Article published in:Linguistics and Literary History: In honour of Sylvia Adamson
Edited by Anita Auer, Victorina González-Díaz, Jane Hodson and Violeta Sotirova
[Linguistic Approaches to Literature 25] 2016
► pp. 87–110
Chapter 5. Decoding the parentheses in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus
A functionalist approach
Though it has been pointed out that Shakespeare uses the figure parenthesis “extensively, especially in his later plays” (Joseph 1947: 57), it has been more often marginalized, if not totally neglected. The present paper contends that parenthesis contributes greatly to characterization and the development of conflicts in dramatic texts. Through a detailed analysis of its use in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, this paper attempts to illustrate the significance of parenthesis. At the rhetorical level, parenthesis may have the dual functions of varying and amplifying as differentiated by Adamson (1999). For example, a parenthesis may take the form of a noun phrase in apposition to its antecedent as a way of varying and it may take the form of a non-restrictive relative clause as a way of amplifying, and therefore helps achieve diverse rhetorical effects and convey rich rhetorical meanings. For this reason, a functional study of the subjective and interpersonal function of parentheses can provide clues to a deeper understanding of speaker-hearer relationship, hence of overall dramatic characterization and conflict management.
Published online: 20 October 2016
Evans, G. Blakemore & Tobin, J.J.M.
Greenblatt, S., Cohen, W., Howard, J.E. & Maus, K.E.
Joseph, Sister M.
Cited by 1 other publications
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