Playing by the rules: Sound and sense in Swinburne and the rhyming poets

Philosophy and Literature 32 (2):pp. 217-240 (2008)
The likeness of sound between rhyming words is arbitrary, but words have meanings. Thus rhyme schemes carry an implicit meaning over against the explicit meaning of the lines in which they occur. The use of "death" and "breath" and other rhymes in Swinburne illustrates this duality, especially in his great sonnet addressed to Death. This prompts a discussion of the role of meter and rhyme in the physiology of dreams and memory, the human propensity to make rules, translations of Dante, the comic rhymes of Noel Coward, and the real meaning of Seinfeld.
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DOI 10.1353/phl.0.0028
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