Explorations in Stylistics - Andrew Goatly

Explorations in Stylistics - Andrew Goatly

Marked Theme and its interpretation in A. E. Housman’s A Shropshire Lad

Explorations in Stylistics - Andrew Goatly

Andrew Goatly [+-]
Lingnan University
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Andrew Goatly has considerable experience in teaching English language and literature in colleges and universities in the UK, Rwanda, Thailand, Austria, and Singapore. He is at present Professor in the English Department of Lingnan University in Hong Kong. He is the author of The Language of Metaphors (Routledge 1997, 2nd edition, 2010), Critical Reading and Writing (Routledge 2000), Washing the Brain: Metaphor and Hidden Ideology (Benjamins 2007)and Humour and Meaning (Cambridge University Press, 2011).


Sections 4.1.2–4.1.5 of this chapter defines the thematic management phenomena under consideration and the technical terms used. Section 4.2 gives details of the method of analysis and discusses theoretical problems arising from it, such as the definition of mood and the ambiguity of metafunction. In section 4.3 the author moves on to the results and discussion: in 4.3.1 the author considers the method of development, the semantic content of marked Themes, and the relationship between this and literary critical comments on the importance of time, place and exile to literary theme; 4.3.2 and 4.3.3 proceed to an analysis of the use of marked Theme and multiply-marked Theme in the ten individual poems where they are most frequent, showing how their use relates to the schemes of classical rhetoric, and how they might affect reader response. In 4.3.4 the author considers the fluctuating frequency of marked Theme throughout the sequence, and find that its use correlates with degrees of dramatisation or dialogism. Subsection 4.3.5 places the analysis in the context of earlier studies which relate thematic management and method of development to different genres.

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Goatly, Andrew. Marked Theme and its interpretation in A. E. Housman’s A Shropshire Lad. Explorations in Stylistics. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 59 - 96 Dec 2008. ISBN 9781845539085. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=21966. Date accessed: 21 Feb 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.21966. Dec 2008

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