and haughtiness; self-respect, politeness and gentleness in all things and to all persons will give you sufficient dignity ...