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Questions & Answers

What is a caesura in poetry and what effect can it have?

The concept of Caesura is applied by poets to create a certain effect in their poetry, without which the words wouldn’t meet the desired purpose and would run into each other in a hustle-bustle of plurality.
The concept includes different types of pauses either at the beginning, middle or end of sentences. They can also be divided into masculine caesura or feminine caesura that do or do not follow an accented syllable. All of the following can be considered caesura as provide some sort of break in the flow of writing:
Full stops
Exclamation Marks
Question Marks (etc.!)
An example of it could be from Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale, wherein the concept is demonstrated by its official symbol (II):
It is for you we speak, II not for ourselves;
You are abused II and by some putter-on
That will be damn'd for't; II would I knew the villain,
I would land-damn him. II Be she honour-flaw'd.
I have three daughters; II the eldest is eleven.
The caesura allows the reader to pause and think about the content that came before the pause. It gives ample significance to the ideas that require it, hence they are prevented from getting mixed with other content and going unnoticed!

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