Who Hears in Shakespeare?: Shakespeare's Auditory World, Stage and Screen

Who Hears in Shakespeare?: Shakespeare's Auditory World, Stage and Screen

by Laury Magnus
     
 

This volume, examining the ways in which Shakespeare’s plays are designed for hearers as well as spectators, has been prompted by recent explorations of the auditory dimension of early modern drama by such scholars as Andrew Gurr, Bruce Smith, and James Hirsh. To look at the dynamics of hearing in Shakespeare’s plays involves a paradigm shift that

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Overview

This volume, examining the ways in which Shakespeare’s plays are designed for hearers as well as spectators, has been prompted by recent explorations of the auditory dimension of early modern drama by such scholars as Andrew Gurr, Bruce Smith, and James Hirsh. To look at the dynamics of hearing in Shakespeare’s plays involves a paradigm shift that changes how we understand virtually everything about them, from the architecture of the buildings, to playing spaces, to blocking, and to larger interpretative issues, including our understanding of character based on players’ responses to what they hear, mishear, or refuse to hear. Who Hears in Shakespeare? Auditory Worlds on Stage and Screen is comprised of three sections on Shakespeare’s texts and performance history: “The Poetics of Hearing and the Early Modern Stage”; “Metahearing: Hearing, Knowing, and Audiences, Onstage and Off”; and “Transhearing: Hearing, Whispering, Overhearing, and Eavesdropping in Film and Other Media.”

Chapters by noted scholars explore the complex reactions and interactions of onstage and offstage audiences and show how Shakespearean stagecraft, actualized on stage and adapted on screen, revolves around various situations and conventions of hearing—soliloquies,, asides, avesdropping, overhearing, and stage whispers. In short, Who Hears in Shakespeare? enunciates Shakespeare’s nuanced, powerful stagecraft of hearing. The volume ends with Stephen Booth’s afterword, his inspiring meditation on hearing that considers Shakespearean “audiences” and their responses to what they hear—or don’t hear—in Shakespeare’s plays.

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Editorial Reviews

The Shakespeare Newsletter
Who Hears in Shakespeare presents a varied and engaging collection on the generalized area of hearing, mishearing, and overhearing in Shakespeare as performed by both the on-stage and the theatrical audiences. The capaciousness of the subject allows for a great variety of approaches, as the contributions of the two editors demonstrate. . . .The late and very much lamented Bernice Kliman explores the multiplicity of choices presented by Measure for Measure, both in terms of the text and the staging. The intelligence, learning, and wise evaluation of this article are what we had learned to expect from Bernice.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611474749
Publisher:
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
Publication date:
12/30/2011
Pages:
313
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Laury Magnus is professor of humanities at the US Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York. Her books include Lexical and Syntactic Repetition in Modern Poetry and her New Kittredge Editions of Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, The Comedy of Errors, and Measure for Measure. Her essays and reviews appear in The Shakespeare Newsletter, Literature and Film Quarterly, Connotations, Assays, and College Literature. Her chapter on “Shakespeare on Film and Television” appears in The Oxford Handbook to Shakespeare.

Walter W. Cannon is professor of English at Central College in Pella, Iowa, where he teaches early modern literature, including Shakespeare and his contemporaries. His essays and reviews have appeared in The Upstart Crow, Theatre History Studies, and Cahiers Élisabéthains. His chapter “The Poetics of Indoor Spaces” appears in Inside Shakespeare: Essays on the Blackfriars Stage.

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