The Phoenix and the Turtle | H. Neville Davies

This literature criticism consists of approximately 7 pages of analysis & critique of The Phoenix and the Turtle.
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SOURCE: "'The Phoenix and Turtle': Requiem and Rite." The Review of English Studies, Vol. XLVI, No. 184, November. 1995. pp. 525-29.

In the following essay, Davies examines the ritual imagery, specifically its Christian derivation, of The Phoenix and Turtle.

In Shakespeare's The Phoenix and Turtle, a swan is appointed to officiate as priest at the birds' funeral, 'Lest', as the poem explains, 'the requiem lack his right' (line 16).1 Editors invariably adhere to the spelling of the first edition for the last of those quoted words, though a strong case could be made for replacing 'right' by 'rite' on the grounds that to do so would give a truer indication of the primary sense of the line. But whatever spelling may be preferred, F. T. Prince's responsive comment that 'the alternative meanings remain suspended in the words, and all add something to their tone and weight' needs to be borne...

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This section contains 1,996 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the H. Neville Davies
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H. Neville Davies from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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