Inversion (prosody)

Inversion (prosody)

In prosody the Inversion of a foot, or anaclasis, is the reversal of the order of its elements. For example, in English Accentual-syllabic verse the most common inversion by far is the reversal of the first iamb in a line of verse, thus resulting in a trochee. Examples can be found in the first and second lines of Hamlet's soliloquy:

To be, or not to be: that is the question:

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune'

Here, that is emphasized rather than is, which would be a wrenched, or unnatural accent. The first syllable of Whether is also stressed, making it a trochaic beginning.

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