Essays in Literature

Articles from Vol. 20, No. 2, Fall

A Wordless Balm: Silent Communication in the Novels of May Sarton
This voice itself and not the language spoken. --May Sarton, "A Voice" The characters in May Sarton's many and various novels are typically engaged in two basic recurrent actions, the effort to shape and to understand...
"I Am Arbaces, We All Fellow Subjects": The Political Appeal of Beaumont and Fletcher's 'A King and No King' on the Restoration Stage
Scholars have surveyed the Beaumont and Fletcher canon and related the plays' plots, themes, and dramatic strategies to Elizabethan, Jacobean, Caroline, and Carolean dramatic practices, and recently critics have addressed the psychologically compelling...
Mary Wilkins Freeman's Devious Women, 'Harper's Bazar,' and the Rhetoric of Advertising
Harriet had never told a deliberate falsehood before in her life, but this seemed to her one of the tremendous exigencies of life which justify a lie. She felt desperate. If she could not contrive to deceive him in some way, the man might...
Robert Frost and the Motives of Poetry
In 1934, Robert Frost's daughter Lesley Frost Francis delivered a lecture on the "New Movement" poetry of the mid-1910s. Apparently at her request Frost wrote her a long letter sketching his own history of the movement and summarizing the aesthetic...
The Arts of Memory and William Hogarth's Line of Beauty
In a rejected passage of The Analysis of Beauty (1753), William Hogarth describes how "in the beginning" a great part of his time was spent copying coats of arms on silver plate and how he determined not to "continue copying objects but rather [to]...
"The Softness of Expression, and the Smoothness of Measure": A Model of Gendered Decorum from Dryden's Criticism
In 1679 Dryden compared Shakespeare's "masculine," "bolder" and "fiery" genius with Fletcher's "more soft and womanish" creativity, employing the hierarchy of genders to recommend his preference for Shakespeare (Essays 1.212). As Dryden fashioned the...
Transgressive Daughters in Sarah Orne Jewett's 'Deephaven.'
[The daughter] enters the Oedipus situation as though into a haven. ... Girls remain in it for an indeterminate length of time. Freud, "Femininity" Generally considered merely an embryonic work,...
T.S. Eliot and the New Criticism
Nearly everyone who considers the history of modern literary criticism regards T. S. Eliot as one of the progenitors of the New Criticism. Typically, it will be pointed out that Eliot's theory of impersonality paved the way for the formalism of the...
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