Erasmus Exercise: Explained

In 1512, the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) published De Copia (meaning “on command of language” or “richness of expression”).  Erasmus’s book was one of the most influential rhetoric texts of the European Renaissance. One exercise in De Copia directs students to compose several hundred variations of one sentence.  This exercise has three purposes: (1)   …

Sentence Components: Periodic & Cumulative Sentence, Absolute Phrase

USE A PERIODIC SENTENCE In a periodic sentence, descriptive elements (or details) introduce the sentence, pushing the complete thought to the end of the sentence. This pattern proves quite effective for emphasis or suspense because the most emphatic point of a sentence is the end.  Periodic sentences are usually long, complex sentences, the independent clause…

Conflict in Shakespeare’s Hamlet & A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Shakespeare’s plays, Hamlet (1603) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1600), explore the theme of conflict and its repercussions, each play highlighting different aspects of the theme due to differences in genre and subject. Conflict, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is “a serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one”, and would therefore seem to…