Acts of Implication: Suggestion and Covert Meaning in the by Irvin Ehrenpreis

By Irvin Ehrenpreis

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Additional info for Acts of Implication: Suggestion and Covert Meaning in the Works of Dryden, Swift, Pope, and Austen

Sample text

The ending of Don Sebastian is such a moment. In this play the literary style abounds in eccentric images supporting eccentric themes. What dominates the language is a cluster of motifs inverting healthy human relationships. The most interesting character, Dorax, sets the tone by speaking with a bitterness nourished by a distrust of all men. In an early scene an emblem of bestiality takes over the stage when Antonio, the main character of the secondary plot, must show himself off as an animal, compelled to go down on all fours and put himself through the paces of a horse.

In the studies that follow, I generally trust the poet's text rather than his commentary on it; and I try to show that the four talents examined here deserve the closest attention to their secondary meanings. (footnote continued from previous page) and Maximillian Novak, William Congreve (New York: Twayne, 1971), pp. 5871. Professor Williams carries his argument further in An Approach to Congreve (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979). 43. P. K. Elkin, in his chapter on "Personal Reference" (The Augustan Defence of Satire, pp.

Previous page page_41 next page > < previous page page_42 next page > Page 42 pretender into her bed. It is spectacle (a device appropriate to royalty) that brings out the implications; for we see the two Amphitryons juxtaposed, matching various sorts of evidence, and both of them refusing to yield. We also see it is the true Amphitryon who shows the heroic, impetuous character of figures like Almanzor; and alas we see it is the false Amphitryon who has the upper hand. Heroism is out of style along with integrity and legitimacy.

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