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Chapter Five: Stylistic Analysis

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Chapter Summary

The Debate between a Manand His Soul is one of the great compositions of Middle Egyptian literature. As such, it employs the conventions found in other such works, including versification, metaphor, simile, and devices such as alliteration and word-play. The key stylistic feature of the text is its verse structure. Although much of the composition has usually been translated as prose, there is general agreement that at least the litanies in the Man's third speech are in verse. The stanzas of the first three litanies have been understood most often as tercets and those of the fourth as couplets. In Fecht's analysis, lines of ancient Egyptian verse regularly consist of two or three groups of words (cola), each of which has a single primary stress.

Keywords:couplets; Egyptian literature; Fecht's analysis; litanies; metaphor; simile; stylistic analysis; tercet; versification



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