previous next


Verses with four accents change of thought  

Lines with four accents where there is a change of thought are not uncommon. In some cases the line is divided into two of two accents each, or into one line of three accents, and another of one.

(1) Change of thought from the present to the future: “Háply | you sháll | not sée | me móre; | or íf,
A máng | led shádow. | ' | Perchánce | to-mórrow
You'll serve | anóther | máster.” A. and C. iv. 1. 28. “I'll sénd | her stráight | awáy. | ' | To-mórrow
I'll' to | the wárs: | shé to | her síng | le sórrow.” A. W. ii. 3. 313. “Fresh kíngs | are cóme | to Tróy. | ' | To-mórrow
We múst | with áll | our máin | of pówer | stand fást.” Tr. and Cr. ii. 2. 272.

(2) From a statement to an appeal, or vice versâ: “You háve | not sóught it. | ' | How cómes | it thén?” 1 Hen. IV. v. 1. 27. Unless "comes" is "cometh." See 506 at end. “Lórd of | his réason. | ' | Whát though | you fléd?” A. and C. iii. 13. 4. (I do not remember an instance of "ré | asón." See, however, 479.)

Perhaps “Come híth | er, cóunt. | ' | Do you (d' you) knów |
these wómen?” A. W. v. 3. 165. But possibly:

Come híth | er, cóu | nt (486). Dó | you knów | these women?
But stáy. | Here cómes (Fol.) | the gár | denérs.” Rich. II. iii. 4. 24. ("gárdeners" may have but one accent.) “Néver | belíeve | me.' | Bóth are | my kínsmen.” Ib. ii. 2. 111.

The pause may account for “As hé | would dráw it. | ' | Long stáy'd | he só.” Hamlet, ii. 1. 91. (As ed is pronounced after i and u, so it might be after y in "stáyed," but the effect would be painful.)

Which hás | no néed | of yóu. Begóne,
is the best way of arranging A. and C. iii. 11. 10. “And léave | eightéen. | ' | Alás, poor | príncess.” A. and C. ii. 1. 61. “A prínc | e's cóurage. | ' | Awáy, | I príthee.” Cymb. iii. 4. 187.Lét us | withdráw. | ' | 'Twill bé | a stórm.” Lear, ii. 4. 290.

(3) Hence after vocatives: “Títus, | ' | I (am)'m cóme | to tálk | with thée.” T. A. v. 2. 16.Géntle | men, ' | impórt | une mé | no fúrther.” T. of Sh. i. 1. 48.Géntle | men, ' | that I' | may sóon | make góod.” Ib. 74.Géntle | men, ' | contént | ye, 'I'm | resólved.” Ib. 90.Géntle | men, ' | wíll you | go mús | ter mén?” Rich. II. ii. 2. 108.Géntle | men, ' | go mús | ter úp | your mén.” Rich. II. ii. 2. 118 “Good Már | garét. | Rún | thee tó | the párlour.” M. Ado, iii. 1. 1.

Either a pause may explain “But téll | me, ' | is yóung | Géorge Stán | ley líving?” Rich. III. v. 5. 9. or "George" (485) may be a quasi-dissyllable.

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: