Eros in Shakespeare

Keir Douglas Elam, Alessandro Serpieri


This brief essay is a translation of the introduction to the volume L’Eros in Shakespeare, edited

by Alessandro Serpieri and Keir Elam in 1988. In discussing the role of the passions in

Shakespeare’s plays and poetry, it brings together considerations from semiotics, psychoanalysis,

drama theory and early modern English history. These approaches are all pertinent to the

analysis of the multi-perspective and performative language of Shakespeare’s plays. The essay

also surveys the four Shakespeare conferences held in Taormina, under the direction of Alessandro

Serpieri, between 1984 and 1987.


Keywords: Shakespeare; passions; semiotics; psychoanalysis; early modern English history

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