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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The Well Wrought Urn: Studies in the Structure of Poetry. 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. Also, by defining poetry as uniquely having a structure of paradox, Brooks ignores the power of paradox in everyday conversation and discourse, including scientific discourse, which Brooks claimed was opposed to poetry.

Irony for Brooks is “the obvious warping of a statement by the context” [6] whereas paradox is later glossed as a special kind of qualification that “involves the resolution of opposites. I mean that the poet does not use a notation at all–as a scientist may properly be said to do so.

Cleanth Brooks and The Language of Paradox | sucheta sankar –

The poet has to make up his language as he goes. Since London was created by man, and man is a part of nature, London is thus too a part of nature.

In short, it would make literature an isolated phenomenon. His views invited a fair share of criticism. There is a different approach to the issue at broois chiefly that the poet has to work by analogies. An Anthology2nd Ed.

Paradox (literature)

The poet, within limits, has to make up his language as he goes. Johns Hopkins University Press, Second, the high point of influence for the movement was during the Second World War and the Cold War. In expressing his awed surprise that the city should be able to wear the beauty of the morning at all, the poem creates points of almost shocked expression: 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.


In Languwge use lagnuage the paradox as a tool for analysis, however, he develops a logical case as a literary technique with strong emotional effect.

The study of English, however, remained less defined and it became a goal of the New Critical movement to justify literature in an age of science by separating the work from its author and critic see Wimsatt and Beardsley’s Intentional fallacy and Affective fallacy and by examining it as a self-sufficient artifact. The fine metaphors of the fourth stanza achieve an effect of deliberate resolution and tenderness.

Retrieved from ” http: The image gathers up two early comparisons — that of the tapers and of the eagle and the dove.

Cleanth Brooks’ Concept of Language of Paradox

His lovers, bereft of the benefits of the supernatural that Donne confers on them, become beooks powerful, less unworldly. It is this reason that gives the speaker 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.

The importance of the role of the second and third stanzas of the poem is that the poet changes the tone of the poem in them.

The bartender gives it to her. The very houses seem asleep And all that mighty heart is lying still! His famous It is a Beauteous Evening: The poet is filled with worship, but the girl who walks with him is not.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This makes it a permissible feature of an epigram or a satire, sub- varieties of poetry, but not of poetry itself.

It is a perpetual part of the craft of poetry and cannot be kept out, but paradix only be directed and controlled.

The phoenix rises from its ashes but not for mere sifting and measuring of the ashes.

The opening of the third stanza suggests that this vein of irony is to be maintained. In the last stanza, the phoenix metaphor is completely realized; the lovers will win a more intense world by rejecting this one.


Click here to sign up. Any other direct method would have enfeebled and distorted what was said. In The Well Wrought Urn Brooks shows that paradox was so essential to poetic meaning that paradox was almost identical to poetry. Donne takes neither love nor sainthood seriously, but merely exercises his wit with a cynical and bawdy lyric.

In literature, the paradox is a literary device consisting of the anomalous juxtaposition of incongruous ideas for the sake of striking exposition or unexpected insight. 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 comprised entirely of nature. This is in principle what Wordsworth has brloks in the second edition of the Lyrical Ballads: Brooks and the New Critics also argued that there was in existence a finite number of good texts a canon.

William Wordsworth is a poet who distrusts sophistry and relies greatly on simplicity. The most significant of these reasons trace an outline of the movement. Although paradox and irony as New Critical tools for reading poetry are often conflated, they are independent poetical devices.

It is considered intellectual than emotional and rational than irrational. Even the most direct and simple lwnguage has to resort to discrepancies, contradictions and paradoxes. This seems to parody both love and religion, but in fact it combines them, pairing unlikely circumstances and demonstrating their resulting complex meaning. Irony is the key to validating the poem because a test of any statement grows from the context — validating a statement demands examining the statement in the context of parado poem and determining whether it is appropriate to that context.

It functions as a method of literary composition – and analysis – which involves examining apparently contradictory statements and drawing conclusions either to reconcile them or to explain their presence.