n Shakespeare in Southern Africa - The "tongued monster"
Crowd and Rumour in Shakespeare, Kai Wiegandt : book review

Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-582X



Although has a clear focus on a select group (a sequence) of Shakespeare's plays, Kai Wiegandt's argument has implications for a more general reading. The thesis is that the playwright is not "exclusively concerned with individuality in his exploration of the human condition, and that the enduring appeal of his plays is also due to his concern with man as an essentially collective being" (2). The book's concentration on crowds and rumour, then, is not on a peripheral or incidental motif, but on something central to the trajectory of Shakespeare's thought: his conscious exploration of these phenomena "should help readers today step out of the myth that Shakespeare was solely occupied with individuality when exploring humanity" (173). Wiegandt's close readings of individual plays are informed by studies in philosophy, history and sociology, and by wide reference to a range of Shakespearean criticism.

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