logos meaning in english literature

logos meaning in english literature

Exploring the Significance of Logos in English Literature

1. Introduction to Logos in English Literature

The charismatic beauty of logos lies in its effectiveness and action-oriented approach. Pathos distracts the mind or attracts the mind toward instinctive blinding feelings. Ethos avoids the logic building kind of approach. It implements power-packed evidence and rational thinking. Leaders do possess the basic philosophic, ethical, and social wisdom but those are transformed into universal truth. So, if logos is effectively implicated the world can turn into a “better living paradise.” These great logocentric qualities make logos mimic a political endeavor. It swims with happiness, well-being, and truth. Many eastern and western empirical grounded theories and philosophic thoughts gladly embrace logos and inaugurate it as a noble tool. About 90% of English literature possess profound philosophical, ethical and psycho-sociological reflections because of this glorious device.

The research article focuses on the significance of logos. It is one of the most powerful tools or devices we find in literature. It stands for reasoning and intellect. It is the most convincing and fascinating tool as compared with pathos and ethos. People are influenced and persuaded if they are given satisfactory reasons. They like to argue, explain and think logically. So, logic has been playing a great role in converting the people to make them accept the views of other people. The researcher attempts to explore the characteristics of a logos. Its significance, the main role it plays in developing major themes, point of views, the philosophical, ethical, and social reflections it urges and aims for are focused on.

2. The Historical Evolution of Logos in English Literature

By the period of Augustinian thought and beyond the seven liberal arts consisting of trivium, “grammar,” “rhetoric,” “dialectic,” and quadrivium, “arithmetic,” “geometry,” “astronomy,” and “music,” i.e., “knowledge” and sciences, “logos,” for the first time in Western history, was approached by the analysis of speech, i.e., as a text that poses or answers a question or makes a command or is suggestive. This interpretation of logos remained substantial until Catherine of Siena applied her own experiences as a Christian outside of a religious context. With regard to the relative significance of the religious environment and personality since the 14th century, as is the case for the next seven centuries, it can be said that socio-politically there is an ongoing contention and antagonism. Meanwhile, logos has been expanded and extended from the Holy book of Christianity into an idea or a word inspired by a book or, presumably, a word residue continued to lead to an easily assimilated, spoken book.

The word “logos” comes from the ancient Greek, meaning “word,” “speech,” “account,” or “reason.” Aristotle says that the logos has two meanings: to say something and to talk in a proper way. From this point of view, logos can be described as the neutral, intermediate feature that adopts any extreme condition existing in the argument by the individual who, in the meantime, remains impartial. Logos possesses inherently the forces of persuasion, i.e., no logos can be exhaustively examined or explained in an exhaustive manner. What distinguishes a logos from a simple talk is the element of truth within it. Logos is able to identify logos. It forms the primary category for Aristotle’s theory of rhetoric. In fact, as a sense and thought, it has been the center of attention over the past 2400 years of thinking on rhetoric, i.e., as a technique and as an art.

3. The Role of Logos in Key Literary Movements and Genres

From the prevailing philosophy of the late 20th century – seen at first as existentialism, then as deconstruction and finally as Cultural Studies in the inclusive Sokal Hoax – the arts would seem to have plunged into Crazy Water. Academicians, literary and visual artists – especially gays, women, and minorities of all races, colors, creeds, and national origins – have noodled about wherefore and whynot, when the laws of what made the Golden Ages and the interconnectedness between cultural logoi and the forces that enabled them are not that hard to recognize or understand. While recognizing the abstract forces informing literature is no self-obvious explanation claimed to be underlying phenomena associated with literature, this literature possesses some power not just to advertise but to realize the underlying philosophy and imagery informed by these current abstract forces.

Logos has shaped not merely individual works or authors, but also the forces that provided the matrix in which they could work. Such forces are the great literary movements and genres: the alliterative revival, the mystery plays, the political plays of the Elizabethan age, the dawning drama, the philosophical and religious poetry of the 17th century, the rise of the novel and the Augustan age of literature, the Gothic revival, the Bimillenary Movement of the Romantic and early Victorian poets, the dawn of Naturalism, the many stages of Realism, the rise of Modernism, and the fragmentation of literature that has marked the era of High Postmodernism. These golden ages were made possible by Logos, either applied directly to literature or to the life of the nation to which the literature of these periods was a compelling response.

4. Analyzing Logos in Selected Literary Works

The works Condorcet’s “Osée,” the Marquis de Sade’s “La Philosophie dans le boudoir,” Diderot’s “Le Neveu de Rameau,” Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses,” Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony,” Coetzee’s “Waiting for the Barbarians,” and Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s “The Girl from the Coast” are an overview of how various authors who are geographically and temporally separated have held the concept of freedom of expression important. The works have strong elements of its significance in their respective societies and have tried to project the same through literature. Their dissemination of the same through written discourse can effectively act as the critical tool that can provoke new thinking and rejuvenation of the thought process of the reader. The works of a writer are his/her windows to the world. The works reflect the authors’ experiences from his/her surroundings. This work features the experiences that are associated with the human attributes of writing or literature use.

The thesis, “Exploring the Significance of Logos in English Literature,” discusses the concept of logos, its different implications, its relevance in this age, and significance in some of the selected literary works. Logos, as has been discussed in this work, has taken different meanings in the works of various scholars, but the essence has remained almost the same – the art of articulating thoughts in writing and speaking to effectively communicate. The thought process initiated or nurtured by logos is important. The mind is broadened and the horizons of thinking are widened. This can lead to increased cognition and further creativity, which the world of today desperately needs. Different scholars have held different opinions on the relevance and significance of logos in the modern age. Different forms of literature have been successful in carrying the essence of logos to its intended recipients. Many authors have taken the theme of logos and have tried to act as the bulwark of sanity in the chaos that tradition-modernity pulls in on the human mind.

5. Contemporary Relevance and Future Directions of Logos in English Literature

The first proposal we bring is a call to modern concepts of language use to take logos seriously, both in its realization around common problems within a knowledge domain and in how it is often utilized in high-status, value-laden stances. In the surplus era in which we find ourselves, rather than reduce language to its accidental or arbitrary properties, we suggest that there is much to learn about language’s stereotypical and recurrent use from the known associations of the legacy vocabulary such as logos. Second, we encourage a more sustained dialogue between the large community of modern scholars who invoke logos as a theme of interest, either in its own right or in its manifestation at the level of poetic form, and the modern semioticians, knowledge modellers, and digital humanists who specialize in creating structured descriptions of significant texts, in genres as various as the imaginative literature of popular culture and ancient symbolic practices. This kind of interaction between distant reading tools and close reading questions becomes more urgent and rewarding simply because the size and variety of corpora and the scale of current social and formal research are unprecedented.

Current conceptions of language and of logos face many challenges – partly because these matters are investigated by so many scholars working in different traditions, and also because new discoveries in cognitive science, anthropology, computer science, and related disciplines continue to revise our understanding of the relation between symbolic processes, bodily activity, and forms of life. Addressing these challenges will be particularly important if those who offer analyses of logos as a theme or technique in their heritage literature are to continue to develop work that is of contemporary interest. Our contribution to this project has been to ask what a corpus-based study of a large collection of texts from different periods and knowledge domains, in a single language, could add to our understanding of some of the themes we will encounter. In this chapter, we bring multiple examples of the use of logos in the Modern English corpora, and we offer some conclusions about the nature of logos in English literature.

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