Ann Radcliffe Prompt
In Ann Radcliffe’s “On the Supernatural in Poetry”, the conversation between Mr. S and Mr. W creates a informative, yet slightly persuasive tone with a hint of comic relief that connects to the reader by giving two different points of view from which superstition in literature is analyzed. This simply means that the reader is given outlooks on two separate ends of the spectrum that balance each other out and let one more easily formulate a personal opinion.
Mr. W feels strongly that the use of superstition in poetry enhances the passion that lies within it. “That he had a very strong imagination, a fertile wit, a mind well prepared by education, and a great promptness of feeling; but he had not- at least not in proportion to his other qualifications- that delicacy of feeling...” The use of the word delicacy draws to mind positive feelings, but the “feeling” mentioned refers to any type of arousal of passion, even if by negative feelings.
He is trying to justify his standpoint to Mr. S, who feels that this arousal of passion by negative feelings is merely confusion. “How can anything be indistinct and not confused?” Superstition is a metaphor for this negativity in his mind and therefore equals discomfiting emotions that he feels are unnecessary. The two men’s formal contradictory and attempts to trump the others point adds a marginally amusing aspect.
The article pertains to William Shakespeare’s Macbeth especially at the point when the banquet scene is discussed. “How it happens then,’ said Mr. S- ‘that objects of terror sometimes strike us very forcibly, when introduced into scenes of gaiety and splendour, as, for instance, the banquet scene in Macbeth?” Mr. S argues that the unexpected supernatural aspects are plainly exhibited for the value of shock. He contends that this shock is obscure in hopes to appeal to Mr. W’s common sense.
For they both agree that obscurity is not sublime. However, Mr. W explains that...