In literature, apostrophe is a determine of speech on occasion represented through an exclamation, such as “Oh.” A writer or speaker, using apostrophe, speaks at once to someone who isn't gift or is dead, or speaks to an inanimate object.
It is important not to confuse apostrophe, the literary device, with the apostrophe punctuation mark (‘). The punctuation mark shows possession, or marks the omission of 1 or greater letters (contraction). Apostrophe in literature is an arrangement of phrases addressing a non-existent person or an abstract concept in such a manner as though it have been present and capable of understanding feelings.
Examples of Apostrophe in Literature
English literature is replete with times of apostrophe. Let us have a look at some examples.
Example #1: Macbeth (By William Shakespeare)
William Shakespeare uses apostrophe in his play Macbeth:
“Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle towards my hand?
Come, let me grab thee!
I have thee no longer, and but I see thee still.”
In his mental conflict earlier than murdering King Duncan, Macbeth has a abnormal imaginative and prescient of a dagger and talks to it as though it had been a person.
Example #2: The Star (By Jane Taylor)
Jane Taylor makes use of apostrophe in the famous poem, The Star:
“Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I surprise what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.”
This poem became one of the most popular nursery rhymes informed to little children – often inside the shape of song. In this nursery rhyme, a baby speaks to a star (an inanimate object). Hence, that is a classic instance of apostrophe.
Example #3: Frankenstein (By Mary Shelly)
Look at how Mary Shelly makes use of apostrophe in her novel Frankenstein:
“Oh! Stars and clouds and winds, ye are all about to mock me; if ye definitely pity me, overwhelm sensation and memory; permit me emerge as as naught; but if not, depart, depart, and leave me in darkness.”
Talking to stars, clouds, and winds is apostrophe.
Example #4: Death Be Not Proud (By John Donne)
“Death be not proud, although a few have referred to as thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, terrible death, nor yet canst thou kill me.”
Here, Donne speaks to death, an abstract concept, as if it have been someone able to comprehending his feelings.
Example #5: The Sun Rising (By John Donne)
John Donne once extra makes use of apostrophe in his poem The Sun Rising:
“Busy vintage fool, unruly Sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and thru curtains, name on
Must to thy motions lovers’ seasons run?
Saucy pedantic wretch …”
The poet addresses the solar in an informal and colloquial manner, as if it have been a real human being. He asks the Sun in a rude manner why the Sun regarded and spoiled the coolest time he became having together with his beloved.
Example #5: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (By James Joyce)
James Joyce makes use of apostrophe in his novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man:
“Welcome, O existence! I cross to stumble upon for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge inside the smithy of my soul the uncreated moral sense of my race.”
Being able to speak to some thing abstract – like life itself – is possible most effective in literature.
Example #6: To a Stranger Born in Some Distant Country Hundreds of Years from Now (By Billy Collins)
In this excerpt, the poet uses conventional apostrophe beginning with “O”:
“O stranger of the future!
O inconceivable being!
Whatever the form of your house,
However you scoot from region to area,
No depend how atypical and colorless the clothes you can wear,
I bet nobody likes a wet canine either.
I bet every body on your pub,
Even the children, pushes her away.”
The speaker is speakme to an imaginary character, the “stranger.”
Example #7: Sire (By W. S. Merwin)
Another apostrophe instance comes from the poem Sire, written by way of W. S. Merwin:
“Forerunner, I would like to say, silent pilot,
Little dry death, future,
Your indirections are as odd to me
As my own. I know so little that anything
You may inform me might be a revelation.”
Function of Apostrophe
By using apostrophe in their literary works, writers try to carry abstract ideas or non-existent humans to life, so that the character of emotions they want to speak comes throughout in a better way. It is extra convenient for readers to narrate themselves to abstract feelings when they look at them in their natural surroundings. In addition, the use of apostrophe motivates readers to increase a perspective this is fresh, in addition to creative.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw