Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Two words connected

Shakespeare when we wrote Hamlet had frequent recourse (66 in fact) to hendiadys which is "the expression of an idea by two words connected by 'and' instead of one modifying the other". Examples such as 'law and order',house and home' are hendiadys as well as Shakespeare's own 'sound and fury' and "the book and volume of my brain".

James Shapiro in his book about Shakespeare "1599 " remarks that "when conjoined in this way the nouns begin to oscillate, seeming to qualify each other as much as the term individually modfies." They press on the audience's imagination, stretching the possible meanings and creating new connections.

I think it accounts for the discomfort and excitement that the phrase " risk and reward" provides.

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