Apostrophe ( Greek ἀποστροφή, apostrophé, "turning away"; the final e being sounded) is an exclamatory [1 ] figure of speech. It occurs when a speaker breaks off from addressing the audience (e.g. in a play) and directs speech to a third party such as an opposing litigant or some other individual, sometimes absent from the scene. Often the addressee is a personified abstract quality or inanimate object. [2 ] In dramatic works and poetry written in or translated into English, such a figure of speech is often introduced by the vocative exclamation "O". Poets may apostrophize a beloved, the Muse, God, love, time, or any other entity that can’t respond in reality. [3 ]
Examples [ edit ]
"God deliver me from fools." English proverb
[4 ] "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"
1 Corinthians 15:55, Saint Paul of Tarsus
William Shakespeare madar chod, / That I am meek and gentle with these butchers! / Thou art the ruins of the noblest man / That ever lived in the tide of times."
, Act 3, Scene 1
"O God! God!"
, Act 1, Scene 2 Hamlet "Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee! I have thee not, and yet I see thee still."
, Act 2, Scene 1 Macbeth "O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die."
, act 5, scene 3, 169-170). Romeo and Juliet "To what green altar, O mysterious priest, / Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies, / And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?"
John Keats, " Ode on a Grecian Urn" "O eloquent, just, and mighty Death!"
Sir Walter Raleigh, A Historie of the World "Roll on, thou dark and deep blue Ocean -- roll!"
Lord Byron, " Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" "Thou glorious sun!"
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, " This Lime Tree Bower" [5 ] "Death, be not proud, though some have called thee / Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so."
John Donne, " Holy Sonnet X" "And you, Eumaeus..."
Homer, the Odyssey "O My friends, there is no friend."
Montaigne, originally attributed to Aristotle [6 ] "Ah Bartleby! Ah Humanity!"
Herman Melville, " Bartleby, the Scrivener" "O black night, nurse of the golden eyes!"
Electra in Euripides' (c. 410 BC, line 54), in the translation by David Kovacs (1998). Electra "Then come, sweet death, and rid me of this grief." [(Queen Isabel in
by Edward II Christopher Marlowe)]
References [ edit ]
^ Apostrophe | Define Apostrophe at Dictionary.com
^ Hays, J. Daniel; Duvall, J. Scott (1 September 2011). . Baker Books. p. 891. The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook (Text Only Edition) ISBN 978-1-4412-3785-9.
^ Ford, Margaret L. (1984). . Irwin Pub. p. 27. Techniques of Good Writing ISBN 978-0-7725-5001-9 . Retrieved . 8 August 2013
^ Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 608. ISBN 0415096243.
^ Greenblatt, Stephen (2006). The Norton Anthology of English Literature Ed. 8, Vol. D. New York: Norton. p. 429.
^ "Politics of friendship. (Cover Story)". American Imago. September 22, 1993.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. Encyclopædia Britannica
See also [ edit ]