Language and tone in Thou Art Indeed Just, Lord

The language is very direct. Notice how most words are, in fact, monosyllabic, and being verbs or nouns, take a full stress: ‘thwart', ‘sots and thralls of lust', ‘thrive', ‘spend / Sir, life', ‘not breed one work that wakes', and the last line which is entirely monosyllabic. This is so totally opposite to Hopkins' usual diction of hyphenated words, made-up polysyllables and so on, it is quite remarkable. It creates a tremendous sense of tension: each word is an explosion of frustration. The alliteration re-inforces this, especially the ‘b's', which run throughout the sonnet. Only very occasionally is the tension broken with phrases like ‘fretty chervil'.

Investigating Thou Art Indeed Just
  • Can you locate other significant patters of alliteration?
  • What is the force of ‘endeavour'?
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