Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Bernard McElroy


Until his premature death, Professor Bernard McElroy brought his extraordinary energy and enthusiasm to Shakespeare studies in the English department at Loyola University Chicago. His outstanding study Shakespeare's Mature Tragedies (Princeton University Press, 1971) established his reputation as an internationally recognized Shakespeare scholar.

Professor McElroy came to Loyola in 1970 when he was still working on his doctoral dissertation at Cornell University, a study which he completed the following year and then revised for publication. He subsequently shifted his focus to modern fiction and in 1989 published a book on the modern novel, Fictions of the Modern Grotesque (St. Martin's Press, 1989). Throughout his career, his scholarly work was recognized in the granting of prestigious research fellowships, notably one from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1974) and another from the Guggenheim Foundation (1979).

In addition to his teaching and scholarly writing, Professor McElroy was also active on the stage and devoted much of his energy to acting. He is particularly remembered for his roles in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, Lear and Macbeth.


After Dr. McElroy's death, a small fund was established to enable the department to mount an annual presentation that would draw together his scholarly interest in the Shakespearean canon and his passion for the stage. The department established the model for these events in 1992 by inviting distinguished scholar David Bevington to present a lecture that was then "illustrated" with crucial scenes directed by Steve Scott of the Goodman Theatre and acted by Chicago professionals Kevin Gudahl and Kate Goering.

Now "the McElroy," as it has come to be known, brings back annually the memory of Bernie McElroy to those who knew him and represents the best of his work in the Shakespeare theater for those who did not.