Posts Tagged ‘rhyme’

roses“God is on the side of the strongest battalion,” says Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. For me, this line appealed more to my practical side than the lines from “Charge of the Light Brigade.”

And later I found out that the line was not a Margaret Mitchell original, but an allusion to Napoleon’s saying “God is on the side of the strongest battalion.” I now find out that Napoleon was actually making an allusion to Voltaire’s classic, “God is on the side of the big battalions.”

Some people eulogise the dead with Shakespeare’s “Some men are born to greatness, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” I have seen the very same words embossed on graves at St George’s Cathedral.

This is a gross misapplication of the lines from the Twelfth Night, because they were originally meant to ridicule red_rose1the pomposity of men. But my professor Mr Watson Solomon, says it ok to use it now as a tribute, because sayings tend to gain a different meaning over a period of time and one must also look at the context and the intention with which it was said.

“To be, or not to be:

that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind

to suffer The slings and arrows

of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles”

Some of the best know lines in English lit from Hamlet. My prof taught us the “law of poetic license” by showing us how this poem broke the rules of grammar; but couldn’t be so effective if it had not. He said the poem made the best use of rhythm, rhyme & alliteration. The higher law of poetic license can & must supersede the common demands of correct usage, he said.


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