Literary Lingo

It’s time for some Literary Lingo.

Today’s word is: Paradox

A statement that initially appears to be contradictory but then, on closer inspection, turns out to make sense. For example, John Donne ends his sonnet “Death, Be Not Proud” with the paradoxical statement “Death, thou shalt die.” To solve the paradox, it is necessary to discover the sense that underlies the statement. Paradox is useful in poetry because it arrests a reader’s attention by its seemingly stubborn refusal to make sense.

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Published in: on February 1, 2011 at 11:54 am  Leave a Comment  

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