Conclusion: Into the Twentieth Century
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Yeats’s poem takes us back, far more viciously than anything envisioned by Arnold, to ‘Dover Beach’, to the shifting of tides, the one, nineteenth–century, ebbing away, the other, twentieth–century, engulfing us in blood, each in a world of confusion and anarchy and lost faith. And if Romanticism was fascinated by words and ‘the Word’,1 the twentieth century has been overwhelmed by words and their dangerous rhetorics. The beginnings of this verbal flood are, perhaps, to be found in the Bible itself.
KeywordsMoral Intuition Historical Criticism Literary Canon Literary Influence Biblical Scholarship
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