Shakespeare and European Writers: Inspiration, Resistance, Authority


Juan F. Cerdá (University of Murcia)

Ángel-Luis Pujante (University of Murcia)

Rui Carvalho Homem (University of Porto)


Besides having approached Shakespeare as an object of criticism (favourable or adverse), European playwrights, poets and novelists have responded to his work in numerous and often conflicting ways. From Pushkin, to García Lorca, to Nabokov, Shakespeare has been a productive influence and a source of inspiration, yet also, from Voltaire, to Tolstoi, to Ford Madox Ford, he has been a disputed source of concern and creative inhibition. The writers’ creative responses have hardly been homogeneous or decidedly for or against Shakespeare. Voltaire, who criticized him strongly, also thought that his plays could be an encouragement to make French drama more vital. Filipino/Spanish writer Manuel Lorenzo admired Shakespeare but held that he should not be taken as a model, as imitating him would entail imitation of his defects and oddities with disastrous results. In the hands of European creative writers, Shakespeare’s lines, characters and plots have been as much an example of beauty and genius as a point of departure for parody and contestation.

This seminar addresses the various responses of European creative writers vis-à-vis Shakespeare in general or specific works, and invites papers on this and related subjects. Suggested topics:


Creative responses to Shakespeare by European playwrights, poets and novelists, from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries.


European writers’ choice of Shakespeare’s works as creative stimulus or inhibition.

Shakespeare as a source of plots (myth).

Shakespeare as provider of allusions and quotations.

Shakespeare and versions of authorship: the Bard’s shadow and authorial self-fashioning.

The Shakespeare cult in European literatures: from hagiography to satire.


Please send 150-word abstracts and biographies to,, and before 31 March 2017.