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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In addition to the theme, the New Critics also looked for paradox, ambiguity, irony, and tension to help establish the single best and most unified interpretation of the text.
Languate article is about the figure of speech. 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.
The very houses seem asleep And all that mighty heart is lying still! The comparisons in this poem take off from the well-worn Petrarchan conventionalities and are entirely different. 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.
It really describes the lovers best and justifies their renunciation of the world. Coleridge in his classic description of its nature and power employs a series of paradoxes: The likening of the lovers to the phoenix is fully serious.
Cleanth Brooks’ Concept of Language of Paradox | Literary Theory and Criticism
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. In “The Formalist Critics,” Brooks offers “some articles of faith” to which he subscribes. It is considered intellectual than emotional and rational than irrational.
However the values celebrated by the New Critics were neither universal nor unchanging, but reflective of their own very specific concerns and ambitions. The poet must work by contradiction and qualification. He argues that because their love is not mundane, the lovers can afford to reject the world.
Brooks points to William Wordsworth ‘s poem It is a beauteous evening, calm and free.
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. The unworldly lovers are thus the worldliest of all. The Well Wrought Urn: In poets like Blake and Coleridge, they merge with variations in emphasis.
It also burns at its own cost, only to live again. It functions as a method of literary composition and analysis that involves examining apparently contradictory statements and drawing conclusions either to reconcile them or to explain their presence.
According to literary theorist Leroy Searle, Brooks’ use of paradox emphasized the indeterminate lines between form and content. It is this reason that gives the brookw the opportunity to remark upon the beauty of London as he would a natural phenomenon, and, as Brooks points out, can call the houses “sleeping” rather than “dead” because they too are vivified with the natural spark of life, granted to them by the men that built them.
Views Read Edit View history. The most significant of these pf trace an outline of the movement. Though London is a man-made marvel, and in many respects in opposition to nature, the speaker does not view London as a mechanical and artificial landscape but as a landscape composed entirely of nature. The argument for the centrality of paradox and irony becomes a reductio ad absurdum and is therefore void or at least ineffective for literary analysis.
If thou appear untouched by solemn thought, Thy nature is therefore not less divine: Retrieved from ” https: Paradox is his only solution. It is a beauteous evening, calm and free The holy time is quiet as a Nun Breathless with adoration….
The poet is not defeated by this task nor is the poem reduced to shallow sophistry. For other uses, see Paradox disambiguation. Such an approach would necessarily displace literature from its place in history and sever any ties it has with culture, society and religion, and also prevent morally biased readings.
Most literature deals with paradox of situation; RabelaisCervantesSterneBorgesand Chesterton are recognized as masters of situation as well as verbal paradox. There are of course, perils to consciously employing paradoxes but the dangers are not overpowering. The method is only an extension of the normal language of poetry, not a pervasion of it.
Cleanth Brooks’ Concept of Language of Paradox
Even the most direct and simple poet has to resort to discrepancies, contradictions and paradoxes. Paradox, however, is essential to the structure and being of the poem. The practical friend will still have wars to fight and lawsuits to argue.
It is clear that this person considers love as a silly affectation. The poet points out to his friend the infinite fund of such absurdities which can be applied to lovers: But he is to let the speaker alone. The poet daringly treats profane love as if it were divine love. His textbook anthologies, Understanding Poetry and Understanding Fiction were the principal media by which the orthodoxies of the New Criticism were transmitted to a whole generation of American students of literature.
It changes the tone of the poem from ironic banter to that of a defiant and controlled tenderness. Studies in the Structure of Poetry. Irony for Brooks is “the obvious warping of a statement by the context”  whereas paradox is later glossed as a special kind of qualification that “involves the resolution of opposites.
The implication is that the poet himself recognizes the absurdity of these love metaphors. In the writing of poems, paradox is used as a method by which unlikely comparisons can be drawn and meaning can be extracted from poems both straightforward and enigmatic.
Here the metaphor is powerfully dramatized.
He neatly and contemptuously epitomizes the two main categories of secular success in the line: Studying a passage of prose or poetry in New Critical style required careful, exacting scrutiny of the passage itself. Studies in the Structure of Poetry The lovers remain the same and the love c,eanth not merely lust.