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The Solitary Reaper

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  • July 1, 2013
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Stylistic Analysis on the Solitary Reaper
'The Solitary Reaper" is one of William Wordsworth's most famous post-Lyrical Ballads lyrics. It describes the poet’s delight in a young woman’s melancholy song in an unknown language. A highland girl is singing a 'melancholy song' as she wings a sickle and reaps grain. The song is carried through the hills and valleys and seems to echo all around. To the poet the song seems sweeter even than the song of Nightingale. He does not want anyone to disturb the enchanting melodious music emanating from her. The tone of this poem is pleasant and it is a poem of praise on the natural beauty of countryside as well as the relaxed life of the rural people. Stylistic plays a very import rule in any writing, which fully helps express the author’s feeling and create an unexpected effect. This article discusses the language of this poem from syntax, phonology and graphology, semantics, lexical, language usage and passage. 1. Syntax

(1) Parallelisms refers to the same structure is repeated two or more than two times. It can produce some esthetic efforts: patterned and in rhyme, good to read. In Stanza2, “Among Arabian sands…Among the farthest Hebrides” emphasize the Scottish girl’s special voice, which shows that the poet was impressed by the girl’s beautiful voice. (2) Inverted sentences are to change the normal word to produce some emphatic effect. “No Nightingale did ever chaunt”, “A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard” here is to emphasize that the solitary reaper’s voice is unique. In addition, this structure can keep the balance of sentence. (3) Rhetorical questions are to use the form of a question in order to express a strong emotion or to emphasize a particular aspect. “Will no one tell me what she sings” “Or is it some more humble lay, famillar matter of today?” “That has been, and may be again?” Since the poet couldn’t understand what the girl was singing, it seems that he asked these questions to himself....