[Milton-L] Scansion and line 1

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Mon Sep 16 15:10:11 EDT 2013

I initially brought up the possibility of a stress on "of" because, as Ben
I think observed, I misread Richard's initial cap as indicating a stressed
syllable. Yes, I agree, prepositions are normally unstressed both in
everyday speech and in poetry. Yes, like all unstressed syllables, they can
be take a stress under specific conditions. Having misread Richard's
scansion, I considered the possibility of stressing the first word of an
epic poem to be interesting -- like Sing at the beginning of the Iliad.
However, I never would have considered the possibility of a stress on "of"
had it not been for that misreading.

Many apologies for the confusion.

Jim R

On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 2:58 PM, J. Michael Gillum <mgillum at ret.unca.edu>wrote:

> These are good comments by Greg and Richard, but I am puzzled as to why
> people are saying that "of," the first syllable of PL, is stressed.
> Prepositions are unstressed unless for contrastive purposes in speech.
> There is nothing in the text to suggest  that such "rhetorical" stress is
> called for. And there is nothing in the structure of the line that suggests
> the first syllable realizes a beat (metrical accent). Quite the contrary.
> Perhaps I should have said that prepositions are normally unstressed
> unless you are a local public radio announcer.
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