[Milton-L] the variety of pauses

Michael Gillum mgillum at unca.edu
Fri Sep 14 15:26:08 EDT 2007

Don¹t strong enjambment and off-center caesuras naturally tend to go
together? If you break a phrase across the end of the line, there will
likely be a phrase-boundary near the end of one line or the beginning of the

Likewise, medial caesuras and end-stopping tend to go together, partly
because of the typical length of  syntactic units, but also because they
sort with an aesthetic preference for symmetry and clarity of form. Pope¹s
letter to Walsh: "in any smooth English verse of ten syllables, there is
naturally a pause either at the fourth, fifth, or sixth syllable."


On 9/14/07 2:03 PM, "carl bellinger" <bcarlb at comcast.net> wrote:

> Johnson and Addison (and I presume many others) treat Milton's heavily
> enjambed style in PL as a matter of "the pauses."
> Addison sets out orderly examples of the occurrence the _pause_ in PL in each
> of the nine possible places in the 10-syllable line: after syll. #1, after #
> 2, .... after #9.  Johnson complains that "the variety of pauses" in PL washes
> out the verse *as verse,* leaving us merely with "the periods of a declaimer."
> So in praise, or in blame, they speak of "the pauses," but Milton says nothing
> at all about pauses in his defense of THE VERSE of PL; he refers rather to the
> "sense variously drawn out." which language identifies the words themselves,
> the sense-laden phrases, not the pauses between phrases...
> The question where did Johnson and Addison get their interest in the pauses
> --in respect to PL-- is a question properly for the18th century perhaps. I'd
> be grateful for any help with that question, but my really  pressing question
> is 'did Milton himself ever speak of the *pauses* in any place in his
> writings? Can anyone help me with this?
> -Carl  

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