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Would this be considered a parodox from Twelfth Night?:CLOWN. Good madonna, why...

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lilgamegirl | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 11, 2011 at 12:27 PM via web

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Would this be considered a parodox from Twelfth Night?:

CLOWN. Good madonna, why mourn'st thou?

OLIVIA. Good fool, for my brother's death.

CLOWN. I think his soul is in hell, madonna.

OLIVIA. I know his soul is in heaven, fool.

CLOWN. The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your brother's soul

being in heaven. Take away the fool, gentlemen.

This is in William Shakespeare's 12th Night, Act 1, Scene 5.

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 11, 2011 at 10:29 PM (Answer #1)

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Let's start with a definition. A paradox is "a true statement or group of statements that leads to a contradiction or a situation which defies logic or intuition."

Keeping that in mind, let's look at your interaction between Olivia and the Clown. Olivia is mourning her brother's death - true statement. Olivia is certain that her brother's soul is in heaven - true statement of her belief. As the Clown points out, Olivia is the fool if she is mourning while her brother's soul is in heaven, as heaven is the desirable place for a soul to spend eternity.

Yes, this encounter is a paradox. The contradiction is between the grief over the death of the brother and the rejoicing that should be felt because his soul is now in heaven.

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