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Dictionary of the History of Ideas

Studies of Selected Pivotal Ideas

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Perhaps because of its origins in the rhetorical and
dialectical training of young academicians, the literary
paradox is a belle-lettristic form particularly hospitable
to “ideas.” The rhetorical paradox was a standard
epideictic type, a praise of something commonly re
garded as unpraiseworthy (a nut, an ass, tyranny or
a given tyrant, Thersites, Helen), a defense of some-
thing contrary to received opinion or to the audience's
expectations of the orator (folly, “nothing,” “nobody,”
a new theory of motion, a new astronomical model).
Such assignments were evidently set the young dialec-
tician as tests of his control over logic and rhetoric;
the dissoi logoi and various aporia are likely the “im-
possible” or indeterminate problems serving as exer-
cises in mental agility. Of logical paradoxes, renowned
from antiquity, Zeno's “Achilles and the Tortoise” and
“the Arrow,” both on the problem of infinite series
and infinitesimals, are classic examples; these paradoxes
were designed to demonstrate the limits of mathe-
matical descriptions of motion; they were foils in the
disputes of the Eleatics with the Pythagoreans and
atomists. One of the most famous of all logical para-
doxes is “the Cretan” or “the Liar”: “Epimenides the
Cretan says, 'All Cretans are liars.'” This particular
paradox has an impressive history; referred to by Saint
Paul, it is a self-contradictory formulation recurrent
in belles-lettres as well as in logic. Montaigne used the
paradox in his paradoxical Apologie de Raymond de
Sancho Panza was faced with it, in Don
I. li.

Paradoxical formulations test certain rational limits
—the limits of grammar, rhetoric, and logic, chiefly—
and test those limits by means of the very conventions
they test: that is, paradoxical formulations are methodo-
logically self-critical. Zeno's paradoxes and the self-
referential paradoxes, “the Liar” in particular, raise the
problem of “matching” verbal utterance to perceived
reality and to conceptions, a topic also explored, with
due attention to verbal and logical paradoxy, in the
Sophist, the Theaetetus, and the Parmenides, investi-
gations into the limits of discourse and discursive
thinking. Further, though precisely formulated ac-
cording to given rules, paradoxes nonetheless tend to
indeterminacy: Achilles never catches the tortoise, and
the tortoise, presumably, never crosses the finish line
either; the Cretan by lying does not lie—or, in telling
the truth, he lies. We cannot decide once and for all
how few hairs a man must have to be “bald,” nor which
grain makes the noise when corn is tipped from a

Though they are carefully constructed, usually
dialectically (in the Renaissance phrase, as “defenses
of contraries”), paradoxes tend toward relativism. By
its curious tautology, the self-referential paradox
abolishes the possibility of external measuring-rods;
praise of the conventionally unpraiseworthy, however,
is itself a measuring rod, of the standards by which
values are established. Why is a nut intrinsically less
praiseworthy than a garden, an ass than a horse,


Thersites than Agamemnon? Paradoxes imply, though
they rarely refer directly to, a double or multiple
standard. They do so by operating at the limits of the
technical conventions by which knowledge is organized
and expressed—the conventions of grammar (“the
Liar”), of logic (again “the Liar”), of discursive thought
(the Parmenides), of intellectual formulation (“the
Arrow,” the Copernican paradox). By their literalist
insistence on “correctness” and “rules,” paradoxes
manage to bring into question precisely that correct-
ness and precisely those rules. Their precision is
balanced by an indeterminacy designed to make audi-
ence and readers uneasy, for paradoxes oscillate be-
tween dialectical extremes, equivocate by their words
and in their structure, reach a tenuous transparency
of meaning maintained largely by control of technical
skills in logical and rhetorical expression.

