Gothic Shakespeares: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Gothic Shakespeares

1st Edition

Edited by John Drakakis, Dale Townshend


261 pages

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Readings of Shakespeare were both influenced by and influential in the rise of Gothic forms in literature and culture from the late eighteenth century onwards. Shakespeare’s plays are full of ghosts, suspense, fear-inducing moments and cultural anxieties which many writers in the Gothic mode have since emulated, adapted and appropriated.

The contributors to this volume consider:

  • Shakespeare’s relationship with popular Gothic fiction of the eighteenth century
  • how, without Shakespeare as a point of reference, the Gothic mode in fiction and drama may not have developed and evolved in quite the way it did
  • the ways in which the Gothic engages in a complex dialogue with Shakespeare, often through the use of quotation, citation and analogy
  • the extent to which the relationship between Shakespeare and the Gothic requires a radical reappraisal in the light of contemporary literary theory, as well as the popular extensions of the Gothic into many modern modes of representation.

In Gothic Shakespeares, Shakespeare is considered alongside major Gothic texts and writers – from Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe, Matthew Lewis and Mary Shelley, up to and including contemporary Gothic fiction and horror film. This volume offers a highly original and truly provocative account of Gothic reformulations of Shakespeare, and Shakespeare’s significance to the Gothic.

Contributors include: Fred Botting, Elizabeth Bronfen, Glennis Byron, Sue Chaplin, Steven Craig, John Drakakis, Michael Gamer, Jerrold Hogle, Peter Hutchings, Robert Miles, Dale Townshend, Scott Wilson and Angela Wright.


'…[T]he book will most certainly be of use to Shakespearean and eighteenth-century scholars and is well worth the read. Gothic Shakespeares is a pioneering foray into a vast landscape of topics; hopefully further discussions will ensue.' - Peter Paolucci, York University

Table of Contents

1. Introduction - John Drakakis 2. Shakespeare’s Nocturnal World - Elizabeth Bronfen 3. Shakespeare Among the Goths - Steven Craig 4. Gothic and the Ghost of Hamlet - Dale Townshend 5. The Scene of a Crime: Fiction of Authority in Walpole’s ‘Gothic Shakespeare’ - Sue Chaplin 6. In Search of Arden: Ann Radcliffe’s William Shakespeare - Angela Wright 7. Gothic Shakespeare on the Romantic Stage - Michael Gamer and Robert Miles 8. Theatres of Blood: Shakespeare and the Horror Film - Peter Hutchings 9. ‘As one dead’: Romeo and Juliet in the ‘Twilight’ zone - Glennis Byron 10. Gothspeare and the Origins of Cultural Studies - Fred Botting and Scott Wilson 11. Afterword - Jerrold Hogle

About the Editors

John Drakakis is Professor in the Department of English, University of Stirling. He has published articles, chapters and books on a wide variety of literature, drama, critical theory and cultural studies. He is also the series editor for Routledge's 'New Critical Idiom series'.

Dale Townshend is Lecturer in Gothic and Romantic Literature in the Department of English, University of Stirling. He has published many articles and co-edited several books on the Gothic.

About the Series

Accents on Shakespeare

The Accents on Shakespeare series provides short, powerful 'cutting edge' accounts of and comments on new developments in Shakespeare studies. The volumes either 'apply' theory, or broaden and adapt it in order to connect with concrete teaching concerns. In the process, they also reflect and engage with the major developments in Shakespearean studies of the last ten years.

Since the New Accents series was established, 'theory' as a fundamental feature of the study of literature, the need for short, 'cutting-edge' accounts of and comments on new developments in literary studies has increased enormously. In the case of Shakespeare, Accents on Shakespeare supplies an exciting range of provocative new titles. The books in the series either apply theory, or broaden and adapt it to connect with teaching concerns. In the process they also reflect and engage with the major developments in Shakespearean studies of recent years.

Learn more…

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