same artful contrast of poly�syllabi

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					survived. On the whole the native vocabulary had conserved best the basic non-

abstract terms and hence turned now to an alien treasury for the needed terminology of

The loans were conspicuous!for anotherIreason besides their length. They still
preserved the French accentuation on the last syllable, in direct opposition to the
English tendency to throw accents forward. Even when this English tendency began to
affect the French importations, a strong secondary stress was retained on the last The
struggle between French and English tendencies in accentuation produced a wave-like
rise and fall of stress which added even more dignity, it may well be, to the physical
impressiveness of the words. The alternation of strongly stressed root syllables in
native English, followed by the shrinking unstressed endings, was already contributing
to the same effect. Out of these divergent sources came the iambic-trochaic
movements of English which Chaucer used so brilliantly in his narrative verse.

                 THECOMBINED                       VOCABULARY                       IN

       And Chaucer illustrates, too, the aesthetic uses
  to be made of the new polyglot vocabulary. No one
  knew better than he how to juxtapose, contrast, or
  temporarily isolate the dual elements of fourteenth-
  century English. In this respect he may be compared
  to his own advantage with many modern poets. At
  one time Chaucer permits the full grandeur of the
  French polysyllables to roll out:

                                  For of
                     The worste
                     kynde of
                     infortune is
                     this: A man
                     to han been
                     And it
                     when it
                     passed is.
                                         (Troilus and
                                         Cressida, III,
                                         1. 1625 ff.)

This poignant comment on human felicity,
paraphrased from Dante, gains in dignity from the
use of the italicized Romance words. At the same
time, the last line has a simplicity of everyday
speech, the more effective by contrast; and the
delayed verb in the archaic Old English style gives it
a falling cadence which heightens the wistfulness.
The same artful contrast of polysyllabic dignity and
native simplicity is found in many other Chaucerian
passages. In the ballade called "Fortune" he begins

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