Rhyme's Reason: A Guide to English Verse - Repetitive Structures, Comical Schemes and Rhetorical Schemes Summary & Analysis

John Hollander
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Repetitive Structures, Comical Schemes and Rhetorical Schemes Summary and Analysis

Hollander next turns to repetitive structures. One early repetitive structure is the English carol, which was sung by an individual with dancers who moved around him and responded to each verse with a repeated refrain. Sometimes the refrains were complete verses, sometimes nonsense refrains like "fa-la-la-la-la."

Repetition of words or lines can reduce their importance, Hollander explains, particularly if they are expected or ordinary. However if the verses change the context surrounding the repeated portions, then repetition can make them more important.

Hollander describes two verse structures that make use of repetition. First is the villanelle, a medieval form originating in Provence. The villanelle is made up of six stanzas, with the first five having three lines with a rhyme scheme of aba and the last stanza of four...

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This section contains 571 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Rhyme's Reason: A Guide to English Verse Study Guide
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