The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0226 Wednesday, 31 January 2001
Date: Wednesday, 31 Jan 2001 11:47:00 +0100
Subject: Rhetorical Question
Comment: SHK 12.0211 Rhetorical Question
The difficulty that discussants have had locating the appropriate figure
should have alerted them to the fact that phrases such as 'words of woe'
and 'kingdom of glory' are not rhetorical figures at all but
straightforward grammatical constructions. They are either the normal
genitive (expressing an appurtenance of a thing or quality to a person,
for instance), or what linguists call a 'partitive genitive', where the
first noun expresses the relationship of part to whole, having the
essential form 'X of Y'. See Sylvia Chalker and Edmund Weiner (eds.),
The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (Oxford, 1994), pp. 283-4, also
R. Quirk, S. Greenbaum, G. Leech, and J. Svartvik, A Grammar of
Contemporary English (London, 1972), pp. 131-3, 192, 885-9.