Shakespearean Joyce Joycean Shakespeare

2-3 Feb. In 2016 a global series of celebrations marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and the 100th anniversary of the publication of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man.

Irish writer Brendan Behan is quoted as saying that "Shakespeare said pretty well everything and what he left out, James Joyce, with a judge from meself, put in" so there is particular merit in studying the lives and works of these two great canonical figures, Shakespeare and Joyce, cheek by jowl.

They will be the focus of a special international conference organised by the James Joyce Italian Foundation at the Università Roma Tre on 2-3 February (2 February is also Joyce’s birthday and this event will be the ninth annual birthday conference to be held at Roma Tre).

Joyce had little hesitation in acknowledging the importance of his great English predecessor and even gave a series of a dozen lectures on Hamlet in Trieste in 1912. Even if, in Ulysses, Joyce’s visiting English character, Haines, declares that Shakespeare is “the happy hunting-ground of all minds that have lost their balance”, Shakespeare’s works were a rich source for Joyce. Both Ulysses and Finnegans Wake are embroidered with references to Shakespeare and all his writings (especially to the what the Wake calls the "camelot prince of dinmurk” - Hamlet).

This conference examines the complex influence of Shakespeare on the Irish writer but also on how knowledge of Joyce’s works might affect or alter our readings of the Bard today.

Plenary speakers are Paola Pugliatti (Università di Firenze), Valérie Bénejam (Université de Nantes), Klaus Reichert (Goethe Universität, Frankfurt), and Laura Pelaschiar (Università di Trieste), who recently edited a volume entitled Joyce/Shakespeare for Syracuse University Press.

The entire conference is open to the public and all talks and panels will be in English. For further information write to or

John McCourt

General Info

Address Università degli Studi Roma 3, Via del Valco di S. Paolo 19, access also from Via Ostiense 234. (Metro B, Marconi).

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Shakespearean Joyce Joycean Shakespeare

Università degli Studi Roma 3, Via del Valco di S. Paolo 19, access also from Via Ostiense 234. (Metro B, Marconi).