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Old 06-22-2008, 04:15 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Default The Question Is......

What is the power of the question as a literary device?

Wherefore art thou Romeo?
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Why do fools fall in love?
Are the stars out tonight?
Who told you that you were naked?
O’ say does that star spangled banner still wave?
Questioning whether this nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure?
Is Paris burning?
They shoot horses, don’t they?
Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
Dr. Livingston, I presume?
And you, Brutus?

The movie Cleopatra (Burton/Taylor) uses questions artfully. At the beginning, when Caesar says his two cohorts have Alexandria secured till the morning, his second in command asks -- what happens in the morning? Answer: I thought you knew; the sun comes up. Only Caesar knows the Syrian army arrives then as reinforcement. At the end of the movie, this time defending Alexandria against Octavian, Anthony asks his second in command – will you wake me in the morning? Answer: but your century will awaken you. Only Anthony knows how complete the desertion of the army will be during the night.

Hmm—maybe I need more good examples to understand the power of the question.

(As I fall asleep this kind of stuff always comes to mind).
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