“I possess your soul, your mind, your heart, and your body”: External and Internal Gothic Hauntings in Eminem’s Relapse

  • Christopher Stampone
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Music and Literature book series (PASTMULI)


In 2009, Eminem released Relapse, his sixth studio album and his first since overdosing on—and nearly dying from—prescription pain medication. Building on Michael Chaney and Jason Lindquist’s recent work, which appeared before the 2009 album, this chapter argues that in Relapse, more than in any of his other albums, Eminem borrows and repurposes tropes found in dark Romantic literature to expose his darkest fears and secrets while simultaneously casting his tribulations as a microcosm of contemporary American culture. With Relapse, Eminem positions himself as a modern Romantic artist as defined by Robert Sayre and Michael Löwy and uses tropes found in traditional and modern gothic Romantic art to criticize and to parody a culture addicted to consuming art and artists, as well as to expose his own haunting failures as an individual and the destruction of his own identity within a capitalist system.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Stampone
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishSouthern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA

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