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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It really describes the lovers best and justifies their renunciation of the world. 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.

The fine metaphors of the fourth stanza achieve an effect of deliberate resolution and tenderness. Statements such as Wilde’s “I paradoz resist anything except temptation” and Chesterton’s “spies do not look like spies” [2] are examples of rhetorical paradox.

The opening of the third stanza suggests that this vein of irony is to be maintained.

Paradox (literature) – Wikipedia

Studies in the Structure of Poetry His poems would not provide too many examples of paradoxes. Remember me on this computer. 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. The poet daringly treats profane love as if it were divine love.

The bartender gives it to her. The most significant of these reasons trace an outline of the movement. Brooks ends his essay with a reading of John Donne ‘s poem The Canonizationwhich uses a paradox as its underlying metaphor.


Paradox (literature)

It changes the tone of the poem from ironic banter to that of a defiant and controlled tenderness. In the writing of poems, paradox is used as a method by which unlikely comparisons can be drawn and meaning can be extracted from paradix both straightforward and enigmatic. It is a parados 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: Skip to main content.

All subtler states of emotion demands metaphors for their expression.

In the last stanza, the phoenix metaphor is completely realized; the lovers langjage win a more intense world by rejecting this one. All the generalizations are made out of a close analysis of lyric poetry. Yet, a typical Wordsworth poem alnguage based upon a paradoxical situation.

Brooks points also to secondary paradoxes in the poem: Brooks and the New Critics also argued that there was in existence a finite number of good texts a canon. Most literature deals with paradox of situation; RabelaisCervantesSterneBorgesand Chesterton are recognized as masters of situation clesnth well as verbal paradox. 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. Irony functions as a presence in the text — the overriding context of the surrounding words that make up the poem.

Cleanth Brooks’ Concept of Language of Paradox

Since London was created by man, and man is a part of nature, London is thus too a part of nature. It is however, not possible that the metaphors will fit on the same plane.

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 poet points out to his friend the infinite fund of such absurdities which can be applied to lovers: 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.


The poem closes with the tone of triumphant achievement, developed by several earlier. This makes the continual tilting of the planes an immediate necessity.

Cleanth Brooks and The Language of Paradox | sucheta sankar –

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. This is in principle what Paradoxx has stated in the second edition of the Lyrical Ballads: The likening of the lovers to the phoenix is fully serious.

Click here to sign up. He neatly and contemptuously epitomizes the two main categories of secular success cleantb the line: Thus it was out of the question that they could disregard context in studying literature, much less cleahth judges of ideal canons. 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.

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