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Strengths and Limitations of Two Different Kinds of Biography - Essay Example

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Strengths and Limitations of Two Different Kinds of Biography

The greatest strengths of both works is that the biographers eminently achieve their goals.
Southey's eulogy is an artistic success because it never descends into the depths of hagiography. As a "faithful historian" the biographer feels "called upon to pronounce a severe and unqualified condemnation of Nelson's conduct, in " the only blot upon his public character"-his "infatuated attachment" to Lady Hamilton and his summary denial of justice to Prince Francesco Caraccioli, under the influence of that "baneful passion." [He doesn't let the admiration for his subject deter him from pronouncing a "severe and unqualified condemnation" of Nelson's infatuated attachment to Lady Hamilton.] This fairness, regarding a fact in the public domain, actually assists in the fulfillment of Southey's aim of fashioning the eulogy. So there is little [no] reason to question the truth of the narrative, which is to [cause] evoke public admiration and praise of England's national hero. True, some episodes have been considered exaggerated (notably, the encounter with the polar bear), but Nelson's prestige is still strong even in the twenty-first century. {Clarity and Focus: But the narrative has been questions. ...Show more


Southey's Life of Nelson and Strachey's portrait of Dr Arnold are manifestly two different kinds of biography. Southey wished[s] to produce the 'eulogy' of a great national hero as a manual for the young sailor(and every patriotic or adventurous person) to treasure up "in his memory and in his heart" and he hoped to achieve this through a faithful account of Nelson's 'actions.' [ as a training manual for young sailors {Thesis: this is much too narrow an audience…
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Strengths and Limitations of Two Different Kinds of Biography essay example
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