The prose style of Eagleton

Question: Discuss Eagleton’s prose style.


The style is not mere decoration. It is rather a way of searching and explaining the truth. Its purpose is not to impress, but to express. Since Terry Eagleton is the most renowned critic of modern English literature, his critical writing has a number of prominent features.

Dialectical style

One of the key features of Eagleton’s critical prose is the brilliant inverse logical style. He intelligently considers social and cultural conflicts and raises the opposing arguments so strongly in the conflict that they burst and suddenly some unexpected insight or vision is revealed.

Lightening opacity

Absolute ambiguity is one of the most permanent and attractive qualities in Terry Eagleton’s writings. It has helped him to be one of the most colorful and controversial figures in cultural politics today. So, Eagleton’s style is unclear due to the riddle of the question. But whenever questions are solved, his idea shines. His “The Rise of English” is the paradigm of sheer audacity.

Click here: For all the notes of Literary Criticism

Historical references

Eagleton is an outspoken critic of his generation. His best-selling publication “Literary Theory: An Introduction” published in 1983 reflects the breadth of his theory of knowledge. In this book the second chapter entitled “The Rise of English” contains many historical references of literature.


Most of the reversal comments in “The Rise of English” are humorous. In this work, Eagleton offers scathing assessments of various currents of criticism. While discussing the concept of value-judgment, he notes:

 “Nobody would bother to say that a bus ticket was an example of inferior literature, but someone might well say that the poetry of Ernest Dowson was”.

The satirical reversal in an argument

Another technique often employed by Eagleton is the Swift-like satirical reversal in an argument.

Tiresome extent

Pointless is not the staple of Eagleton’s prose. In fact, his style is clearer than most of the formal methods. But long stretches of text can be tiring. In spite of the tedious limitations, there is something different in his prose that can regenerate the text and the readers separately independent, it means that his criticism works like a catalyst.


Thus, writing in a style is accessible. Eagleton has specifically argued in the field of literary theory. His rhetorical skills are perhaps unequaled by contemporary critics. These are something that many critical theorists could benefit from studying.

Ruhul Huda
Ruhul Huda

You can call me Mr. Huda. I am a researcher and doing this work for years. I like to learn everywhere. So, feel free to share your experience with me.

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