previous next

PARTICIPLES AND VERBALS: Participles with nominative absolute

Participle used with a Nominative Absolute. In Anglo-Saxon a dative absolute was a common idiom. Hence, even when inflections were discarded, the idiom was retained; and indeed, in the case of pronouns, the nominative, as being the normal state of the pronoun, was preferred to its other inflections. The nominative absolute is much less common with us than in Elizabethan authors. It is often used to call attention to the object which is superfluously repeated. Thus in

The master and the boatswain,
Being awake, enforce them to this place,

there is no need of "them." So "he" is superfluous in

“Why should he then protect our sovereign,
He being of age to govern of himself?

It is common with the relative and relative adverbs.

“Then Deputy of Ireland; who remov'd,
Earl Surrey was sent thither.

“My heart,
Where the impression of mine eye infixing,
Contempt his scornful pérspective did lend me.

“Thy currish spirit
Govern'd a wolf, who hang'd for human slaughter,
Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet.

Laid nobly on her; which perform'd, the choir
Together sung 'Te Deum.'

The participle with a nominative originally intended to be absolute seems diverted into a subject in

The king . . . aiming at your interior hatred
Makes him send.

i.e. "the fact that the king guesses at your hatred makes him send."

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: