Chapter 35 – Parting

December 22nd, 2012 § 0 comments

piscatorial

In the wake of his son’s death, Sir Hugh resolves to do whatever he wants without justifying it to his spouse:  “There should be no plea put in by him in his absences, that he had only gone to catch a few fish, when his intentions had been other than piscatorial.”  The Latinate “piscatorial” (“pertaining to fish or fishing”), coming as it does at the end of the sentence and following the Germanic “fish,” strikes a humorous note.  The further combination of “piscatorial” with the also Latinate “intentions” casts a euphemistic veil as well as a linguistic raising of eyebrows at Sir Hugh’s anticipated activities.  [RR 2013]

 

intentions, intended, intended, intention

In detailing Sir Hugh’s thoughts, Trollope combines two Classical rhetorical devices:  polyptoton and chiasmus:  “There should be no plea put in by him in his absences, that he had only gone to catch a few fish, when his intentions had been other than piscatorial.  He intended to do as he liked now and always,—and he intended that his wife should know that such was his intention.”  Polyptoton is the use of etymologically related words in different forms or different parts of speech, such as “intentions” and “intended.”  Trollope presents the elements of his polyptoton in a chiasmus, or A-B-B-A word order:  “intentions…intended…intended…intention.”  Trollope is fond of both chiasmus and polyptoton; their combination here seems noteworthy and conveys the pointed, rhetorical force with which Sir Hugh frames his resolution.  [RR 2013]

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