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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.
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."
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- ID: 9780226309880
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