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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Brooks ends his essay with a reading of John Donne ‘s poem The Canonizationwhich uses a paradox as its underlying metaphor. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The urn which holds the ashes of the phoenix also holds the ashes of the phoenix lovers, it is the poem itself. 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 the poem and determining whether it is appropriate to that context.

Paradox in poetry means that tension at the surface of a verse can lead to apparent contradictions and hypocrisies.

Cleanth Brooks’ Concept of Language of Paradox

The opening of the third stanza suggests that this vein of irony is to be maintained. In a sense all such urns contain the ashes of a phoenix. The method is only an extension of the normal language of poetry, not a pervasion of it. Paradox, however, is essential to padadox structure and being of the poem. 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 makes it a permissible feature of an epigram or a satire, sub- varieties of poetry, but not of poetry itself.


Thus it was out of the question that they could disregard context in studying literature, much less be judges of ideal canons. This page was last edited on 22 Novemberat There are of course, perils to consciously employing paradoxes thw the dangers are not overpowering. For one, Brooks believes that the very structure of poetry is paradox, and ignores the other subtleties of imagination and power that poets bring to their poems.

In The Well Wrought Urn Brooks shows that paradox was so essential to poetic meaning that paradox was almost identical to poetry.

It is a perpetual part of the craft of poetry and cannot be kept out, but can only be directed and controlled. These articles exemplify the tenets of New Criticism: In short, Wordsworth inverted set ideals about the language of poetry and showed his audience that common was really uncommon and the prosaic was really poetic.

His famous It is a Beauteous Evening: This is in principle what Wordsworth has stated in the second edition of the Lyrical Ballads: Brooks simply believed that, “‘Imagination’ reveals itself in the balance or reconciliation of opposite or discordant qualities.

It really describes the lovers best and justifies their renunciation of the world. Second, the high point of influence for the movement was during the Second World War and the Cold War.

Paradox (literature) – Wikipedia

The lovers remain the same and the love is not merely oof. His textbook anthologies, Understanding Poetry and Understanding Fiction were the principal pradox by which the orthodoxies of the New Criticism were transmitted to a whole generation of American students of literature.

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. The practical friend will still have wars to fight and lawsuits to argue.


Cleanth Brooks and The Language of Paradox | sucheta sankar –

In the oanguage stanza, the phoenix metaphor is completely realized; the lovers will win a more intense world by rejecting this one. 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.

His views invited a fair share of criticism. One type of union becomes a metaphor for the other. Help Center Find new research papers in: The dominant metaphor of the holy anchorite who by giving up this world achieves a better world is true here. In particular, the New Critical techniques were found to be 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.

Most literature deals with paradox of situation; RabelaisCervantesSterneBorgesand Chesterton are recognized as masters of situation as well as verbal paradox.

This is resolved only when the unworldly lovers having given up the world, paradoxically achieve a more intense world. A similar paradox is used in Shakespeare ‘s Romeo and Julietwhen Juliet says, “For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch and palm to palm is holy palmer’s kiss.

However the values celebrated by the New Critics were neither universal nor unchanging, but reflective of their own very specific concerns and ambitions. Any other direct method would have enfeebled and distorted what was said.

The likening of the lovers to the phoenix is fully serious.