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IRREGULARITIES. Redundant object

The redundant Object. Instead of saying "I know what you are," in which the object of the verb "I know" is the clause "what you are," Shakespeare frequently introduces before the dependent clause another object, so as to make the dependent clause a mere explanation of the object.

“I know you what you are.

“I see you what you are.

“Conceal me what I am.” Ib. i. 2. 53.

“You hear the learn'd Bellario what he writes.

“We'll hear him what he says.

“To give me hearing what I shall reply.

“But wilt thou hear me how I did proceed?

“March on and mark King Richard how he looks.

; Ib. v. 4. 1.

“Sorry I am my noble cousin should
Suspect me that I mean no good to him.

“See the dew-drops, how they kiss
Every little flower that is.” B. and F. F. Sh. ii. 1.

Hence in the passive:

“The queen's in labour,
(They say in great extremity) and fear'd
She'll with the labour end,

where the active would have been "they fear the queen that she will die." For "fear" thus used, see Prepositions, 200.

So "no one asks about the dead man's knell for whom it is" becomes in the passive

“The dead man's knell
Is there scarce asked, for who,

and "about which it is a wonder how his grace should glean it" becomes

“Which is a wonder how his grace should glean it.

This idiom is of constant occurrence in Greek; but it is very natural after a verb of observation to put, first the primary object of observation, e.g. "King Richard," and then the secondary object, viz. "King Richard's looks." There is, therefore, no reason whatever for supposing that this idiom is borrowed from the Greek. After a verb of commanding the object cannot always be called redundant, as in

“(She) bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story.

i.e. "she commanded me (that) I should," &c. But it is redundant in

“The constable desires thee thou wilt mind
Thy followers of repentance.

“He wills you . . . that you divest yourself.” Ib. ii. 4. 77-8.


“Belike they had some notice of (about) the people
How I had moved them.

A somewhat different case of the redundant object is found in

“Know you not, master, to some kind of men
Their graces serve them but as enemies?
No more do yours,

where the last line means, "your graces are not more serviceable to you."

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