Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

“Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth”: Shakespeare’s Authority in José Carlos Somoza’s El cebo (The Bait)

Ángel Luis Pujante Álvarez-Castellanos



This article sets out to present and analyse the extent and nature of the appropriation of Shakespeare in José Carlos Somoza’s El cebo (The Bait, 2010), and to discuss its real relevance. Apparently, this is the first detective —or popular— novel in which the presence of Shakespeare extends to all his plays rather than centring on just one of them, as is usually the case. Each chapter of the novel draws on one or more situations or characters of a specific Shakespearean play, and the plays referred to in the respective chapters are presented in chronological order. These references are more or less relevant to the story in the long first part, but their relevance becomes more obvious as the action moves on, and is absolute in the final stages. This article will show that the presence of Shakespeare’s work in Somoza’s novel is not merely an element lending prestige to it, but functions as a structuring device and forms an integral part of it.


Shakespeare, William; Authority; Somoza, José Carlos; El cebo


Copyright (c) 2012 Ángel Luis Pujante Álvarez-Castellanos

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