quotes, notes, timelines & more

Home » Shakespeare's Works » Elements » Figures of Speech » Figures of Speech by Name » Isocolon

Isocolon

Isocolon (i-so-co'-lon) is a generic term for two or more clauses of equal length and parallel syntax and rhythm. When there are more than two, the figure can be more specifically named (though they are not in the quotes on this website) tricolons, tetracolons, etc. “My gorgeous palace for a hermitage, / My gay apparel for an almsman’s gown, / My figured goblets for a dish of wood, / My scepter for a palmer’s walking-staff, / My subjects for a pair of carvèd saints.” Richard II, 3.3.148. This quote from Richard II strings five clauses of parallel syntax in sequence and, because the clauses all begin with he same word, this is also an example of anaphora.

Isocolon is an example of:
Arrangement, Parallelism, Repetition

The Architecture of Sonnet and Song

Read the Note

Let’s begin by stipulating that Ira Gershwin is not William Shakespeare. However, despite the gulf that separates their talents, they share some writing techniques that are useful tools for aspiring writers. For example, Shakespeare’s sonnet, That Time of Year, and Gershwin’s song, They Can’t Take That Away from Me*, are variations on a common template,
… continue reading this note

Hence! Home, you idle creatures, get you home!

Read the Quote

Flavius
Hence! Home, you idle creatures, get you home!
Is this a holiday? What, know you not,
Being mechanical, you ought not walk
Upon a laboring day without the sign
Of your profession?—Speak, what trade art thou?
Carpenter
Why, sir, a carpenter.

Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home?
What tributaries follow him to Rome,
… continue reading this quote

In delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband

Read the Quote

Countess
In delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband.
Bertram
And I in going, madam, weep o’er my father’s
death anew; but I must attend his Majesty’s
command, to whom I am now in ward, evermore
in subjection.

Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead,
excessive grief the enemy to the living

Lafew
You shall find of the King a husband,
… continue reading this quote

The King is full of grace and fair regard

Read the Quote

Bishop Of Canterbury
The King is full of grace and fair regard.
Bishop Of Ely
And a true lover of the holy Church.
Bishop of Canterbury
The courses of his youth promised it not.
The breath no sooner left his father’s body
But that his wildness, mortified in him,
Seemed to die too.
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 24

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

Figures of Speech:
, , , , , ,

Be thou blessed, Bertram

Read the Quote

Countess 
Be thou blessed, Bertram, and succeed thy father
In manners as in shape. Thy blood and virtue
Contend for empire in thee, and thy goodness
Share with thy birthright.

Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none

Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to noneIsocolon
.
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 63

Source Type:

Spoken by:
, ,

Themes:
, ,

Figures of Speech:
,

Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death

Read the Quote

Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death
MetaphorThe memory be green, and that it us befitted
To bear our hearts in grief, and Personificationour whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe,
PersonificationYet so far hath discretion fought with nature
That we with wisest sorrow think on him
Together with remembrance of ourselves.

… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 1

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Themes:
,

Figures of Speech:
, , , , , , , ,

Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world

Read the Quote

Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonorable graves.Adynaton & Simile

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

Men at some time are masters of their fates;
… continue reading this quote

That you do love me, I am nothing jealous

Read the Quote

Brutus
That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;
What you would work me to, I have some aim.
How I have thought of this, and of these times,
I shall recount hereafter.Isocolon
For this present,
I would not (so with love I might entreat you)
Be any further mov’d. What you have said
I will consider;

… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 171

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

Figures of Speech:
, ,

For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favor,

Read the Quote

Laertes
For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favor,
Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood,Hendiadys & Synecdoche
A violet in the youth of primy nature,Metaphor
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
Hendiadys & MetaphorThe perfume and suppliance of a minute,

… continue reading this quote

She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves of France

Read the Quote

She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves of France,
Whose Synecdochetongue more poisons than the adder’s tooth:Metaphor, Diacope & Parenthesis

How ill-beseeming is it in thy sex
To triumph like an Amazonian trull
Upon their woes whom Fortune captivates.Simile

O, tiger’s heart wrapped in a woman’s hide,
… continue reading this quote

Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile

Read the Quote

Duke Senior
Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of Alliterationpainted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?Pysma

Here feel we not the penalty of Adam,
The seasons’ difference,

… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 1

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

Themes:

Figures of Speech:
, , , , , , ,

Connected Notes:
Town and Country