Fall 1947 • Vol. IX No. 4 Nonfiction |

Poetry: II, the Final Cause

1. Sentiments of All Sizes In Antony's speech there is quite a cluster of substantival objects for affections; the well-known mantle, the vision of Caesar resting after his battle with the Nervii, the blood rushing out like the houseboy to see if this is really Brutus, the tough fighter whom only the sense of ingratitude can vanquish, the falling Caesar. But all are facets of one great substantival object, which is the person of Caesar. So in two ways the passage is something special. In the first place the object is a very great one, and the feeling it invokes is of overpowering intensity. Furthermore, we have seen that the feeling for this object works in rhetorical fashion against the speaker's own official argument; it does not accompany the thought-work but counters it and destroys it. But feeling is not restricted in poetry to a role either so single or so destructive. Human affections are vastly and inconspicuously diffused among the objects of poetry, as among thos

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