Cleanth Brooks, an eminent New Critic, advocates the centrality of paradox as a way of understanding and interpreting poetry, in his. This presentation is based on Cleanth Brooks’s essay “The Language of Paradox ,”, wherein Cleanth Brooks emphasizes how the language of. In the article “The Language of Paradox,” author Cleanth Brooks argues that poetry is made up of a language of paradox, meaning that poetry is made up of a .

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And I do not mean that the connotations are important as supplying some sort of frill or lanvuage, something external to the real matter in hand. It also burns at its own cost, only to live again. Here the metaphor is powerfully dramatized.

It suggests not a mere holiness but clenth pharisaical holiness, a foil to the symbol of her continual secret worship. Their Roots, Range, and Resolution. It is a beauteous evening, calm and free The holy time is quiet as a Nun Breathless with adoration….

This existence of opposites or contraries and the reconciliation thereof is poetry and the meaning of the poem. The method is only an extension of the normal language of poetry, not a pervasion of it. This article is about the figure of speech. Brooks’ contemporaries in the sciences were, in the s and 50’s, reorganizing university science curricula into codified disciplines.

Brooks points also to secondary paradoxes in the poem: In the writing of poems, paradox is used as a method by paardox unlikely comparisons can be drawn and meaning can be extracted from poems both straightforward and enigmatic.

The argument for the centrality of paradox and irony becomes a reductio ad absurdum cleantb is therefore void or at least ineffective for literary analysis.

His poems would not provide too many examples of paradoxes. Studying a passage of prose or poetry in New Critical style required careful, exacting scrutiny of the passage itself. Irony functions as a langage in the text — the overriding context of the surrounding words that make up the poem.


Paradox, however, is essential to the structure and being of the poem. One type of union becomes a metaphor for the other. Formal elements such as rhyme, meter, setting, characterization, and plot were used to identify the theme of the text. Brooks points also to secondary paradoxes in the poem: All subtler states of emotion demands metaphors for their expression. The likening of the lovers to the phoenix is fully serious.

The practical friend will still have wars to fight and lawsuits to argue. The poet, within limits, has to make up his language as he goes. There is a different approach to the issue at hand; languahe that the poet has to work by analogies. There are of course, perils to consciously employing paradoxes but the dangers are not overpowering.

The dominant metaphor of the holy anchorite who by brookks up this world achieves a better world is true here.

It is easy see both as instances of the union born out of creative imagination. The poet must work by contradiction and qualification. But the poet can call it neither one nor two: In particular, the New Critical techniques were found to bbrooks very effective with such forms as lyric poetry but not with genres like the novel, which are heavily invested in cultural, social, historical and moral readings.

Cleanth Brooks’ Concept of Language of Paradox

His lovers, bereft of the benefits of the supernatural that Donne confers on pqradox, become less powerful, less unworldly. This is merely a matter of prejudice. But he may as well chide the speaker for his Palsy or his gout or his old or ruined fortune as he stands a better chance of curing those. Lanuage revivifies the metaphor and makes clear the sense in which the poet accepts it. In short, it would make literature an isolated phenomenon.

The urn which holds the ashes of the phoenix also holds the ashes of the phoenix lovers, it is the poem itself.

Cleanth Brooks and The Language of Paradox | sucheta sankar –

Privacy policy About WikiEducator Disclaimers. The opening of the third stanza suggests that this vein of irony is to be maintained. In his reading of Wordsworth’s poem, “Composed upon Westminster Bridge”Brooks contends that the poem offers paradox not in its details, but in the situation the speaker creates. It is padadox, not possible that the metaphors will fit on the same plane.


William Langjage is a poet who distrusts sophistry and relies greatly on simplicity. Brooks’ seminal essay, The Language of Paradoxlays out his argument for the centrality of paradox by demonstrating that paradox is “the language appropriate and inevitable to poetry. However the values celebrated by the New Critics were neither universal nor unchanging, but reflective of their own very specific concerns and ambitions.

The bartender gives it to her. The underlying paradox is striking; the innocent girl, with her unconscious sympathy for all of nature, worships more deeply than the self conscious poet whose devotion is momentary and sporadic.

Studies in the Structure of Poetry. Using a charged religious term to describe the speaker’s physical love as saintly, Donne effectively argues that in rejecting the material world and withdrawing to a world of each other, the two lovers are appropriate candidates for canonization. This is in principle what Wordsworth has stated in the second edition of the Lyrical Ballads: Since London was created by man, and cldanth is a part of nature, London is thus too a part of nature.

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The poet has to make up his language as he goes. Help Center Find new research papers in: Studies in the Structure of Poetry His reading of “The Canonization” in The Language of Paradoxwhere paradox becomes central to expressing complicated ideas of sacred and secular love, provides an example of this development.

It is clear that this person considers love as a silly affectation. Cleanth Brooks and The Language of Paradox.