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Open Access ‘You Serve Me Well’: Representations Of Gossip, Newsmongering And Public Opinion In The Plays Of Cornelis Everaert

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‘You Serve Me Well’: Representations Of Gossip, Newsmongering And Public Opinion In The Plays Of Cornelis Everaert

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Chapter Summary

'You serve me well', a character called A Certain Rhetorician remarks to Everyday Chitchat at the beginning of the sixteenth-century Dutch rhetorician play dOnghelycke Munte (The Uneven Currency). The play was written by the Bruges rhetorician Cornelis Everaert, a dyer, fuller and clerk by profession and a member of the two chambers of rhetoric from Bruges, The Holy Spirit and The three (female) Saints. In order to get a clearer view of the function of Everaert's allegorizations of popular newsgathering and public opinion we have to consider the actions and interventions of these characters within the larger framework of the spel van zinne (the Dutch version of the morality play), the dramatic genre in which these plays have been composed. Although Everaert's allegorizations of popular newsmongering and formation of public opinion are clearly related to the sinnekens, somehow this garment does not completely fit Everyday Chitchat and The People's Gossip.

Keywords: Cornelis Everaert; dOnghelycke Munte; Everyday Chitchat; newsmongering; public opinion; sixteenth-century Dutch rhetorician play; spel van zinne; The People's Gossip; You serve me well



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