The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0034  Wednesday, 30 January 2013


From:        Walter Cannon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         January 29, 2013 9:14:30 PM EST

Subject:     Book Notice: Who Hears in Shakespeare?


Laury Magnus and I have recently published Who Hears in Shakespeare? Auditory Worlds on Stage and Screen. Our publisher, Roman and Littlefield, is making it available to SHAKSPER subscribers at a discount price, available at the Rowman and Littlefield website listed below.


Just as a very small biographical note, Michael Shurgot, Yu Jim Ko, and I were all in the very first NEH summer seminar that Ralph Cohen offered at James Madison. And Laury was in the next one, if my sequence is right. It might be interesting (to Ralph for sure) to tally the number of books that have been inspired by things that Ralph put in motion—we have dedicated our volume to him.


Who Hears in Shakespeare? Auditory Worlds on Stage and Screen. 

Edited by Laury Magnus and Walter W. Cannon. 

Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2012.


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 scholars such as Andrew Gurr, Bruce Smith, and James Hirsh. To look at the acoustic world of the plays involves a real paradigm shift that changes how we understand virtually everything about Shakespeare’s plays: 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 a final section entitled “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 both on stage and/or adapted on screen, revolves around various situations and conventions of hearing, such as soliloquies, asides, eavesdropping, 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, a meditation on hearing in Shakespeare that returns us to consider Shakespearean “audiences” and their responses to what they hear—or don’t hear—in Shakespeare’s plays.





David Bevington 

Stephen Booth

Anthony Burton

Walter Cannon

Gayle Gaskill

Andrew Gurr

James Hirsh

Jennifer Holl

Bernice W. Kliman

Laury Magnus

Erin Minear

Nova Myhill

Phillipa Sheppard

Kathleen Kalpin Smith



About the Editors:


Laury Magnus is Professor of Humanities at the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY.


Walter W. Cannon is Professor of English at Central College in Pella, Iowa.

Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2012



Save 20% with Promo Code LEX20SEP11*

Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group

Bucknell University Press Fairleigh Dickinson University Press

Lehigh University Press University of Delaware Press


All orders from individuals must be prepaid / prices are subject to change without notice / Billing in US dollars / Please make checks payable to Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group





Rowman & Littlefield, 15200 NBN Way,

PO Box 191

Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214-0191


Cloth 978-1-61147-474-9 

Who Hears in Shakespeare? Auditory Worlds on Stage and Screen




Electronic 978-1-61147-475-6 

Who Hears in Shakespeare? Auditory Worlds on Stage and Screen




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