27+ Apostrophe Examples, Definition and Worksheets with Punctuation Rules | Examples

 

example of apostrophe in literature

In poetry, an apostrophe is a figure of speech in which the poet addresses an absent person, an abstract idea, or a thing. Apostrophes are found throughout poetry, but they’re less common since the early 20th century. Poets may apostrophize a beloved, the Muse, God, love, time, or any other entity that can’t respond in reality. May 20,  · Importance of Apostrophe in Poetry, Prose, and Song. Just as in poetry, the literary device comes up in song often, such as any time that the words are directed to someone not able to hear. Or in addressing the inanimate. In the smash #1 hit by the doo-wop group the Marcels from , the "Blue Moon" is addressed: "Blue moon. Apostrophe - when a character in a literary work speaks to an object, an idea, or someone who doesn't exist as if it is a living person. This is done to produce dramatic effect and to show the importance of the object or idea. Examples of Apostrophe: 1. Oh, rose, how sweet you smell and how bright you look!


Apostrophe Examples and Definition - Literary Devices


Apostrophe is a figure of speech in which a speaker directly addresses someone or something that is not present or cannot respond in example of apostrophe in literature. The entity being addressed can be an absent, dead, or imaginary person, but it can also be an inanimate object like stars or the oceanan abstract idea like love or fateor a being such as a Muse or god.

Apostrophe often involves the speaker or writer addressing an inanimate object or abstract idea. In doing so, the speaker or writer will often impart to the object human characteristics. The object, in other words, gets personified.

Take these two lines from William Wordsworth's "Prelude":. Here, in addition to performing an apostrophe in which the speaker addresses the cliffs and islands, Wordsworth personifies those cliffs and islands by imagining them as capable of knowing someone. However, though apostrophe often involves personification of inanimate objects or abstract ideas, it certainly doesn't always.

For instance, in the example below from the end of James Joyce's novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young ManJoyce has his main character Stephen Dedalus address "Life," but without ascribing any human example of apostrophe in literature to it:. So be it. Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.

Here Example of apostrophe in literature simply addresses life as it is, as something to be experienced, and not as something that itself has experiences, or feelings, or acts in any other way like a human. It's worth knowing that there is some debate among scholars about exactly what does and doesn't count as apostrophe.

These debates, like lots of scholarly debates, can be a bit technical. But knowing the basics of the debates can help you understand apostrophe, and can also help you understand why some definitions of apostrophe on the Internet seem to define it in different ways. Though everyone agrees that apostrophe is a form of address to a silent listener, some scholars insist that apostrophe must involve what they call an "aversion," a turning away from an original audience to then address the subject of the apostrophe.

This way of thinking about apostrophe is based in theater, where a character onstage would literally turn away from the other characters when issuing an apostrophe. For example, in the induction of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrewthe Lord is speaking to his huntsmen then suddenly he breaks off to exclaim:.

Most scholars, though, define apostrophe more broadly as being any "exclamation," or impassioned outcry, in which a speaker directly addresses an absent or silent object directly. For instance, example of apostrophe in literature, many poems that address people or inanimate objects begin and end with their subject—they don't turn to their subject from something else, because they only ever address that one subject.

There is also some debate about whether all direct addresses from a writer to example of apostrophe in literature writer's audience, sometimes known as "authorial intrusion," counts as a form of apostrophe. For instance, the novel Jane Eyre famously ends with a line in which Jane, who has narrated the entire story, suddenly directly addresses her audience to say: "Reader, I married him. However, while the speaker Jane is here breaking off from her narration to directly address the reader, most scholars agree that this sort of authorial intrusion is not apostrophe.

The reason is that apostrophe does not only address itself to a silent or absent entity—it must address a specific entity. Beaudelaire's poem "To The Reader" may therefore be considered an example of apostrophe, because Beaudelaire describes the reader and makes him come to life, addressing him directly at the end:. There's one more damned than all. He never gambols, Nor crawls, nor roars, but, from the rest withdrawn, Gladly of this whole earth would make a shambles And swallow up existence with a yawn He smokes his hookah, while he dreams Of gibbets, weeping tears he cannot smother.

You know this dainty monster, too, it seems — Hypocrite reader! A number of poetic forms are closely associated with apostrophes, such that these sorts of poems, more often than not, contain apostrophe.

Elegy and ode example of apostrophe in literature, two common poetic forms both make frequent use of apostrophe. An elegy, a poem written to commemorate a person who has died, sometimes addresses that person directly, or laments the death to other people, to nature, or to god. In "Elegy for Jane," Roethke addresses Jane directly in the last stanza:. An ode, like an elegy, usually praises and describes its subject, as in Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale," in which he addresses his subject directly, from his opening line:.

In addition, poems that contain an envoia short concluding stanza found particularly in ballades and sestinasoften contain apostrophe. The envoi regularly though certainly not always serves as a dedication to a patron, example of apostrophe in literature, beloved, or muse, and these dedications often take the example of apostrophe in literature of an apostrophe.

Apostrophe is found throughout literature: it appears in poetry, prose, example of apostrophe in literature, and drama, and across all eras from ancient Greek epic poetry through modern times.

One of the earliest and most famous examples of apostrophe in literature comes from Homer, who begins both The Iliad and The Odyssey with an invocation of the Muse.

The Odyssey begins with the following lines, which ask the Muse, a goddess of the arts, to help the author in his work:. Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending, the wanderer, harried for years on end, after he plundered the stronghold on the proud height of Troy, example of apostrophe in literature.

