Exclamation (Examples in Literature)

When from sudden and intense emotion, we give utterance, to some abrupt or inverted expression, this is called Exclamation


When from sudden and intense emotion, we give utterance, to some abrupt or inverted expression, this is called Exclamation. Strong feeling is naturally expressed in interjections, and so far, intense emotion the figure of exclamation is employed.

This is a common and very forcible figure of speech. For example, “He is running fast”, is a prosaic literal statement: “How he runs!” expresses the same thought, with an addition of startled surprise. Similarly, when we say “He has earned a lot of money!”, this is simple statement, however, when one says, “How he earned a lot of money”, the very statement not only surprise but make us enable to think about it.

The important thing to remember here is that it is not the exclamation point that makes the exclamation. “He is running fast!” is not a figure of speech; it is simply the same old plain statement, and your punctuation mark is wrong. The exclamation must be in the way of expressing the through. As Nesfield has defined it:

“Exclamation is the strong expression of feeling”.

Common Situations when use Exclamation:

i. How he won the game!
ii. Hurrah! We achieved our goal.
iii. How this young man is lifting the heavy stone!
iv. Alas! We have lost our money.
v. How did you find this notebook!
vi. What a beautiful weather it is!
vii. What an excellent achievement it is!
viii. How could you go there!
ix. I just won the game!
x. I don’t know what happened to him!

Common Words for Exclamation:

 Brilliant!
 Awesome!
 Ouch!
 Amazing!
 Bravo!
 Fantastic!
 Tremendous!
 Sheesh!
 Geronimo!
  Eureka
 Hooray!
 Gosh!

Examples of Exclamation in Literature:

Tennyson’s “Echo Song” in the Princess”
O hark, O hear! ‘how thin and clear,
And thinner, clearer, farther going;
O sweet and far, from cliff and scar
The horns of Elfland faintly blowing.”

The speaker instructs us to “hark,” or listen to the bugle horn’s “clear” sounds. The term “thin” indicates that the note is high-pitched and that the bugle player isn’t utilizing a lot of creative vibrato, just it is a single, clear tone. The speaker imagines that the bugle notes he hears are coming from “Elfland,” which is—you guessed it—the land of elves. (Elfland appears in Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon mythology.)
The bugle notes are coming from “far” away, according to the speaker, and are reverberating from a “scar.” How is it possible for a mountain to have a “scar”?

Romans 11:33

“O the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgment and His ways past finding out!”

The words ‘depth’, ‘wisdom’ and ‘knowledge’ have been used forcefully in exclamatory tune. The word ‘unsearchable’ is indicating the mechanism of judgment which is creating wonder.

Break, Break, Break by Lord Tennyson

“But O for the touch of a vanished hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!”

It speaks to the life of the sailor on the sea. It refers to those who have lost their battle with the sea and died. The poet is in a painful condition and is remembering his friends who are no more with them.

The first line is indicating that the poet is missing the persons, his friends who are no more with him and they either ruined or left him. The second line is showing panic condition of the poet and he is feeling that the voices of his friends are only with him.

“Hamlet” by Shakespeare

“O woe is me,
To have seen what I have seen, see what I see!”

Here the above lines were taken from the monologue of Ophelia when she was thinking about Hamlet. Although she considered herself a noble and pious person but she thought that he had lost himself.

The exclamatory tune has been noted in the speech of Ophelia when she cares about her beloved Hamlet who according to her has lost his mind.

“A Lament by P.B. Shelly”

“O World; O Life! O Time!
On whose last steps I climb,

Trembling at that where I had stood before;
When will return the glory of your prime?
No more—Oh, never more!”

It is a short lyric iambic rhyme poem written by Shelly. The poet is grieved from the life and is asking a question that when his past days will come again. From the start of poem, although it was difficult to assess that why the poet is feeling pain, however in the last line, “no more Oh, never more!” he himself replies that the past time will never come again.

The words ‘world’, ‘life’, ‘time’ are different with one another. All these have different in their meaning. The second line, ‘on whose last steps I climb’ is creating wonder that on which thing the poet climbed. In the third line, the word ‘trembling’ again creating suspicion that from what thing the poet is quivering. However, in the last sentence, the poet discloses his mind that he is talking about the past time.

Julius Caesar by Shakespeare

“O what a fall was there, my countrymen!
Then I and you and all of us fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourished over us.”

The above lines have been taken from the speech of Antonio who wants to realize the people to become mourns over the death of Caesar. He wants to show that how brutally Brutus has stabbed Caesar. He firstly displayed the court of Caesar to develop pity in the mob and then showed the dead body of Caesar.

The very first sentence is creating wonder ‘O what a fall was there, my countrymen!” about the death of Caesar. Antonio actually wants people to feel the pain of death of Caesar as he himself felt at the time when Brutus stabbed him.

The Task by William Cowper

“Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness!”
“How sweet the merry linnet’s tune,
How blithe the blackbird’s lay!”

The above line shows allusion of the poet. The writer is in trouble and fearful because of wilderness. His fear of its repetition lies in his desire for shelter. He has created the sense of insecurity and showing that his thoughts have become shattered like himself.

Home thoughts, from Abroad by Robert Browning

“O to be in England, now that April is there!”
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,

The poem is about the reaction of poet towards the spring time in England. In this stanza, the poet praises the England and the weather in the month of April. He is remembering the morning charms when he was in England. He wishes to enjoy the same feelings as he felt in his country.

Hamlet by Shakespeare

“What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason!
How infinite in faculties!
In form and moving how express and admirable!
In action like an angel!

Now we come to the most famous words of Hamlet’s speech: ‘What a piece of work is a man,’ which literally translates to ‘what a masterpiece of creation is a human being’: When God created humans, he truly outdid himself. Man’s powers are ‘infinite’ or limitless, and the human body’s shape and movement are well-modeled and worthy of our appreciation.

Man is also like an angel in his actions, and he is like a deity in his mental abilities. He is the most beautiful creature on the planet and the most powerful of all animals. Throughout the paragraph, the conscious of wonder and suspicion arouse.

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