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The Rift in The LuteAttuning Poetry and Philosophy$
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Maximilian de Gaynesford

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198797265

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198797265.001.0001

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(p.185) 13 Phrasing
The Rift in The Lute

Maximilian de Gaynesford

Oxford University Press

One essential characteristic of the Chaucer-type is ‘Phrasing’: the first-person pronoun is concatenated with a verb of doing in the present indicative active, combined with an explicit or implicit ‘hereby’. But when Shakespeare assembles these materials, he often augments or reduces the sentential clause so that it shies away from this exact form. He does this for a variety of reasons: to express delicacy, to distance the act performed in uttering from the act performed in reflecting, to hint at an awkwardness that gives evidence of veracity, and to conceal acts that are indeed being performed. The most striking uses and effects here concern communicative strategy and its relation to action.

Keywords:   Shakespeare, sonnets, Chaucer-type, distancing, delicacy, veracity, integrity

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