Apostrophe pops up all over the place in Shakespeare, as his characters often example of apostrophe in literature abstract ideas or inanimate objects while onstage.

In Macbethwhile Macbeth is struggling with whether to follow through with a planned murder, he sees an apparition of a dagger and addresses it:. Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee. I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible To feeling as to sight? The works of Romantic poets of the nineteenth century, who were steeped in Greek poetry and myth, are also filled with apostrophe.

Several of John Keats' odes, in particular, example of apostrophe in literature their subjects directly. In "Ode on a Grecian Urn," Keats speaks to a beautiful ancient vase, addressing it as a bride, a child, example of apostrophe in literature a historian, example of apostrophe in literature, and also as a kind of Muse, who, if it could speak, would write more eloquently than Keats himself:.

Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness, Thou foster-child of silence and slow time, Sylvan historian, who canst thus express A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme. The modernist writer Virginia Woolf, who wrote in the early 20th century, also regularly used apostrophe in as part of the "stream of consciousness" that she often created for her characters. Here, in Woolf's The Waves, one character, Rhoda, cries out in anger to "human beings":. What dissolution of the soul you demanded in order to get through one day, what lies, bowings, scrapings, fluency and servility!

How you chained me to one spot, one hour, one chair, and sat yourselves down opposite! Many different genres of music make use of apostrophe, as it creates a direct emotional attachment between the singer and his or her subject. Walter, remember when the world was young and all the girls knew Walter's name? Walter, isn't it a shame the way our little world has changed.

Do you remember Walter playing cricket in the thunder and the rain? Do you remember Walter smoking cigarettes behind your garden gate? Yes, Walter was my mate. But Walter, my old friend, where are you now? I saw your son today, he look just like you You was the greatest, you'll always be the greatest I miss you B. G Can't wait til that day, when I see your face again. In an old Scottish folk song whose lyrics were composed by Robert Burns, the speaker addresses a river called Doon:.

Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon How ye can bloom so fresh and fair How can ye chant ye little birds And I sae weary fu' o' care. Here the punk band Blink sings to a girl, who seems to be more of a fantasy girl than a real person, and whom they call Princess Leia:. Princess Leia, where are you tonight? And who's laying there by your side? Every night I fall asleep with you And I wake up alone.

Apostrophe is used primarily to express strong emotion like love, hate, fear, or angerbut it allows the speaker or writer to do so by directly addressing the subject of their thoughts or feelings, which makes the expression less abstract. Speakers or characters may use apostrophe to make an impassioned plea or prayer, to celebrate a happy occasion, or to lament a loss. The device creates a heightened emotional atmosphere in a literary work, often forming a peak in a given scene.

Apostrophe can also serve a similar purpose as monologue or soliloquywhich gives deeper insight into a character's thoughts and feelings, example of apostrophe in literature, and can also reveal a character's inner conflict.

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LitCharts Teacher Editions. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of every Shakespeare play. LitCharts From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. Download this entire guide PDF. Apostrophe Definition What is apostrophe? Some additional key details about apostrophe: Apostrophe, example of apostrophe in literature, the figure of speech, should not be confused with apostrophe, example of apostrophe in literature, the punctuation mark.

The word "apostrophe," which comes from ancient Greek, literally means "turning away," because to perform apostrophe on stage, an actor turns away from the scene to address an absent entity.

Apostrophe always addresses its object in the second person. Sometimes this address involves the word "you" or the more formal "thou, example of apostrophe in literature.

Ah, humanity! For instance, in the example below from the end of James Joyce's novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young ManJoyce has his main character Stephen Dedalus address "Life," but without ascribing any human qualities to it: Amen.

Scholarly Debates About Apostrophe It's worth knowing that there is some debate example of apostrophe in literature scholars about exactly what does and doesn't count as apostrophe. Apostrophe and "Aversion" Though everyone agrees that apostrophe is a form of address to a silent listener, some scholars insist that apostrophe must involve what they call an "aversion," a turning away from an original example of apostrophe in literature to then address the subject of the apostrophe.

For example, in the induction of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrewthe Lord example of apostrophe in literature speaking to his huntsmen then suddenly he breaks off to exclaim: "Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image! Authorial Intrusion vs. Apostrophe There is also some debate about whether all direct addresses from a writer to that writer's audience, sometimes known as "authorial intrusion," counts as a form of apostrophe.

Beaudelaire's poem "To The Reader" may therefore be considered an example of apostrophe, because Beaudelaire describes the reader and makes him come to life, addressing him directly at the end: There's one more damned than all, example of apostrophe in literature.

Apostrophe in Elegies, Odes, and Other Poetic Forms A number of poetic forms are closely associated with apostrophes, such that these sorts of poems, more often than not, contain apostrophe.

 

Apostrophe Examples

 

example of apostrophe in literature

 

In poetry, an apostrophe is a figure of speech in which the poet addresses an absent person, an abstract idea, or a thing. Apostrophes are found throughout poetry, but they’re less common since the early 20th century. Poets may apostrophize a beloved, the Muse, God, love, time, or any other entity that can’t respond in reality. Oct 25,  · Another example of an apostrophe in poetry is in a poem by John Donne called 'Death Be Not Proud,' in which the entire poem is addressed to . Apostrophe - when a character in a literary work speaks to an object, an idea, or someone who doesn't exist as if it is a living person. This is done to produce dramatic effect and to show the importance of the object or idea. Examples of Apostrophe: 1. Oh, rose, how sweet you smell and how bright you look!