"For never are the ways of music moved without the greatest political laws being moved."Whitman's "Song of Myself" and Ginsberg's "Howl" both contain the description of a voluntary self-sacrifice, symbolically committed by the poets themselves. In this article, we propose to study these sacrificial representations, and the mechanism underlying them, in the light of René Girard's scapegoat theory, in order to show the function that these sacrifices play in society. The analysis is also based on formal considerations, especially the use these two poets make of the long free verse, also called "verset."1The theme of sacrifice and the identification of the poets with Christ have already been analyzed, but never...
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