Seven Types of Ambiguity

Front Cover
New Directions Publishing, 1966 - Literary Criticism - 256 pages
5 Reviews
Revised twice since it first appeared, it has remained one of the most widely read and quoted works of literary analysis.

Ambiguity, according to Empson, includes "any verbal nuance, however slight, which gives room for alternative reactions to the same piece of language." From this definition, broad enough by his own admission sometimes to see "stretched absurdly far," he launches into a brilliant discussion, under seven classifications of differing complexity and depth, of such works, among others, as Shakespeare's plays and the poetry of Chaucer, Donne, Marvell, Pope, Wordsworth, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and T. S. Eliot.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
3
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Poquette - LibraryThing

I got off to a very rocky start with this book — beginning with the first sentence! "An ambiguity, in ordinary speech, means something very pronounced, and as a rule witty or deceitful." Skipping ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - breadhat - LibraryThing

I found this book to contain much sensitive analysis and a pleasant style, but I traversed it with the sense that I lacked the patience and refinement to take much away from it. Ultimately, the ending ... Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER IV
133
CHAPTER V
155
CHAPTER VI
176
CHAPTER VII
192
CHAPTER VIII
234
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1966)

William Empson was a 20th century English literary critic and writer.

Bibliographic information