It is difficult to identify a purely “literary” paradox
in antiquity, since the paradoxical orations, like their
unparadoxical counterparts, were always designed as
works of literary art as well as of functional rhetoric.
Both Gorgias and Isocrates excelled at paradoxical as
well as at “conventional” oratory: their defense of the
conventionally indefensible or unworthy is one reason
for Plato's attack on the relativism inherent in the
Sophists' method. The association of formal paradox
with both epideixis and play suggests that it was early
regarded as an artistic, or at the very least a leisure-
time, activity. This playfulness has as necessary pre-
conditions considerable skill in the arts of the trivium
(grammar, rhetoric, logic), a groundwork of conven-
tional values familiar to both paradoxist and his audi-
ence, and an intellectual atmosphere in which values
and value-systems competed for attention and ad-
herence. So Cicero could write out the Stoic axioms
of his Paradoxa Stoicorum with ironic intent, knowing
that his audience recognized their official moral value
and knew that the axioms ran counter to current mo-
rality in Rome. The life history of a “paradox” is often
interesting: as Hamlet said to Ophelia, “This was
sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof”—
that is, a formulation introduced contrary to contem-
porary orthodoxy (as, for instance, the stern Stoic
axioms were) is at first regarded as paradoxical, but
later that same axiom may turn out to be “true” or
may harden into orthodoxy. The “Copernican para-
dox,” at first merely a schema introduced against the
prevalent Ptolemaic system of the universe, subse-
quently became astronomical orthodoxy. Paradoxes
have been considered chiefly to occur in periods in
which competing value-systems strengthen philo-
sophical pluralism and relativism; certainly the literary
paradox occurs in periods marked by considerable
disturbance of intellectual patterns. The Renaissance
is, partly for this reason, rich in paradoxy, although
another reason for the form's popularity in the period
is simply the humanist recovery of classical literary
models, among them the paradox. Ancient paradoxes
were recovered, studied, imitated, and adapted to new
conditions. Indeed, in the late Renaissance the great
anthologies of ancient and modern paradoxes were put
together; at the same time, similar joco-serious collec-
tions of mathematical and scientific anomalies were
gathered as “mathematical recreations,” a near-literary
genre of its own.

But paradoxy is by no means limited to the Renais-
sance, though most of this article's typical examples
will be drawn from that period: in the Western tradi-
tion, epistemologically inquisitive authors (Mandeville,
Swift, Sterne, Diderot, for instance) tended to formu-
late paradoxes. Paradoxy has always had its associations
with nonsense, and the highly intellectual work of
Lewis Carroll and Christian Morgenstern offers both
the classical paradoxical topics and major contributions
to literary paradoxy. In the modern period, such di-
verse authors as G. K. Chesterton, Joyce, Sartre,
Queneau, Borges, and Heller, as well as Zen-influenced
poets and detective story writers such as Nicholas
Freeling, have prolonged the tradition of Western
literary paradox in their work. Freud's study of the
antithetical sense of “primal words” as well as his
contributions to the theory of word-play have given
new dimensions to paradoxy, important in literature
as well as in psychological method. For the American
school of literary critics still called after forty years
the “New Critics,” whose method of scrupulous close
reading is current pedagogical orthodoxy, paradox was
one major measure of the “richness” of a given text.

Basically, a paradox is a word-play, a pun, expressed
in rhetorical and logical form. Any verbal test of skill
is likely to develop into an art form, so that one need
not be surprised that one major ancient writer wrote
in praise of the nut (Ovid), and that a poem on the
gnat was attributed to another (Vergil). This sort of
subject proliferated in the Renaissance: Jean Passerat
wrote on nothing; Rémy Belleau on an oyster, a
shadow, a tortoise; Pierre de Ronsard on a cat, a salad;
John Donne on a shadow, a flea; Giambattista Marino
on a firefly; Richard Lovelace on a snail; Saint-Amant
on a melon. Such topics may seem trivial, but they
offered fine opportunities for the “playing wit” men-
tioned by Sir Philip Sidney in his rhetorical defense
of poetics, which “can prayse the discretion of an Asse,
the comfortablenes of being in debt, and the iolly
commoditie of being sick of the plague.” Nor were
they all nugatory: Synesius' praise of baldness, for
instance, calls into question the basis for a socially
important aesthetic preference. The “low things”


which paradoxists praise often turned out to be
thematically more elevated than their audience at first
took them to be. For instance, when Erasmus con-
structed his fine self-referential mock-oration in which
Folly praises folly, we discover, by working through
the rhetorically ingenious travesty of logical argument,
that folly turns out to be the highest spiritual state
to which a man may aspire. Again, Sir John Harington's
The Metamorphosis of Ajax (1596) is about a flushing
water-closet; this paradox, though it certainly praises
what in received opinion is the repository of “lowest”
things, argues for standards of personal cleanliness
which, when adopted three centuries after this face-
tious plea, caused a social as well as a hygienic revolu-

