Download e-book for iPad: An Introduction to the Language of Literature by N. F. Blake (auth.)

By N. F. Blake (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0333454111

ISBN-13: 9780333454114

ISBN-10: 134921101X

ISBN-13: 9781349211012

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This nature we may now consider against the examples in Shakespeare's Sonnet 129. The opening sentence has as its first subject TH'expence of Spirit in a waste of shame, in which expence is the head and of Spirit in a waste of shame are two qualifiers which refer to it. But the second qualifier in a waste of shame really refers to the whole of the preceding part of the group, expence of Spirit. The complement of the first clause in this sentence is lust in action, which is formed in the same way as the subject in that it consists of a noun group which has a head and a qualifier.

This has the rather than a as its determiner, but it has a modifier, single head, and a qualifier which is made up of a prepositional phrase which contains in its turn a single modifier and head. The similarity in structure of these noun phrases is significant, because they provide one of the means by which the long qualifier is made to cohere together as a single unit and because they also provide some of the rhythmical patterning. In poetry it is possible for a noun group or phrase to occupy half of a line of verse (either before or after the caesura), and this is one of the means used by poets to achieve metrical harmony.

This type of parallelism can be illustrated very easily with examples from the passage in A Tale of a Tub. The 34 AN INTRODUCTION TO THE LANGUAGE OF LITERATURE last two units in that long qualifier end like this, and I have put them under one another to make the similar structure clear: with the lowest and most resigned submission in this polite and most accomplished age. Each of these phrases starts with a preposition. This is followed by two modifiers linked together by and: the second modifier is in each case preceded by the intensifier most.

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An Introduction to the Language of Literature by N. F. Blake (auth.)


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