Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

“The drops which fell from Shakespear’s Pen”: Hamlet in Contemporary Fiction

Patrick Gill



Questions of gender, ethnicity and sexuality have all been raised by novelists intent on rewriting Shakespeare from the position of what have been seen as cultural margins. While discussions of such rewritings are ongoing, few concerted efforts have been made to trace a pattern in the treatment of Shakespearean allusion and adaptation at the hands of British and American writers of the literary mainstream. The present essay sets out to investigate the way in which three such writers —Ian McEwan, Graham Swift, and John Updike— employ allusion to/adaptations of Hamlet in their novels and what their respective stances reveal about their understanding of their role as canonical writers.


Shakespeare, William; Hamlet; Allusion; Adaptation; Contemporary fiction


Copyright (c) 2012 Patrick Gill

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