Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres

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9781230423470: Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1822 edition. Excerpt: ... Q. To what defects is it liable ? A. To its being founded wholly on the civil wars, and being of too recent a date. Q, What is the machinery ? A. Of the worst kind, that of allegorical beings. Discord, Cunning, and Love appear as personages ; which is contrary to every rule of rational criticism. Q. What are its sentiments ? A. High and noble. Q, Can Paradise Lost properly be classed among epic poems ? A. It is doubtful, because its subject is so remote from the affairs of this world ; but wherever it be placed, it is one of the highest efforts of poetical genius. Q, In what does this poem chiefly differ from other epics ? A. In this--that Angels and Devils are not the machinery, but principal actors ; and what in others is the marvellous, is here only the natural course of events. Q, What may be said of the subject ? A. That it is one for which Milton alone was fitted. Q. How has he conducted it ? A. In a manner which shows a stretch of imagination and invention perfectly wonderful. Q, How has he supported his characters ? A. With great propriety. Satan is the best drawn of any in the poem. Q, What is Milton's great and distinguishing excellence ? A. Sublimity. Q. How does Milton's sublimity compare with Homer's ? A. It possesses more of a calm and amazing grandeur. Q, What merit have his language and versification ? A. High. His style is full of majesty, and wonderfully adapted to his subject. Q, What are the faults of Milton ? A. He is too theological and metaphysical; sometimes harsh in his language, and often ostentatious in his learning. Q, To what are his faults to be attributed ? A. To the pedantry of the age in which he 1 lived. Q, Where does this poem place its author ? A. In the first rank of poets. DRAMATIC POETRY-- TRAGEDY....

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