An intense response towards some unexpected or immediate expression is called exclamation. It is a short-expression to express emotion. It usually comes at the beginning or end of a sentence. It is a strong way to express the emotion of the sentence without involving the main idea. Neither subject nor verb needs to be present in order to define an interjection.
It was first known use in 14th century.
Common Examples of Exclamation
- When someone says, “It is raining hard”, it is an ordinary literal statement: “How it rains!” expresses the same idea, with shocked surprise.
- Hurrah! we won the match.
- Alas! he lost his bicycle.
- How speedy this machine is working!
- Oh, what a gorgeous dress she is wearing!
Examples of Exclamation in Literature
- In the “Princess” by Tennyson’s,
“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!”
In the above stanza, the poet in the echo song tries to divert the attention of readers towards a sudden coming sound from the bugle-horn, which probably is coming from Elfland or from the scar.
2. Tennyson also used exclamation in his poem, “Break, Break, Break” as,
“But O for the touch of a vanished hand,
And the sound of a voice this is still!”
The speaker speaks to the fact that people have lost their lives and their sound is still there and he wishes to again touch the dead persons.
3. P.B. Shelly expressed exclamation in “A Lament”
“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!”
In this stanza, the poet while remembering his bravery and courage in the past compares it with his helplessness in present and realized that he would not live long and his end of life was quite near.
4. William Cowper used exclamation in “The Task”
“Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness!”
The poet while taking a long breath out feeling trouble in the vast wilderness and is seeking shelter from the sorrows of life.
5. Shakespeare used exclamation in “Hamlet” as,
“What terrible accident it was!
‘Oh! What a noble mind is here overthrown.’
Here the conversation took place between Hamlet and Ophelia. Hamlet tells her to lock herself away in a nunnery and Ophelia after observing the state of mind of Hamlet is surprised and thinking that Hamlet has lost his mind. She is mourning the downfall of the most promising young gentleman of Denmark.
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