Because of its canonical opposition to received
opinion (social, moral, intellectual cliché), paradoxy
often dealt with material “new” in any given intellec-
tual context. Montaigne's longest essay, his Apologie
de Raymond de Sebond,
is an example of a paradox
operating consistently paradoxically: the essay begins
by apparently defending the notion of an hierarchical
universe, but actually adduces “evidence” from many
different ranges of experience and authority to refute
the validity of that notion. Montaigne's defense is in
fact a censure: his apologia apologizes for the book
his title appears to praise. Most examples of paradox-
ical novelty are less grand than this great essay in
skepticism. In his Paradossi (1542), the first vernacular
collection of paradoxes in Europe, Ortensio Lando
argued for various disagreeable and officially low con-
ditions, such as imprisonment, exile, debt, cuckoldry,
and bastardy; all these are made to seem, however the
paradoxist must reach for his instances, in some context
or other preferable to their dialectical opposites:
Shakespeare's King Lear is, among much else, a dem-
onstration of the “truth” of several of Lando's para-
doxes. Debt was a widespread topic for Renaissance
paradoxists, trying to cope with the new situations
arising from a cash economy. Ridiculous though
Lando's arguments for debt were in terms of medieval
economic theory and current morality, they turned out
to be normal enough in an era of extensive credit. Both
Rabelais and Bodin dealt, of course very differently,
with the paradoxes in economic behavior perceived
as new modes of economics massively altered the old:
Panurge's praise of debt in Gargantua et Pantagruel
is humorous enough, but it touches on the real anoma-
lies of a new commercial age.

By the sheer multitude of paradoxical formulations
in his Gargantua et Pantagruel, particularly clustered
in the Tiers livre, Rabelais offers a wonderful anthol-
ogy of Renaissance paradoxy. He praises many un
praiseworthy things besides debt: his praise of the
codpiece is a considered essay on generation, as well
as an ironic commentary on that segment of a man's
trousers. Panurge's debate on whether or not he should
marry makes us aware of the Renaissance's oscilla-
tions in sexual relations, most noticeable in the fact
that clerics might marry, according to the new dispen-
sation; obvious as well, though, in education, in reli-
gious, social, and business life. Rabelais does not
specifically write a paradoxical praise of women, but
other humanists did, and throughout his book he ac-
cords them, especially in his utopian section, a re-
markable degree of freedom and responsibility. Lando's
paradox on bastardy, thematically very close to
Rabelais' on the codpiece, points toward a related
social change, as patterns of inheritance altered under
the impact of the new commercialism. Paradoxes on
marriage, cuckoldry, and bastardy all have to do with
social matters and with social change: another related
paradoxical topic was virginity. The young John Donne
and Parolles in All's Well that Ends Well speak of that
particularly valued and disvalued condition in almost
the same ironical terms. Falstaff's discourse on honor
in I Henry IV is a paradoxical redefinition of an aris-
tocratic value long unquestioned but, after the decline
of active feudalism, a topic for the anti-idealist para-
doxists of the Renaissance.

Falstaff himself embodies a Renaissance social para-
dox, le chevalier sans cheval, the knight unhorsed, or
deprived of his feudal function, a figure who was also
the subject of one of Erasmus' Colloquia. Falstaff has
strong affinities with another figure for paradox, the
literary Fool. Privileged to speak out, usually on behalf
of a satirical view of actuality, against received opin-
ion, convention, and social cliché, the Fool (in litera-
ture at least) was a rich source for paradoxical utter-
ance. From Socrates, who alleged that his only
knowledge was the limitation of his own knowledge,
via Saint Paul and the Pseudo-Dionysius to Nicholas
of Cusa and Erasmus, docta ignorantia was attributed
to the gifted fool. Alcibiades' image from the Sympo-
of Socrates as an ugly Silenus-box containing the
sweetest perfume, was explicated by Erasmus in the
Adagia, exploited in the Moriae encomium, adapted
by Rabelais in the Preface to Gargantua, and referred
to by a host of other paradoxists as a visual emblem
of the functions of the formal paradox, evidently ugly
but with a sweet truth within. Falstaff belongs in this
company of wise fools, though he has none of the
spirituality of Erasmus' “Saint Socrates”; Lear's fool
is wisely ignorant, speaks in grammatical paradoxes and
touches on many paradoxical topics (nothing, shadow,
folly, codpiece, world-upside-down); Lear himself is


schooled to the piercing accuracy of moral and social
judgment characteristic of the highest forms of Renais-
sance folly.

