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 Brooks’s languagee of the paradox as a tool for analysis, however, he develops a logical case as a literary technique with strong emotional effect. 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.

In poets like Blake and Coleridge, they merge with variations in emphasis. There are of course, perils to consciously employing paradoxes but the dangers are not overpowering. I mean that the poet does not use a notation at all–as a scientist may properly be said to do so. Studying a passage of prose or poetry in New Critical boroks required careful, exacting scrutiny of the passage itself.

The practical friend will still have wars to fight and lawsuits to argue. But the name is double, and with the advent of multiple sciences, is multiple.

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. Brooks points to William Wordsworth ‘s poem It is a beauteous evening, calm and free.

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


Cleanth Brooks’ Concept of Language of Paradox | Literary Theory and 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.

Brooks’ contemporaries in the sciences were, in the s and 50’s, reorganizing university science curricula into codified disciplines. The poet must work by contradiction and qualification. His lovers, bereft of the benefits of the supernatural that Donne confers on them, become less powerful, less unworldly.

This page has been accessed 14, times. The poem closes with the tone of triumphant achievement, developed by several earlier. Further back, Polonius ‘ observation that languagee this be madness, yet there is method in’t” is a memorable third.

The very houses seem asleep And all that mighty heart is lying still! The poet, then, is not limited to the denotations of words, but, instead, revel in the possible connotations of words.

Cleanth Brooks’ Concept of Language of Paradox

Cleanth Brooksan active member of the New Critical movement, outlines the use of reading poems through paradox as a method of critical interpretation. It is an intense and serious parody of a normally sacred ritual. The implication is that the poet himself recognizes the absurdity of these coeanth metaphors.

There is a different approach to the issue at hand; chiefly that the poet has to work by analogies. Studies in the Structure of Poetry. The comparisons in this poem take off from the well-worn Petrarchan conventionalities and are entirely different. It ,anguage not a mere holiness but a pharisaical holiness, a foil to the symbol of her continual secret worship.

If thou appear untouched by solemn thought, Thy paeadox is therefore not less divine: It also burns at its own cost, only to live again.

Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan. The paradox runs deeper than this contrast.

Such an approach would necessarily displace literature from its place in history and sever any ties it has with culture, society lnaguage religion, and also prevent morally biased readings. This is in principle what Wordsworth has stated in the second edition of the Lyrical Ballads: The most significant of these reasons trace an outline of the movement. 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.


Although paradox and irony as New Critical tools for reading poetry are often conflated, they are independent poetical devices.

This is merely a matter of prejudice. Brooks and the New Critics also argued that there was in existence a finite number of good texts a canon. Irony Although paradox and irony as New Critical tools for reading poetry are often conflated, they are independent poetical devices.

The opening line of the stanza is very important in this sense: 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.

Its death is life. The intense world is actively achieved btooks not received passively: 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.

Yet the poet goes on oanguage say: Paradox, however, is essential to the structure and being of the poem. 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.