Come on!

Come on!

In Brief

Rhetorical figure. The first section of Aeolus resounds with the loud hoarse voice of the DUTC "timekeeper" summoning trams to their places at the starting gate: "Rathgar and Terenure!"; "Come on, Sandymount Green!"; "Start, Palmerston Park!" Rhetorical theory has a name for such loud eruptions: ecphonesis, an exclamatory phrase. The device can also be heard in people's reactions to the reading aloud of Dan Dawson's speech and in other parts of the chapter, especially those centered on the editor Myles Crawford.

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Ecphonesis (ek-PHO-nuh-sis, from Greek ek- = out + phonesis = speaking, sounding, voicing, so "crying out" or "projecting one's voice out") was understood by classical rhetoricians as a phrase uttered in passion or to capture the hearers' attention. The timekeeper's calls perform the function of capturing attention, while passionate outcry is heard in reactions to Dawson's overblown speech: "Blessed and eternal God!" (Simon Dedalus); "Bombast!... Enough of the inflated windbag!" (Professor MacHugh); "O!... Shite and onions!" (Dedalus). 

Other parts of this loud, windy chapter demonstrate the same principle:

     — And here comes the sham squire himself! professor MacHugh said grandly.
      — Getonouthat, you bloody old pedagogue! the editor said in recognition.
      — Come, Ned, Mr Dedalus said, putting on his hat. I must get a drink after that.
      — Drink! the editor cried. No drinks served before mass.

Watchers of the hilarious Irish TV show Father Ted will recall the last exclamation as the staple utterance of the old, demented, alcoholic priest Father Jack Hackett. Myles Crawford occupies a not too different role in Aeolus, his inebriation producing one exclamatory ejaculation after another.

John Hunt 2023
Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Ecphonesis at the start of Helena's outburst in act 3 scene 2 of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Source: