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8/24/2018

A short note on Apostrophe.

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Apostrophe is an address to someone absent or something abstract as if the person or the thing were present. It is often introduced by the exclamation “O”. Shelley makes use of apostrophe in “Ode to the West Wind” at least seven times. Here is one of them:

“O Wind,
If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”

Pope also uses apostrophe many times in “The Rape of the Lock”. Here is one:

“O wretched maid! She spreads her hands , and cried”

Here the maid who helped Belinda in her preparation for the day has been addressed. The maid is absent at the place where Belinda wails for the loss of one of her locks.

Here is an example from Keats’s “To Autumn”:
“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun”

Here the speaker addresses the personified “Autumn” throughout the poem. It is an example of expanded apostrophe.

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