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o tell me, were you standing by when isis to osirisknelt?

and did you watch the egyptian melt her union forantony?

and drink the jewel-drunken wine and bend her head in mimic awe

to see the huge proconsul draw the salted tunny from the brine?

and did you mark the cyprian kiss white adon on his catafalque ?

and did you follow amenalk, the god of heliopolis ?

and did you talk with thoth, and did you hear the moon-horned io weep?

and know the painted kings who sleep beneath the wedge-shaped pyramid ?

These questions and apostrophes serve two principal purposes. On one level, they deliver the poem's speaker over completely to thetask of "imagining" the sphinx; and so they very quickly become more fanciful, baroque, and more fully eroticized, like those driving Swinburne’s poem“Faustine” (which consciously or unconsciously Wilde’s lines recall). As a result, the sphinx itself—like the implied addressees of such “dramatic”monologues as Tennyson’s “Locksley Hall” or “St. Simeon Stylites”—quickly disappears from view, and the poem gives itself up to a purely imaginativeexcursion. On this level, the poem is technically what Tennyson would call a monodrama, and the sphinx itself is merely the catalyst or spark that ignites the speaker's excessive imagination.Consequently, our immediate impulse is to focus critically not on what the sphinx actually is (a question the poem does not answer), but on the dreamlike effects produced “in” the poem's speakerby his confrontation with it. As Regenia Gagnier has observed, at this level the poem is finally a poem of (auto)seduction, ripe for psychoanalysis: "The poem isa poem of excess in the sense that the object of desire is technically absent; the desire compulsively flows from the subject's brain. But the consummatemastery, the style , of having the shy beloved seduce himself must be admired" (Gagnier, 45).

But this is not the only level on which the speaker's mad interrogation of the sphinx can be understood. For Wilde’s speakerpossesses a neophyte’s pretensions to scholarship, and he lives, metaphorically at least, in an ivory tower, as the lines “ dawn shivers round the grey gilt-dialled towers, and the rain/ streams down each diamonded pane ” would seem toindicate. His obsessive questioning of the Sphinx is driven at bottom, then, by an archaeological and historicist impulse, centered on the problem of definingjust what an accurate knowledge of the sphinx might consist of. Insofar as the sphinx exists simply as an object or relic, “ beautiful and silent… somnolent… statuesque, ” its existence constitutes an unbearable enigma to his neophytescholar’s imagination; and his questions are, in one sense at least, historicist attempts to “know” the sphinx using the language of philology and myth,especially insofar as this approach had become a critical reflex among students of archaeology in the nineteenth century.

Like the neophytes at the beginning of Wilde’s play Salome , then, the speaker of The Sphinx poses a series of increasingly monstrous interpretive questions only to find that, no matter how urgently they are posed,those questions remain unanswered:

Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
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Source:  OpenStax, The sphinx. OpenStax CNX. Apr 11, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11196/1.2
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