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Rhetorical Question

A question whose answer is so obvious that an answer is not expected. “For who so firm that cannot be seduc'd?” Julius Caesar, 1.2.320. Also see Rogatio.

Rhetorical Question is an example of:
Omission, Substitution

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

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Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?Rhetorical Question
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,Metaphor & Hyperbaton
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;Personification
And every fair from fair sometime declines,Antanaclesis
By chance or nature's changing course untrimmed.
But thy eternal summer shall not fadeMetaphor
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall Death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,Personification
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.Anaphora and Anadiplosis

Andronicus, stain not thy tomb with blood.

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Andronicus, stain notHyperbaton thy tomb with blood.
Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods?Rhetorical Question
Draw near them then in being merciful.
Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge.Metaphor
Thrice-noble TitusAlliteration, spare my first-born son.
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Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you

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Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you.
Little Helen, farewell. If I can remember
thee, I will think of thee at court.
Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a
charitable star.
Under Mars, I.Hyperbaton & Ellipsis
I especially think under Mars.
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Well, Brutus, thou art noble

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Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet I see
Thy honorable mettle may be wrought
From that it is dispos’d; therefore it is meet
That noble minds keep ever with their likes;
For who so firm that cannot be seduc’d?Rhetorical Question and Ellipsis
Caesar doth bear me hard, but he loves Brutus.
If I were Brutus now and he were Cassius,
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Act 1
Scene 2
Line 320

Source Type:

Spoken by:


Figures of Speech:

Kneel not, gentle Portia

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Kneel not, gentle Portia.
I should not need, if you were gentle Brutus.Antanaclesis

Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus,
Is it excepted I should know no secrets
That appertain to you? Am I yourself
But, as it were, in sort or limitation,
To keep with you at meals,

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Act 2
Scene 1
Line 300

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Figures of Speech:
, , , , , ,

The time was once, when thou unurg’d wouldst vow

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The time was onceHyperbaton when thou unurged wouldst vowAnastrophe
That never words were music to thine ear,
That never object pleasing in thine eye,
That never touch well welcome to thy hand,
That never meat sweet-savored in thy taste,Anaphora

Unless I spake, or looked,
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Admit no other way to save his life

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Admit no other way to save his life—
As I subscribe not that, nor any other—
But, in the loss of question, that you, his sister,
Finding yourself desired of such a person
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Could fetch your brother from Metaphorthe manacles
Of the binding law,

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Speak you so gently? Pardon me, I pray you

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Speak you so gently?Rhetorical Questions Pardon me, I pray you.
I thought that all things had been savage here,
And therefore put I on the countenanceAnastrophe
Of stern command’ment. But what e’er you are
That in this desert inaccessibleAnastrophe,
Under the shade of melancholy boughs,
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Act 2
Scene 7
Line 106

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Spoken by:

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, , , ,

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!

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Friends, Romans, countrymenExordium, lend me your earsSynecdoche!
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.Antithesis
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bonesAntithesis
So let it be with Caesar.
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