Shakespeare's Noise

Shakespeare's Noise

by Kenneth Gross

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Overview

"You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate / As reek o'th'rotten fens, whose loves I prize / As the dead carcasses of unburied men / That do corrupt my air: I banish you!" (from Coriolanus)

Kenneth Gross explores Shakespeare's deep fascination with dangerous and disorderly forms of speaking—especially rumor, slander, insult, vituperation, and curse—and through them offers a vision of the work of words in his plays. Coriolanus's taunts or Lear's curses force us to think not just about how Shakespeare's characters speak, but also about how they hear, overhear, and mishear what is spoken, how rumor becomes tragic knowledge for Hamlet, or opens Othello to fantastic jealousies. Gross also shows how Shakespeare's preoccupation with "noisy" speech echoed and transformed a broader cultural obsession with the perils of rumor, slander, and libel in Renaissance England.

Elegantly written and passionately argued, Shakespeare's Noise will challenge and delight anyone who loves his plays, from scholars to general readers, actors, and directors.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226309897
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 04/28/2001
Edition description: 1
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Kenneth Gross is a professor of English at the University of Rochester. He is the author of Spenserian Poetics: Idolatry, Iconoclasm, and Magic and The Dream of the Moving Statue.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
A Note on Texts
Introduction
1 The Rumor of Hamlet
2 The Book of the Slanderer
3 A Disturbance of Hearing in Vienna
4 Denigration and Hallucination in Othello
5 War Noise
6 King Lear and the Register of Curse
Coda An Imaginary Theater
Notes
Index

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