...like a woman scorned [pronounciation]

I love this saying, but something very minor has got me wondering. Now, the original quote is:
Heav’n has no rage, like love to hatred turn’d,
nor Hell a fury like a woman scorn’d*

What bothers me is that this in no way rhymes. Does the original work perhaps have alternating lines that rhyme (I know there’s a word for it but I cannot find it in my head at this time)? Was it not supposed to rhyme? Because of a design error in my brain, I can only enjoy poems that rhyme :frowning:

You’re doomed to miss out on a lot of great poetry, then. :smiley:

Rhyming in poetry is for amateurs, the rubbish you read in church newsletters. The real poets never worry too much about rhyme; they worry about meter and word choice instead.

Pronunciation, dude.

It most certainly rhymes “in a way”; half-rhyme, also called sprung rhyme or slant rhyme, is quite common in English. As far as I know, these two words never rhymed perfectly, and weren’t meant to.

Dude, you just blew my mind. I had never noticed there’s no second O in that word :eek:

Thank you, I must admit English is not my first language. I’m not a dude either :smiley:

Back in the day, it’s possible that those vowel sounds might have been closer sounding than they might appear at first glance. In some regional dialects today, there are some relics of “or” pronounced as “ar” (e.g., “harse” for “horse”). If you pronounce “scorned” as “scarned,” it is a little closer to rhyming to “turned.”

And maybe not. . . .


turn’d and scorn’d rhyme in a way that, say, turn’d and Chimichanga don’t.

Pronounce, announce, denounce, all with the same Latin root, all lose the second “o” when they form the noun. Just another POS English spelling rule, and I have the advantage it’s my mother tongue and I’ve had plenty of time to get used to it.

[typical male Doper]Sooo… how you doin’?[/tmD]

Be careful where you take this; you know what they say about a woman scorn’d…

Here it is in its original context. As you can see, none of the lines rhyme (or if any do, it is by chance). Congreve appears to written in non-rhyming iambic pentameter, i.e., blank verse, the same verse form used, most of the time, by Shakespeare.

She has a design error in her brain that only allows her to enjoy poetry that rhymes? :slight_smile:

… maybe, as in North East English dialects today, “turned” was pronounced “torned”.

Though just as likely, as you say, not.

You needed to provide a bit more context:

Although it’s blank verse, it’s the end of a scene, and it’s quite common to have a rhyming couplet at the end of the scene. Congreve almost does this: the third last line (“mourn’d”) and last line (“scorn’d”) do rhyme, and that’s enough to provide a rhyming pair of lines at the end of the scene, together with a very memorable (obviously!) closing phrase.

Though there are those who would pronounce “mourn’d” as “moorn’d”, rather than “morn’d”, wrecking the rhyme again.

Looking up Congreve on Wikipedia, I see he was born in Yorkshire, raised in Ireland, and living in London – I couldn’t predict with any certainty how someone with that background today might pronounce those words, and the accents have changed a good deal since the 17th century. It’s entirely possible that for him, they all rhymed – or sounded less alike than they do to (some of) us now.

Ah, now this does ease my mind a little :smiley:

This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had roast beef,
And this little piggy had none,
THIS little piggy went wee wee wee wee all the way home

I always feel compelled to rhyme home with none by altering one of them, it’s a genetic problem I’m sure.

Ah, ya beat me to it. Every act (not scene) in that work ends with a rhyming couplet which, as you note, was common at the time.

Weird. I was about to ask a question along these lines. I’m currently reading A Misummer Night’s Dream. Shakespeare often has rhyming verse in the play, and then it comes to a couple of rhyming lines where one ends in here and the other in there. No problem; there rhyming with here is common in my own dialect. But then, further into the verse, he rhymes there again with a word like hair, implying its modern standard English pronunciation. So, which pronunciation was the standard pronunciation in Shakespeare’s time?

As I understand it, there’s no way to know for sure, but probably neither. Moreover, there very likely wasn’t a standard as such anyway.

Maybe “there” had its modern pronunciation, and “here” was pronounced like “hair”?