caesura

caesural, caesuric, adj.
/si zhoor"euh, -zoor"euh, siz yoor"euh/, n., pl. caesuras, caesurae /si zhoor"ee, -zoor"ee, siz yoor"ee/.
1. Pros. a break, esp. a sense pause, usually near the middle of a verse, and marked in scansion by a double vertical line, as in know then thyself || presume not God to scan.
2. Class. Pros. a division made by the ending of a word within a foot, or sometimes at the end of a foot, esp. in certain recognized places near the middle of a verse.
3. any break, pause, or interruption.
Also, cesura.
[1550-60; < L, equiv. to caes(us) cut (ptp. of caedere) (caed- cut + -tus ptp. suffix) + -ura -URE]

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Latin“cutting off,”also spelled  cesura  

      in modern prosody, a pause within a poetic line that breaks the regularity of the metrical pattern. It is represented in scansion by the sign ‖. The caesura sometimes is used to emphasize the formal metrical construction of a line, but it more often introduces the cadence of natural speech patterns and habits of phrasing into the metrical scheme. The caesura may coincide with conventional punctuation marks, as in the following Shakespearean line (Shakespeare, William), in which a strong pause is demanded after each comma for rhetorical expression:

This blessed plot,‖this earth,‖this realm,
‖this England,…

      The caesura is not necessarily set off by punctuation, however, as in this line from John Keats: (Keats, John)

Thou foster-child of silence‖and slow time,

      In Germanic and Old English alliterative poetry, the caesura was a formal device dividing each line centrally into two half lines, as in this example from “The Battle of Maldon” (Battle of Maldon, The):

Hige sceal þe heardra,
hearte þe cenre,
mod sceal þe mare,
þe ure mægen lytlaþ
(Mind must be firmer,‖heart the morefierce,
Courage the greater,‖as our strengthdiminishes.)

      In formal, Romance, and Neoclassical verse, the caesura occurs most frequently in the middle of the line (medial caesura), but in modern verse its place is flexible; it may occur near the beginning of one line (an initial caesura) and near the end of the next (terminal caesura). There may be several caesuras within a single line or none at all. Thus, it has the effect of interposing the informal and irregular patterns of speech as a subtle counterpoint to the poem's regular rhythm; it prevents metrical monotony and emphasizes the meaning of lines.

      Types of caesura that are differentiated in modern prosody are the masculine caesura, a caesura that follows a stressed or long syllable, and the feminine caesura, which follows an unstressed or short syllable. The feminine caesura is further divided into the epic caesura and the lyric caesura. An epic caesura is a feminine caesura that follows an extra unstressed syllable that has been inserted in accentual iambic metre. An epic caesura occurs in these lines from Shakespeare's Macbeth: “but how of Cawdor? / The Thane of Cawdor lives.” The lyric caesura is a feminine caesura that follows an unstressed syllable normally required by the metre. It can be seen in A.E. Houseman's “they cease not fighting / east and west.”

      In classical prosody, caesura refers to a word ending within a metrical foot, in contrast to diaeresis, in which the word ending and the foot ending coincide. It is strictly a metrical element, not an element of expression.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:
(in a verse),


Look at other dictionaries:

  • caesura — cae*su ra, n.; pl. E. {caesuras}, L. {C[ae]sur[ae]} [L. caesura a cutting off, a division, stop, fr. caedere, caesum, to cut off. See {Concise}.] A metrical break in a verse, occurring in the middle of a foot and commonly near the middle of the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • caesura — 1550s, from L. caesura, metrical pause, lit. a cutting, from pp. stem of cædere to cut down (see CEMENT (Cf. cement)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • caesura — [si zyoor′ə, sizhoor′ə] n. pl. caesuras or caesurae [si zyoor′ē, si zhoor′ē] [L, a cutting < pp. of caedere, to cut down: see CIDE] 1. a break or pause in a line of verse: in Greek and Latin verse, the caesura falls within the metrical foot;… …   English World dictionary

  • caesura — meaning ‘a cut or division’, is a term in prosody, both Classical and Old English, and refers to the division of a metrical foot between two words. In Old English (e.g. Beowulf) it is marked in print by an extra space between the words. In later… …   Modern English usage

  • caesura — ► NOUN 1) (in Greek and Latin verse) a break between words within a metrical foot. 2) (in modern verse) a pause near the middle of a line. ORIGIN Latin, from caedere cut …   English terms dictionary

  • Caesura — For Helios album, see Caesura (album). An example of a caesura in modern western music notation. In meter, a caesura (alternative spellings are cæsura and cesura) is a complete pause in a line of poetry or in a musical composition. The plural… …   Wikipedia

  • caesura — Synonyms and related words: Alexandrine, abeyance, accent, accentuation, amphibrach, amphimacer, anacrusis, anapest, antispast, arsis, bacchius, beat, boundary, breach, break, cadence, catalexis, cease fire, cessation, chloriamb, chloriambus,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • caesura —   n. natural pause in verse line.    ♦ masculine caesura, one following stressed syllable of foot.    ♦ feminine caesura, one occurring in unstressed part of line.    ♦ caesural, a …   Dictionary of difficult words

  • caesura — noun (plural suras or caesurae) Etymology: Late Latin, from Latin, act of cutting, from caedere to cut Date: 1556 1. in modern prosody a usually rhetorical break in the flow of sound in the middle of a line of verse 2 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • caesura — См. cesura …   Пятиязычный словарь лингвистических терминов

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