I have said that language bears special responsibilities: The writer’s vigilance over language and attention to language are themselves an assumption of responsibility. When, with the Renaissance drama, men and women began to speak—through literature—with individual voices, rather than as types (as they had done in medieval morality plays), there was a humanistic assumption of personal accountability for what was uttered. And so we have continued, in theory at least, to regard it. Our words, whether in literature or in life, are accepted as a revelation of our private nature, and an index of the measure of responsibility we are prepared to assume for it.
— Shirley Hazzard, “We Need Silence to Find Out What We Think”