A caesura is a stop that occurs within a heat of poetry, usually significant by some kind of punctuation such as a period, comma, ellipsis, or dash. A caesura doesn"t have to be put in the exact middle of a line of poetry. It can be placed everywhere after the very first word and before the critical word the a line. In the complying with line from the prologue the Romeo and also Juliet, the comma after ~ "Verona" point out a caesura: "In fair Verona, wherein we lay ours scene."

Some additional vital details about caesuras:

one of two people "caesurae" or "caesuras" have the right to be offered as the plural form of caesura. A line of poetry can contain many caesurae.

How to pronounce Caesura

Here"s just how to express caesura: sez-yoo-ra

Caesura in Depth

Caesurae have actually been used in poetry because the time of the old Greeks and also Romans—though, back then, the term to be even an ext specific and referred come pauses that actually threw off the meter of a line of poetry. The Romans and Greeks, however, created their poetry making use of much more rigid conventions of meter 보다 are offered in English verse, and also the indigenous caesura has long due to the fact that come to average simply a stop in the middle of a line, such as:

To be, or not to it is in — that is the question...

You are watching: What is a caesura in beowulf

In this famed line native Shakespeare"s Hamlet, the dash in the middle of the line represents a express pause. Read the heat aloud yourself and you will certainly hear the pause. The comma after ~ "To be" is one more example that caesura in this line, though the pause is may be a briefer one.

how Poets note Caesura

When assessing poetry, poets and scholars sometimes mark instances that caesura by making use of a symbol dubbed a "double pipe," which looks favor this: ||. Here"s an example of exactly how the twin pipe is supplied to mark caesura in context:

To be, || or not to it is in — || that is the question...

As you have the right to see, native this example, the is feasible to have multiple caesurae in a solitary line that poetry.

Feminine vs. Masculine Caesurae

In city that offers meter, each caesura is identified as "masculine" or "feminine" relying on whether the pause comes ~ a stressed or unpled syllable. A feminine caesura adheres to an unstressed syllable, as in:

The woods room lovely, || dark and also deep

A masculine caesura, ~ above the various other hand, is one that adheres to a emphasize syllable, together in:

My words fly up, || my thoughts remain below

Generally speaking, feminine caesura regularly are a bit much shorter and feel "softer." mrs ceasura regularly feel harder and an ext abrupt.

Initial, Medial, and also Terminal Caesura

Instances that caesura are additionally sometimes advert to based upon where they take place in the line.

Initial caesura occurs towards the beginning of a line, such together the comma in "To be, or not to be — that is the question..." Medial caesura occurs in the center of a line, such together the dash in "To be, or no to be — the is the question..." Terminal caesura occurs near the finish of a line, such together the dash in the heat "Then yes a pair of us — don’t tell!"

Caesura Examples

Caesurae in Beowulf

Beowulf is one of the oldest surviving poems created in Old English. Poems composed in Old English frequently used several caesura, and Seamus Heaney"s modern-day English translation of beo wolf does terrific job of keeping the original text"s prolific use of caesurae. This example shows that, although the usage of caesurae can create an unexplained or jarring valuation that could be viewed by part as much more "modern," it has actually remained in use for plenty of centuries.

A ring-whorled prow rode in the harbour, Ice-clad, || outbound, || a craft because that a prince. They stretched their beloved lord in his boat, Laid out by the mast, || amidships, The great ring-giver. || Far-fetched treasures Were piled top top him, || and precious gear. I never heard prior to of a ship so fine furbished With battle tackle, || bladed weapons and also coats of mail. || The massed treasure Was invited on height of him: || it would certainly travel much On out right into the ocean’s sway.

Both that the caesurae in the second line are feminine, because each pause complies with an unrelated syllable: Ice-clad, || outbound, || a craft for a prince.

Caesura in Shakespeare"s "Sonnet 42"

This excerpt native Sonnet 42 through Shakespeare contains an instance of caesura in every line except the fourth.

If I lose thee, || mine loss is my love"s gain, and also losing her, || my friend hath found that loss, Both find each other, || and I lose both twain, and also both because that my sake put on me this cross,

But here"s the joy, || my friend and I space one, Sweet flattery, || then she loves however me alone.

Caesura in Ashbery"s "Our Youth"

This stanza from john Ashbery"s poem "Our Youth" gives a more modern-day example that caesura using three different types of punctuation: ellipsis in the very first two lines, a duration in the third, and finally a comma in the fourth.

Blue hampers . . . || Explosions, ice . . . || The man Vases of porphyry. || All that our youth Can"t use, || that it was produced for.

See more: Current Profile Is Not Allowed To Play On Xbox Live *Fixed* 2019

Why perform Writers usage Caesuras?

Writers use caesurae to produce variation in the rate of a poem, or come emphasize words in the center of currently that might not otherwise get attention. Since line division in poetry tend to serve as a organic pause regardless of even if it is the lines are end-stopped v punctuation, the rhythm of poems v lines that equal size can become somewhat monotonous and unvaried without the usage of caesurae to produce pauses in the center of lines. The usage of caesurae also permits writers come formulate your thoughts and also images making use of more complicated sentence frameworks with different clauses and a freer usage of punctuation than is feasible without the use of caesurae.