The Spectre of Hamlet in the Brazilian Translations of James Joyce’s Ulysses




William Shakespeare (1565-1616) is a noteworthy presence in works by James Joyce (1882-1941). Joyce’s Ulysses contains a number of passages that allude to the bard’s plays. Unlike the Homeric parallel, the Shakespearean references are scattered through the novel in form of allusions and echoes. In view of this, Laura Pelaschiar (2016) points out that “the job of the Joyce/Shakespeare explorer is a trying one because Shakespeare’s presence in Joyce is hard to unearth and assess” (58). The spectre of Hamlet arises in the novel in multiple ways and evokes crucial themes of the novel, such as the paternity matter and the relation between art and biographical life. In virtue of such intertextuality, the purpose of this paper is to discuss the presence of Hamlet in the Brazilian translations of James Joyce’s Ulysses by Antônio Houaiss (Civilização Brasileira, 1966), Bernardina da Silveira Pinheiro (Objetiva, 2005) and Caetano Galindo (Penguin/Companhia das Letras, 2012). This study comprises larger research that investigates how translators dealt with the Hamletian references in Joyce’s novel.

Author Biography

Pedro Luís Sala Vieira, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Pedro Luís Sala Vieira holds a Licentiate's degree in Portuguese and English Studies (2015) and a Master's Degree in Applied Linguistics (2018) from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He is currently studying to obtain a PhD in Comparative Literature from the Fluminense Federal University. In his doctoral research, he intends to discuss the Hamletian intertextuality in the Brazilian translations of James Joyce’s Ulysses.


Amaral, Vitor Alevato do; Galindo, Caetano W. Houaiss... Pinheiro. Galindo: and What the Future Holds for Ulysses Translations in Brazil. Ilha do Desterro, UFSC, v. 72, n. 2, pp. 191-204, mai-ago 2019.

Atherton, James S. The Books at the Wake: A Study of Literary Allusions in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2009.

Bloom, Harold (1996). O Cânone Ocidental: Os grandes livros e os escritores essenciais de todos os tempos. Tradução, introdução e notas de Manuel Frias Martins. Lisboa: Círculo de Leitores, 2013.

Boysen, Benjamin. “On the spectral presence of the predecessor in James Joyce – With special reference to William Shakespeare”. Orbis Litterarum, vol. 60, , no. 3, Dec. 2005, pp. 159–182.

Eliot, T. S. “A Tradição e o talento individual”. In: Ensaios. Tradução, introdução e notas de Ivan Junqueira. São Paulo: Art Editora, 1989, pp. 37-48.

Ellmann, Richard. “The Backgrounds of Ulysses”. In: James Joyce: The First Revision of the 1959 Classic. New York: Oxford University Press, 1983. p. 358-379.

Gifford, Don; Seidman, Robert J. (1974). Ulysses Annotated: Notes for James Joyce’s Ulysses. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1988.

Jiménez, Manuel Almagro. “To Be and (or?) Not to Be: Joyce’s Rewriting of Shakespeare”. Papers on Joyce, no 2, 1996, pp.3-17.

Joyce, James. Ulysses. The Gabler Edition. New York: Random House, 1986.

---. (1966) Ulisses. Trans. Antônio Houaiss. Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 1982.

---. (2005) Ulisses. Trans. Bernardina da Silveira Pinheiro. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Objetiva, 2007.

---. Ulysses. Trans. Caetano W. Galindo. São Paulo: PenguinClassics Companhia das Letras, 2012.

Koch, I. G. V.; Bentes, A. C.; Cavalcante, M. M. Intertextualidade: diálogos possíveis. São Paulo: Cortez, 2007.

Kristeva, Julia. “Word, Dialogue, and Novel”. In: Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art. Edited by Leon S. Roudiez. Translated by Thomas Gora, Alice Jardine and Leon S. Roudiez. New York: Columbia University Press, 1980. pp. 64-91.

Levin, Harry. James Joyce: A Critical Introduction. 2nd Edition. London: Faber and Faber, 1960.

McCourt, John. “Joyce’s Shakespeare: A View FromTrieste”. In: Joyce/Shakespeare. Edited by Laura Pelaschiar.First Edition. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2015. pp. 72-88.

Morrissey, T. (2022). A Path for Scholarship in Ulysses’ Second Century: The Effects of Joyce’s Revisions to Episode 9. Academia Letters, Article 4554.

Quirino, Maria Teresa. Retratos de tradutores de James Joyce como agentes de tradução literária no Brasil: um estudo de caso. 2012. 278 f. Tese (Doutorado em Letras) - Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas da USP. Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo.

Pelaschiar, Laura. Introduction. In: Joyce/Shakespeare. Edited by Laura Pelaschiar. First Edition. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2015. pp. vii-xiii.

Peery, William. “The Hamlet of Stephen Dedalus”. The University of Texas Studies in English, Vol. 31 (1952), pp. 109-119.

Pugliatti, Paola. “Shakespeare, Joyce and the Order of Literary Discourse”. In: MCCOURT, John (Ed.) In: Shakespearean Joyce / Joycean Shakespeare. Roma: Anicia, 2016, pp. 15-34.

Schutte, William M. Joyce and Shakespeare: A Study in the Meaning of Ulysses. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1957.

Senn, Fritz. Transmutation in Digress. Published by the University of Tulsa. James Joyce Quarterly, Volume 47, Number 4, Summer 2010, pp. 537-552.

Sen, Fritz; Wawrzycka, Jolanta; Kovács, Veronika. “Spectral Shakespeare in Ulysses Translation”. In: McCourt, John (Ed.) Shakespearean Joyce / Joycean Shakespeare. Roma: Anicia, 2016, pp. 131-152.

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (The New Cambridge Shakespeare). Edited by Philip Edwards. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Vargas, Fábio Aristmunho. “O ABC das traduções brasileiras do Ulysses de James Joyce”. Cadernos de Tradução, UFSC, Florianópolis, v. 38, nº 2, p. 163-184, mai-ago, 2018.

Weir, David. Ulysses Explained: How Homer, Dante and Shakespeare inform Joyce’s modernist vision. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

Wawrzycka, Jolanta. Translatorial Joyce. Published by the University of Tulsa. James Joyce Quarterly, Volume 47, Number 4, Summer 2010, pp. 515-520.




How to Cite

Vieira, P. L. S. (2022). The Spectre of Hamlet in the Brazilian Translations of James Joyce’s Ulysses. ABEI Journal, 24(2), 31-44.