Another principle book of the period, itself a para-
doxical essay, Henry Cornelius Agrippa's De vanitate
(1530), rejected the academic and occult
disciplines (practiced and publicized by the author in
other works) to argue for a pious nescience; in a curious
sequel, Agrippa retracted much of what he had written
in the De vanitate, but since he also defended the book
against its calumniators, it is difficult to tell what he
“really” thought about his paradox. Whatever else the
book is, it is a demonstration of its author's command
of contemporary learning; like Folly's discourse and
Montaigne's Apologie, Agrippa's book illustrated the
paradoxical sine qua non of technical control which
the paradox existed to reject. For the paradoxist any-
way, ignorantia had to be docta to count: for that
reason, the literary paradox can claim its place in an
encyclopedia of philosophy.

From the many examples here cited, one can see
how the paradox doubles back on itself, acts out the
self-negation of which “the Liar” is so economical an
example. The subject of negations was an old philo-
sophical topic, for instance in the Sophist. The initial
formulations of the Parmenides, cast in negative syntax,
were apparently preserved through the Middle Ages
and seem to have been the models for such elaborations
of the negative theology as those of Dionysius the
Areopagite (the Pseudo-Dionysius), by which the
transcendent God is “defined” by negative terms—
infinite, eternal, immutable. The great extender of this
tradition into the Renaissance was Nicholas of Cusa,
important also for his comprehensive formulation of
docta ignorantia; Giordano Bruno also specialized in
marvellous negative formulations in metaphysics and
ontology. A literary by-product of the concentration
on negative statements, grammatically “safer” or more
protected than positive statements, by definition sub-
ject to challenge or refutation, was a spate of secular
paradoxes on “nothing,” “nobody,” and “nowhere.”
“Nothing can come of nothing; speak again,” said King
Lear to his youngest daughter; later in the same play,
his Fool reminds him of the same truism from Aris-
totelian physics. Passerat's Latin poem, “Nihil,” pro-
vided a model for many other paradoxical poems and
essays on nothing, as well as others on “Aliquid” and
on the zero-shaped “Ovum.” If Homer did not, in
making Odysseus say his name was “Nobody,” then
Ulrich von Hutten wrote the classic “Nemo” paradox.
More important than these was the imaginary com-
monwealth described by Sir Thomas More and given
the paradoxical title Utopia, “nowhere.” Such no
wheres abound, through Erewhon to 1984 (“This was
sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it truth”),
organized in dialectical opposition to what their au-
thors recognized as their own local somewhere. And
they offer an interesting case-history in paradoxy:
utopian commonwealths often proved so persuasive
that their paradoxical character gave way before their
didactic function. Irony faded away as the paradox
turned into a model.

An exception to this generalization is Rabelais'
utopian Abbey of Thélème, so topsy-turvy a rendition
of community life that its readers always took it as
an ironic counterpart to reality, a defense by contraries.
This utopian paradigm has its analogue in an ancient
paradoxical encomium on Helen, who as the cause of
civilization's ruin was manifestly an unworthy and a
low thing, not worth praising. Isocrates' oration seems
to have been ironic, and recognized as such; subse-
quently, audience reaction altered the paradoxical
quality of orations on Helen, so that topoi used in ironic
praise of the most beautiful woman in the world be-
came the magniloquent response to female loveliness
familiar to us from the lips of Marlowe's Faustus and
Goethe's Faust. So with utopias: the ideals they codify
were too precious for an ironic context and their para-
doxicality was ultimately rejected.

More's Utopia however classically demonstrates the
form's remarkable balancing, merely by its manipu-
lation of elements from utterly different philosophical
programs; both its Epicureanism and its Stoicism have
been fully documented. Folly is an even more aston-
ishing manipulator of traditions—Epicureanism and
Stoicism are certainly identifiable components of her
oration, both for good and for bad; so are skepticism
and Christian fideism, modulated with immense skill
into one composition. Compared with his fairly con-
sistent Stoic stance in other essays, Montaigne's skepti-
cal Apologie offers yet another manifestation of par-
adoxy, as this longest of his essays makes its extraor-
dinary plea for a suspiciously Christian Pyrrhonism.
The tightrope-walking paradoxist took as his task, quite
literally, equivocation, as part of his loyalty to indeter-
minacy and to inclusiveness.

