‘Variable Passions’: Shakespeare’s Mixed Emotions

  • R. S. WhiteEmail author
Part of the Studies in the History of Philosophy of Mind book series (SHPM, volume 15)


Modern critics and historians invariably give the impression that early modern emotional states fell neatly into singular categories, whether grouped under humours, passions, or affections. However, judging at least from the evidence of Shakespeare’s plays, it seems that his contemporaries were just as prone as we are to experience ‘mixed emotions’, sometimes ‘conjoining’ moods that seem opposed to each as oxymorons, but just as often merely diverse feelings which, when mingled, signify complex and unique affective states.


Shakespeare Emotions Mixed emotions Passions Renaissance literature 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.English DepartmentThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia

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