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figurative and literal language

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  • nancy mayer
    On another list we were discussing figurative and literal uses of words. One of the words being literally. Some offered proof that literally can mean
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 1, 2006
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      On another list we were discussing figurative and literal uses of
      words. One of the words being literally. Some offered "proof" that
      "literally" can mean "figuratively"
      Most confusing. Anyway, one member sent this verse of Byron's to the
      list as an example of the many ways in which one can interpret the same
      word. That member also used this stanza as "proof" that Byron wasn't a
      good a poet as Shelley. Of course that is like comparing apples and
      oranges. I think this stanza shows us Byron playing with words. Those
      who like words will appreciate it.
      N

      > Canto I, cviii
      >
      >When people say, "I've told you *fifty* times,"
      > They mean to scold, and very often do;
      >When poets say, "I've written *fifty* rhymes,"
      > They make you dread that they'll recite them too;
      >In gangs of *fifty*, thieves commit their crimes;
      > At *fifty*, love for love is rare, 'tis true,
      >But then, no doubt, it equally as true is,
      >A good deal may be bought for *fifty* louis.
      >



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    • nancy mayer
      The lady Adeline Amundeville-- Norman lineage, money, and beauty. No gentleman under 30 should ever find a woman plain. Then after the hot lusts of youth cool
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 1, 2006
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        The lady Adeline Amundeville-- Norman lineage, money, and beauty.
        No gentleman under 30 should ever find a woman plain. Then after the
        hot lusts of youth cool off, one can be more dispassionate about females.
        After 30 men have other interests to take the place of the unending
        pursuit of females.
        "The joys of mutual hate to keep them warm,
        Instead of Love, that mere hallucination?
        Now hatred is by far the longest pleasure;
        Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure."

        I should be very willing to redress
        Men's wrongs, and rather check than punish crimes,
        had not Cervantes in that too true tale
        Of Quixote, shown how such efforts fail.
        Of all the tales 'tis the saddest-- and more sad,
        Because it makes us smile: his hero's right,
        And still pursues the right; -- to curb the bad
        His only object. and 'gainst odds to fight."



        I think that Byron shows his strong Romantic inclination in the next lines:

        "Redressing injury, revenging wrong,
        To aid the damsel and destroy the caitiff,
        Opposing singly the united strong,
        From foreign yoke to free the hapless native,--"

        ---

        ...




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      • nancy mayer
        Sweet Adeline was the Queen bee of society. She was faithful to her husband to the despair of all those who would have loved to have led her astray. They were
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 1, 2006
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          Sweet Adeline was the Queen bee of society. She was faithful to her
          husband to the despair of all those who would have loved to have led her
          astray.
          They were each secure= she in her virtue her husband in his hauteur.
          Does this not remind you of the fair Julia of the early cantos?

          They crossed paths with Juan and some how became what they were
          pleased to call "friends,"
          Like the Kings of the Medes and Persians once Lord Henry made a
          decision he never retracted it. ( I do not know if this is mentioned in
          history books , but do know that the point about of the inability to
          retract an edict is a point mentioned in the story of Esther. )


          Lord Henry also wanted to feel superior. The narrator is sympathetic to
          this universal feeling. He had no advantage as to rank, though he did
          of age, he was a great debater ( kept the House up later). He fancied
          that he was clever in understanding court life-- besides if all else
          failed he knew he had the superiority of being British.
          They both rode. Juan affected a modesty which allowed Lord Henry to
          feel superior.

          Then a digression which starts off by stating that Lord Henry lived in
          Blank BLank square.
          Why Blank-Blank when Byron no doubt knew all the fashionable addresses?
          Blank Blank so as not to give the scandal mongers reason to speculate
          as to whether or not he used a real address. Also, every year there
          were any number of scandals and heart aches in the squares and he did
          not want to inadvertently bring up a reminder of such.
          However, his mentioning Piccadilly is not at all inadvertent. He says
          he could have chosen Piccadilly " a place where peccadilloes are unknown."
          So Lord Henry lived in Blank Blank Square.



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        • nancy mayer
          Don Juan has been left to fend for himself himself among the English aristocrats. The narrator refuses to have any of the characters live on Piccadilly--
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 24, 2006
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            Don Juan has been left to fend for himself himself among the English
            aristocrats.

            The narrator refuses to have any of the characters live on
            Piccadilly-- or any other named street.
            Henry then lived in Blank-Blank Square . he welcomed many to his home ,
            among whom was Juan.
            To be well drest seemed to be the prime requirement.

            Safety in many advisers-- as Solomon -- or someone -- said. Proof is
            in wordy feuds of senates
            In the same way there was, when speaking of women-- safety in the
            number of coxcombs.
            A woman surrounded by many admirers is less likely to be having an
            assignation than one surrounded only by a few.
            Adeline had no need of numbers-- which leaves nothing for virtue or a
            proper upbringing to do--
            Adeline did not need coquetry nor flattery.
            She treated all with such politeness as did not overstep any bounds.


            "....
            A gentle, genial courtesy of mind,
            To those who were, or pass'd for meritorious
            Just to console sad glory for being glorious;"

            Who would ever think to combine glory with sad and say it had to be
            consoled for being glorious?

            He explains that glory is a sad and desolate appendage. The laurels
            wither ...

            fame is fleeting.

            Byron had personal experience with this. It is a lesson which is
            hard to learn. He did not have (who was it? Warhol?) to remind us
            that most only get 15 minutes of fame.
            It is especially hard for some one who "awoke and found " himself
            "famous" to learn he could be dropped as easily.





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          • nancy mayer
            Adeline was well bred, She did not enthuse over anything. Did she learn that from the Chinese who felt it would be a violation of decorum to let it be
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 24, 2006
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              Adeline was well bred, She did not enthuse over anything. Did she
              learn that from the Chinese who felt it would be a violation of
              decorum to let it be known that something pleased .
              Or perhaps she was following Horace and his admonition not to express
              admiration for anything.
              Perhaps she had had a strict governess who had taught her that showing
              emotion was bad ton.

              Then the narrator deliberately brings in what he himself calls a tired
              metaphor of a volcano under snow,
              Not liking to use that metaphor he decides to use one of frozen
              champagne . The champagne is frozen except for right in the middle of
              the wine which is stronger than usual.
              She seems frozen on the outside but at the core she is anything but
              frozen.

              There is evidence of Byron's wide and varied interests in this work.
              He knows politics, fashion, people, frozen champagne ( where would he
              had had frozen champagne before freezers?) and Parry's journey to the
              pole. AS usual there are references to scripture and ancient works.
              Nancy



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