Prosody

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Litencyc Editors (Independent Scholar - Europe)
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  • The Literary Encyclopedia. WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.

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Prosody is the music of speech, a set of signifying systems that causes syllables to differ in pitch, duration and perceived prominence. Prosodic variation, particularly in tempo, is an important device in poetry and prose: consider, for example, the way the following persuasion to suicide from Spenser’s

Faerie Queene

achieves its hypnotic lulling rhythms partly through the insistent repetition of a small set of long vowels (particularly ee, o(r) and ay:

Is not short pain well borne, that brings long ease, And lays the soul to sleep in quiet grave,Sleep after toil, port after stormy seas, Ease after war , death after life does greatly please. (1.9.40.5-9)

Is not short pain well borne, that brings long ease, And lays the soul to sleep in quiet grave,Sleep after toil, port…

1152 words

Citation: Editors, Litencyc. "Prosody". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 January 2005 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=905, accessed 26 May 2024.]

905 Prosody 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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