By David Jasper (eds.)
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Extra resources for Images of Belief in Literature
826. 8. Matthew Arnold, Preface to God and the Bible, popular edition (London, 1884), p. viii. 9. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species (1859). A draft was in existence from 1842. 10. S. T. Coleridge, Biographia Literaria, edited by j. Shawcross, 2 vols (Oxford, 1907), II, p. 12. II. C. E. Montague, Disenchantment (London, 1924), p. 81. 12. W. B. Yeats, Dramatis Personae (New York, 1936), p. 104. 13. I refer to a seminar which the anthropologist Dr Aylward Shorter and I ran as part of the final year for the Religion with Literature course at Bristol, and to Dr Shorter's paper, 'Creative Imagination and the Language of religious traditions in Africa', published in The African Ecclesiastical Review (1980), pp.
Lowth demonstrates that it is not even a dramatic poem since the dialogue lacks plot, character and development. There is no change, no growth, no action. The speakers' attitudes, manners and sentiments exhibit a constant state. Moreover, unvarying misery is not tragic and final repentance and restoration are not dramatic but educative. Turn by way of contrast to Oedipus Tyrannus. If this spectacle merely contained impassioned exclamations against the gods and tender tears for the blind and disgraced hero then, says Lowth, 'the Greeks would have called such a production a monody, or elegiac dialogue, or anything but a tragedy'.
You could have made me trash. Or a nigger. ' ... 'I could quit working and take it easy and be filthy,' she growled. 'Lounge about the sidewalks all day drinking root beer. Dip snuff and spit in every puddle and have it all over my face. I could be nasty. Or you could have made me a nigger. It's too late for me to be a nigger,' she said with deep sarcasm, 'but I could act like one. Lay down in the middle of the road and stop traffic. ' (pp. 215-16) Her railings against God come to their climax: 'Go on,' she yelled, 'call me a hog!