The Phoenix and the Turtle | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Murray Copland

This literature criticism consists of approximately 11 pages of analysis & critique of The Phoenix and the Turtle.
This section contains 3,129 words
(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Murray Copland

SOURCE: 'The Dead Phoenix," Essays in Criticism, Vol. XV, No. 3, July, 1965, pp. 279-87.

In the essay that follows, Copland criticizes a mystical interpretive approach to the poem, given the "fashionable" status of metaphysical images in the Elizabethan age.

The Phoenix was a striking bird on three counts: (a) its beauty, (b) its uniqueness, and (c) its self-resurrecting habit.

In Shakespeare's poem The Phoenix and Turtle the attribute (a) is prominently present:

Truth and Beautie buried be.

Here Truth = the Turtle, and Beautie = the Phoenix.

As for (b), Robert Chester, whose Love's Martyr prescribed the bare postulates for the poem, had introduced a personal variation of a certain imaginative power. The usual Phoenix is complete in itself; Chester's requires a mate, and finds that mate in a true Turtle. This is not...

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This section contains 3,129 words
(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Murray Copland
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