Other sorts of literary paradox should be mentioned—
the play on words: Le coeur a ses raisons, que la raison
ne connaît pas;
or, in a pleasant self-reference, Diseur
de bons mots, mauvais caractère
(Pascal); L'hypocrisie
est un hommage que le vice rend à la vertu
Rochefoucauld); “Until I labour, I in labour lie”
(Donne); all these have the sharp wit with which
epigrammatists make their point. Religious poetry
draws heavily on both the epigrammatic tendency to
verbal paradox and the theological tendency to adapt


the paradoxes of the infinite to the deity. So
Shakespeare can paraphrase Saint Paul one way, in a
secular sonnet:
So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on men,
And, Death once dead, there's no more dying then
and John Donne another, in a Holy Sonnet:
One short sleep past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
Angelus Silesius exploits the negative theology in his
epigrammatic formulation of God's immanence and
man's perception of it:
Die zarte Gottheit ist ein Nichts und Übernichts:
Wer nichts in allem sieht, Mensch, glaube, dieser sichts.
Other efforts to invoke the indescribable and ineffable
may result in verbal paradoxy—“Dark with excessive
bright thy skirts appear,” wrote Milton of God's
ambiance, and of Satan's, “darkness visible.” Literary
efforts to render intense feeling, either of sacred or
of secular love, exploited that grammatical figure for
paradox, the oxymoron, so that readers became accus-
tomed to Petrarchan lovers' burning in a sea of ice
and drowning amidst a fire; accustomed also to the
the painful pleasure of religious experience, exempli-
fied in Saint Theresa's ecstatic apprehension of God,
and in Donne's inovocation to the Deity:

for I
Except you'enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chast, except you ravish me.

Even the oxymoron's contradictoriness returns us to
the self-referential, self-cancelling quality inherent in
paradoxical formulations; it is not surprising that sui-
cide, or individual self-cancellation, self-annihilation,
became a recurrent topic of paradox. Certainly the
Stoics, whose rigorous morality was expressed in axioms
apparently paradoxical because they ran so counter to
man's natural self-indulgence, advocated suicide as a
preservation of individual integrity against intolerable
pressure. By Stoic standards, it was paradoxical that
Nero, who drove the Stoic Seneca to his suicide, should
be the subject of paradoxical encomia—but just be-
cause Nero was a proper subject for paradox, he natu-
rally became so. Seneca, apparently, did not become
a paradoxical topic, but suicide did: suicide, the arch-
sin of Christianity, was defended by several paradoxists,
none more complexly than John Donne in his Biathana-
Metaphorically, it had been taken for granted that
man was his own executioner (Donne's phrase), his own
assassin (Sir Thomas Browne's), his own Atropos
(Browne once more)—but this was metaphor, and its
reverse was also metaphor, the notion underlying much
of Folly's praise of folly and of Castiglione's Cortegiano,
that a man also “makes” himself. In received opinion,
however, man was made by his parents' endeavors and
inspirited by God; his death, too, normally came to
him, and should always have come to him, by some
outside instrumentality. A man could connive at his
own death, as in fencing (Hamlet, Montaigne, and
Donne all regarded fencing as tantamount to self-
homicide); he could also connive at his death by seek-
ing martyrdom and blessedness (a problem faced by
Saint Augustine much earlier). One can see how para-
doxical Donne is in his Biathanatos, when he adduces
not only the Christian martyrs but also Christ Himself
as evidence for the legitimacy of suicide. In this formal
paradox, Donne worked against received opinion in
many ways.

That paradox, like most paradoxes, ends equivocally.
Though his witty and sympathetic forces seem to sanc-
tion suicide, in special cases anyway, Donne never
passes overt judgment for or against that sin. In this,
he obeys the paradox's decorum. Either because of
their self-referential formulation or because their au-
thor refuses to come to an overt conclusion, paradoxes
tend not to end, to be indeterminate in both form and
“message.” We do not know, for instance, whether
Panurge does or doesn't marry—the subject is simply
left unsettled, though we witness Panurge in other
activities later in the book. Folly backs away from her
conclusions about folly and in her last words denies
the continuity of human culture which her oration has
relied on throughout—“I hate a man that remembers,”
even what she has said in her encomium: self-denial,
self-cancellation. At the end of the Apologie, Mon-
taigne turns from nescience to fideism, a topic formally
unprepared for throughout the essay; and so he ends,
with the God whom he has not elsewhere invoked in
the essay.

