Syncope is a literary device that may be defined because the contraction or the shortening of a word by omitting sounds, syllables or letters from the center of the phrase, along with bos’n for the word “boatswain.” Similarly, ne’er for the word “never,” and fo’c’sle’ for the word “forecastle” also are used. From these examples, syncope also can be defined as the dropping of the unstressed vowels, letters, or syllables, or dropping the consonants from the center of a word. It may be found in synchronic evaluation and diachronic analysis of languages.
Uses of Syncope
1. As a Poetic Device
Syncope is especially used in poetry, when poets desperately need to keep away from a single syllable from a word to harmonize the meter in every line. However, syncope can be found in drama and in prose as well.
2. Used in Informal Speech
Syncope is likewise used in informal speech. For instance, different sorts of colloquial contractions may also be referred to as syncope.
Examples of Syncope in Literature
Poetic contractions are often observed in English verse, from the Restoration period to the end of the 18th century. Poets and writers use syncope to supply rhetorical results in literature. Let’s test a few examples from literary texts to apprehend syncope.
Example #1: The Deserted Village (By Oliver Goldsmith)
In the 18th century, contractions have been signified typographically by means of using apostrophes, which includes in this example:
“For talking age and whisp’ring fans made!
Ill fares the land, to hast’ning ills a prey,
And his final falt’ring accents whisper’d praise.”
Example #2: The World Is Too Much with Us (By William Wordsworth)
“The road prolonged o’er the heath
Weary and bleak: no cottager had there
Won from the waste a rood of ground, no hearth
Of Traveller’s half-manner residence with its turf smoke
Scented the air through which the plover wings
His solitary flight.”
Here, Wordsworth necessarily contracts the word over into “o’er,” for the sake of rhyme, and to give the traces a colloquial feel.
Example #3: A Lover’s Complaint (By William Shakespeare)
“This said, his wat’ry eyes he did dismount,
Whose sights till then had been levell’d on my face,
Each cheek a river going for walks from a fount,
With brinish contemporary downward flowe’d a pace…”
The high-quality examples of syncope may be seen in Shakespeare’s poetry. Here, Shakespeare made use of syncope in those words: wat’ry for “watery,” levell’d for “levelled,” and flowe’d for “flowered.” The contractions have been used to keep the metrical rhythm the identical in each line.
Example #4: Cymbeline (By William Shakespeare)
“…Thou thy worldly venture hast done,
Home artwork long past and ta’en thy wages…”
Further he says,
“I could thou grew’st unto the shores o’ the haven,
And question’dst each sail: if he need to write
And no longer have it, ’twere a paper lost,
As offer’d mercy is. What turned into the closing
That he spake to thee?”
The phrases ta’en for “taken,” grew’st, question’dst, and offer’d have been used as syncope to rhyme the poem.
Function of Syncope
The syllables or letters are frequently deleted from the middle of words in speech to speed up the conversation, or to balance the rhythmical sample of the poetic verse. The reason is to create a rhetorical impact for embellishment and meter. However, in poetry and stylized prose it is commonly used to modify the word sound.
Either unmarried letters or whole syllables are eliminated from a phrase with the insertion of an apostrophe –this makes it smooth to read, and perfects the metrical rhythm. Generally, it become a fashion during the Chaucerian age, and greater so at some point of the Elizabeth age, whilst erudite people used it of their writings to embellish the piece, and to create artistic impact in the readers’ minds. However, sometimes it comes into view as a country style, and is therefore used as a literary device to distinguish simple u . S . A . folk. Some dialects and languages make extra use of syncope than others, along with the Scots.
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