International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

“When Sorrows Come”: Shakespearean Echoes in the Originals
Fabio Ciambella

Shakespeare and vampires represent a sort of “Beckettian pair” whose intertextual connections seem to have been explored more in detail by the so-called escape literature than by literary critics themselves. Based on this premise, this article is aimed at exploring Shakespearean intertextuality in one of the most famous and popular TV series about vampires,The Originals, thus trying to demonstrate that Shakespearean quotations are not accidental, but perfectly mirror the neo-gothic world of the Mikaelson’s family. Seasons 3 and 4 of the series have apparently nothing in common except direct quotations from Hamlet. In season 3 it is the vampire Marcel Gérard – aformer close friend of the Mikaelsons’ – who leaves a copy of Hamlet open at 4.2.75-6 (“When sorrows come, they come not single spies / But in battalions”), whilst in season 4 the witch Inadu takes Elijah Mikaelson’s appearance and quotes from Shakespeare’s Danish tragedy.In both seasons of The Originals, Shakespeare’s work seems to connect the different narrative levels, thus commenting on the story and being commented by it, interpreting the characters’ deepest secrets and being intertextually interpreted by them.

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