A remarkably paradoxical work, Robert Burton's
Anatomy of Melancholy, may serve to illustrate some
of the workings of the paradoxical method. To begin
with, a total assertion is made, such as those of Lando's
Paradossi—“It is better to live in a cottage than in
a great palace”; “It is better to have no servants than
a great retinue.” Or Folly: “All men are foolish”; or
Montaigne: “Man can know nothing.” Burton: “All
men are melancholy,” and he shows how anything can
cause melancholy and anything (or nothing) can cure
it. He stresses the contradictions in the disease, since
all men, whatever their natures and qualities, are mel-
ancholy, all possible types of behavior are merely
symptoms of melancholy. Burton offers many “cures”
for the condition—but the cures he gives us cancel each
other out, and anyway are all too often identical with


the causes of melancholy. Within his huge book, as
encyclopedic as its title suggests, he has many passages,
some very long, on standard paradoxical topics—exile,
imprisonment, virginity, nescience, self-love, suicide.
He wrote a systematic utopia into his book, and used
many tricks of self-reference, to himself and to his
book. The Anatomy ends inconclusively, though it ends
as it began, exhorting the melancholy man to be
thankful for whatever respite from melancholy he can
find—in this case, by a fine self-reference, having been
so long busy with Burton's book. The Anatomy is,
further, an argument for the vanity of the arts and the
sciences, a highly learned book, chock-a-block with
quotations from authors of every sort, a book which
nonetheless rejects the comforts and remedies offered
by those authors. Finally, it is a paradox concealed (or
not so concealed): by seeming to assert the preeminence
of melancholy, Burton calls into question the whole
humoral psychology, shows its conceptual bankruptcy,
and turns away from his subject without offering any
new solution to the cosmic problem. Burton's massive
book is, besides much else, an indeterminate exercise
in received opinions, mocked by their methodical
juxtaposition designed to show their inadequacies. It
is, then, as paradoxes should be, an epistemological
study, an examination of the nature of human thought
by means of human thought, a knowing consideration
of human knowledge which shows how powerful is
human unknowing.


B. Bolzano, Paradoxieri der Undendlichen (Leipzig, 1851),
trans. as Paradoxes of the Infinite (London, 1950). Theodore
C. Burgess, Epideictic Literature (Chicago, 1902). Greta
Calman, “The Picture of Nobody,” Journal of the Warburg
and Courtauld Institutes,
23 (1960), 60-104. Rosalie L. Colie,
Paradoxia Epidemica: The Renaissance Tradition of Paradox
(Princeton, 1966). Augustus De Morgan, A Budget of Para-
(London, 1872). Sister M. Geraldine, C.S.J., “Erasmus
and the Tradition of Paradox,” Studies in Philology, 61
(1964), 41-63. E. H. Gombrich, Art and Illusion (London
and New York, 1960). Walter Kaiser, Praisers of Folly
(Cambridge, Mass., 1963). William and Martha Kneale, The
Development of Logic
(Oxford, 1962). Alexandre Koyré,
Epiménide le menteur (Paris, 1946). A. E. Malloch, “The
Technique and Function of the Renaissance Paradox,”
Studies in Philology, 52 (1956), 191-203. Henry Knight
Miller, “The Paradoxical Encomium...,” Modern Phil-
53 (1956), 145-78. Karl Popper, “Self-Reference and
Meaning in Ordinary Language,” in Conjectures and
(London, 1965). W. V. Quine, “Paradox,” Scien-
tific American
(April 1962), 84-96. Warner G. Rice, “The
Paradossi of Ortensio Lando,” Michigan Essays in Compar-
ative Literature,
8 (1932), 59-74. Alexander Rüstow, Der
Lügner (Leipzig, 1910). Alexander Sackton, “The Paradox-
ical Encomium in Elizabethan Drama,” University of Texas,
Studies in English, 28 (1949), 83-104.


[See also Ambiguity; Satire; Style; Wisdom of the Fool.]