Archives: Plutarch’s Lives

Peter Piper and his pickled peppers: Our love for alliteration

March 13, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, writers, writing.

Mark Forsyth, of InkyFool.com, and author of several books on the language, cites in his The Elements of Eloquence (pages 10-11) an example of William Shakespeare, our old friend, lifting a passage from Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch’s Lives for some lines in Antony and Cleopatra. From North we get this description of Cleopatra’s boat:

. . . the poop whereof was of gold, the sails of purple, and the oars of silver . . .

Shakespeare takes that and makes it into these lines:

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