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Market Research Group

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Makar Molchanov
Makar Molchanov

Poetic Justice

Poetic justice, also called poetic irony, is a literary device with which ultimately virtue is rewarded and misdeeds are punished. In modern literature,[1] it is often accompanied by an ironic twist of fate related to the character's own action, hence the name poetic irony.[2]

Poetic Justice

English drama critic Thomas Rymer coined the phrase in The Tragedies of the Last Age Consider'd (1678) to describe how a work should inspire proper moral behaviour in its audience by illustrating the triumph of good over evil. The demand for poetic justice is consistent in Classical authorities and shows up in Horace, Plutarch, and Quintillian, so Rymer's phrasing is a reflection of a commonplace. Philip Sidney, in The Defence of Poesy (1595) argued that poetic justice was, in fact, the reason that fiction should be allowed in a civilized nation.

Notably, poetic justice does not merely require that vice be punished and virtue rewarded, but also that logic triumph. If, for example, a character is dominated by greed for most of a romance or drama, they cannot become generous. The action of a play, poem, or fiction must obey the rules of logic as well as morality. During the late 17th century, critics pursuing a neo-classical standard criticized William Shakespeare in favor of Ben Jonson precisely on the grounds that Shakespeare's characters change during the course of the play.[3] When Restoration comedy, in particular, flouted poetic justice by rewarding libertines and punishing dull-witted moralists, there was a backlash in favor of drama, in particular, of more strict moral correspondence.

We are poetic justice. \"We advocate literacy and written expression through every form of artistic license to highten, brighten and enlighten our community to remove notoriety placed in present day society. We are not black. We are not brown, white or yellow. Our faces are many and our skin is transparent. However, our views are solid and will not be moved. We are all levels of intellectuals striving for change and peace in minds. We prefer to perform rather than conform. We come in all forms - not just poets.\"

Deborah Kapchan is a professor of performance studies at New York University. A Guggenheim fellow, she is the author of Gender on the Market and Traveling Spirit Masters, as well as numerous articles on sound, narrative, and poetics.

All deliberate speed, the remedial formula adopted in Brown v. Board of Education, 349 U.S. 294 (1955), has a singularly interesting literary lineage. Contrary to Justices Holmes and Frankfurter's assumption, all deliberate speed is not a phrase from the traditional language of the English Chancery, but rather a variant on a line from an 1893 poem by Francis Thompson, The Hound of Heaven. How Thompson's line, "Deliberate speed, majestic instancy," came to dominate one of the defining moments in American constitutional law represents a unique instance of not law-in-literature or law-as-literature, but literature-as-law. By turning our analysis away from the romanticized origins of all deliberate speed in a Chancery practice that never existed and toward the real poetry of Francis Thompson, we may glimpse how all deliberate speed and the Brown litigation achieved a measure of poetic justice. Brown II's instruction that public school districts dismantle desegregation with all deliberate speed gave Brown I's vision of equal justice under law enough time and enough legitimacy to enter the hearts and minds of the American people in a way unlikely ever to be undone.

In literature, poetic justice is an ideal form of justice, in which the good characters are rewarded and the bad characters are punished, by an ironic twist of fate. It is a strong literary view that all forms of literature must convey moral lessons. Therefore, writers employ poetic justice to conform to moral principles. 041b061a72


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