'Death of the Author

864 WordsAug 15, 20114 Pages
‘Death of the Author’ Analysis Roland Barthes is a French literary philosopher born in 1915. In one of his theories ‘Death of the author’ he argues that by “giving a text an author is to impose a limit on that text”. He claims that having knowledge of the author’s background and purpose for the text restricts the readers imaginative license to build their own interpretations, and that the author and text are completely unrelated. Barthes declares, "The death of the author is the birth of the reader." Instead, he calls the author a ‘scriptor’, to draw away from the thinking that the author and his/her single experience is in control over the text. In this way, he makes a point that no writing is original, and is created based on the…show more content…
Barthes statement would be invalid for autobiographical writing, where the authors are one with the text, as they are writing about themselves. In poetry, the author is a significant part of the poem as most poetry is a reflection of the poets' experiences through the use of metaphors and other poetic devices. To ignore this is to diffuse a poem of its deeper meaning and connections. We can use 'Full Moon and Little Frieda' by Ted Hughes to argue against Barthes theory. Hughes wrote this poem about his daughter Frieda’s fascination with nature. The poem frames a specific scene somewhere in the country: A cool small evening shrunk to a dog bark and the clank of a bucket – 
 And you listening. 
 A spider's web, tense for the dew's touch. 
A pail lifted, still and brimming – mirror 
To tempt a first star to a tremor. 

 Cows are going home in the lane there, looping the hedges with their warm wreaths of breath - 
 A dark river of blood, many boulders, 
Balancing unspilled milk. 
 'Moon!' you cry suddenly, 'Moon! Moon!' 

 The moon has stepped back like an artist gazing amazed at a work That points at him amazed. The poem is fairly vague in terms of setting, and without knowledge of the author one would not know that Ted Hughes, his wife and two children (one named Frieda) moved to a cottage in Devon. It was there when he wrote Full Moon and Little Frieda after his wife Sylvia Plath committed
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