Samuel Johnson: An Analysis by Charles H. Hinnant (auth.)

By Charles H. Hinnant (auth.)

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15 It is in this way that the sonority of the voice contributes to the river by which the mind allows itself to be carried around and around in the circle of temporal wish-fulfilment. The role of the voice in establishing this circle is further confirmed by its link to the lust of dominion. The interiorization of the voice strengthens individual resolve, as the autonomous circuit of hearing-oneself-speak excludes any possible intrusions from without. But the interior ear, it turns out, can never achieve genuine plenitude because the 'ardour of enterprize' requires for its satisfaction the applause of those very voices whose objections it has stilled or ignored.

Universities. 26 Samuel Johnson: An Analysis Between what vanity hears and what idleness speaks, neither interruption, nor objection appears to interpose itself. But such a closed circuit inevitably becomes a source of error because there is no actual accession of knowledge or contact with the outside. Rather it fosters the illusion, through the persuasive power of its voice, that the outside is inside, indeed that its audience encompasses the cosmos. 15 It is in this way that the sonority of the voice contributes to the river by which the mind allows itself to be carried around and around in the circle of temporal wish-fulfilment.

If ambition is attended by fear, there is nothing that can distinguish the slave from the master. The confusion engendered by this merging of roles extends throughout the Turkish realm of Irene. If Irene has degraded love by placing it in the service of ambition, so Mohamet has debased ambition by placing it in the service of love. TheĀ· effect on both characters is virtually identical. Thus Mohamet, fully as much as Irene or Cali, suffers from 'the anguish' which 'racks the guilty breast/In pow'r dependent, in success deprest' (Pro/.

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