Fall 1984 • Vol. VI No. 4 Nonfiction |

Sneak’s Noise

or Rumor and Detextualization in "2 Henry IV" I They say miracles are past; and we have our philosophical persons to make modern and familiar, things supernatural and causeless. Hence it is that we make trifles of terrors ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear. (All's Well That Ends Well, II.iii.1-6) This philosophical observation is the old courtier Lafew's comment on the dubious knowledgeability of the doctors trying — pretentiously and without success — to diagnose the king's mysterious disease. It may or may not be important that the title of the play invites us to ensconce ourselves in the seeming knowledge of a closure that works to minimize fears deeply inscribed in the play's characters and community; that the speaker's comment is itself pretentious and seemingly knowledgeable; that anyone who chooses to appropriate and utter Lafew's insight, present company not excepted, is subject to the same penetr

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