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Troublemaking Interpretations of Horation Ode

Troublemaking Interpretations of Horation Ode

There exists debate of how one is to read Marvell’s “Horation Ode,” One of the most unexamined issues in the three essays, yet one which seems to be a presupposition for most of the argumentation that goes on between both parties, is Brooks’s careful caveat early in his essay that his project is not to “reveal triumphantly that what it [Marvell’s poem] really says is something quite opposed to what we have supposed it to be saying” (“Ode” 323). For Bush, what the poem is supposed to have said is key, for his argument will rest around such suppositions and commonalities, or unprejudiced readings as he might call it; and among his final arguments will be that “Marvell’s poem means what it says” (348), which will be arrived at by looking at the poem in “its common and natural sense”(341). But Brooks is not necessarily strict in sticking to traditional interpretation, so it is intriguing he would begin with what we might call at this point an interpretational warning label to insure that the reader does not misinterpret him and think that he is trying to merely find a new interpretation for an old poem.

While he will later argue that the New Critic is indeed in debt to the historicist, and we might accept this initial warning as a part of that debt to “proper norms” (326), it is with other interests in mind that Brooks ends his “Notes on the Limits of’History’ and the Limits of ‘Criticism.”‘ Invoking Matthew Arnold, Brooks concludes his essay dealing with Leslie Fielder’s call to “interpret literature in relation to the rest of man’s concerns” (qtd. in “Limits” 354). To this, Brooks is “in hearty agreement” (“Limits” 354), and with this ending it is clear that there are …

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…es so many of his criticisms of Brooks in terms of how he looks for “desperate solutions” that stray from a common sense reading of the poem. This idea that the type of critic that Brooks advocates makes trouble for the type of interpretation established by a historical reading of the poem raises such questions as the role of the critic in a society, and whether this critic is obliged to make trouble or not, and who is to be the focus of his troublemaking energies.

Works Cited

Brooks, Cleanth. “Criticism and Literary History: Marvell’s Horation Ode.” Class Handout ENG 415. April 9th, 1996.

“Notes on the Limits of’History’ and the Limits of ‘Criticism’.” Class Handout ENG 415 April 9th, 1996.

Bush, Douglas. “Marvell’s ‘Horation Ode’.” Class Handout ENG 415. April 9th, 1996.

Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble. New York: Routledge, 1990.

The Missile Defense System of the United States

The Missile Defense System of the United States


When Ronald Reagan was in the Presidency, he and his staff came up with the idea for a missile defense system that would defend the country in the event of a nuclear missile attack. This system was named “Star Wars” and the basic principal behind it was that it would be a shield that covered all fifty states. However, government officials soon realized that Reagan’s defense system was impossible to build, so the program was dropped, but the idea to defend the country against a missile attack stuck around. Today, the U. S. Government is trying to build a new, more realistic missile defense system. However, not all the problems have been worked out, and the U. S. Government should not deploy their missile defense system without conducting further tests.

Purpose of Missile Defense

Imagine that one morning there is breaking news that the U. S. Capitol has just been attacked by a missile strike. The information is plastered on every station, and there’s pictures showing Washington D. C. Leveled to the ground. All of this just because in the past few years the U. S. Government tried to develop a defense system to quickly, and for that reason they didn’t have adequate tests to determine whether or not the system would work. Furthermore, they wouldn’t have been attacked had it not been for them trying to develop this system. Every day, this threat is becoming more of a possibility to the United States. Since this could happen, the U. S. Government shouldn’t deploy their defense system unless they conduct further, more realistic tests.

The name of the missile program that is being developed to protect the United States is the National Missile Defense. This program…

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…ork. MIT Enterprise Technology Review. Retrieved March 14, 2003, from postol0402.asp

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