Much Madness Is Divinest Sense Questions and Answers
by Emily Dickinson

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Discuss "Much Madness is Divinest Sense" from the "New Criticism" perspective.

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New Criticism is a literary theory that places emphasis upon close reading of poetry, rather than a reader's response, as a means of interpretation. Dependent upon this interpretation are certain elements: particularization, irony and ambiguity, and meaning that transcends intention.

  • Particularization

According to New Criticism, the particular speaker and auditor are essential to the interpretation of a poem. Tone, the attitude of the speaker, the situation, and the particular language are indications of meaning. But, the intentions of a poet are found through an analysis rhyme, rhythm, and meter and other technical tools; the poem also is interpreted as an autonomous text without consideration of the social or historical setting.

An interpretation of "Much Madness is Divinest Sense," using a paradigm from New...

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