"Choose! Oh, my love, choose!"(p.51)
In the first example we have anadiplosis. The structure of this device is the following: the last phrase of one part of an utterance is repeated at the beginning of the next part, thus hooking the two parts together. The writer doubles this phrase for better concentration of the reader. If the repeated phrase come at the beginning of two or more consecutive sentences, we have anaphora, as in the second example. As for the third example, here we have framing (or as it is often called "ring repetition"). It is the repetition of the same unit at the beginning and at the end of the same sentence.
As you must have seen from the brief description, repetition is a powerful means of emphasis. Besides, repetition adds rhythm and balance to the utterance.
Wilde often uses parallel constructions, a perfect means of creating the clean-cut syntax of his plays. By Prof. Galperin I.R.: "Parallel construction is a device which may be encountered not so much in the sentence as in the macro-structures dealt with earlier, viz. the syntactical whole and the paragraph. The necessary condition in parallel construction is identical, or similar, syntactical structure in two or more sentences or parts of a sentence".30
As you must have seen from the brief description, repetition is a powerful means of emphasis. Besides, repetitionadds rhythm and balance to the utterance.
Parallel constructions deal with logical, rhythmic, emotive and expressive aspects of the utterance. They create rhythmical shape of the sentence, make it more emotional.
e.g. "Nobody is incapable of doing a foolish a foolish
thing. Nobody is incapable of doing a wrong
"How hard good women are! How weak bad men are!"
"Oh! Wicked women bother one. Good women bore
These examples prove that Oscar Wilde wishes to give a musical value to every phrase. The parallel constructions produce a certain rhythm, wonderful sound and expressiveness.
Enumeration is the next syntactical stylistic device used by O.Wilde in his plays.
According to Prof. Galperin I.R., enumeration is a stylistic device by which separate things, objects, properties or actions are named one by one so that they produce a chain, the links of which, being syntactically in the same position (homogeneous parts of speech), are forced to display some kind of semantic homogeneity, remote though it may seem.31
e.g. "Bad women as they are turned, may have in them
sorrow, repentance, pity, sacrifice." (p. 67)
"She has got a capital appetite, goes long walks, and
pays no attention at all to her lessons." (p. 301)
"I have also in my possession, you will be pleased to
hear certificates of Ms. Cardew's birth, baptism,
whooping cough, registration, vaccination,
confirmation, and the measles". (p.340)
Analysing these sentences we can see the musical chain of enumeration. It gives more objective value of the character's speech. It gives the variety of thoughts and feelings.
One of the most typical phenomenon of Wilde's plays is ellipsis. But this typical feature of the spoken language assumes a new quality when used in the written language. By Prof. Sosnovskaya V.B., ellipsis is an intentional omission from an utterance of one or more words.32
Ellipsis makes the utterance grammatically incomplete. The meaning of omitted words is easy to understand. The context helps to understand the meaning of such words and the whole situation.
e.g. "Been dining with my people". (p.45)
"Quite sure of." (p.149)
Chasuble: Your brother Ernest dead?
Jack: Quite dead." (p.312)
Ellipsis gives the picture of real life, real people, their feelings and emotions, the simplicity of their speech. It adds a certain charm to the conversation. It is right to suppose that the omission of the words in these sentences is due to the requirements of the rhythm.
Syntactical expressive means and stylistic devices add also logical, emotive, expressive information to the utterance.
There are also certain structures, whose emphasis depends not only on the arrangement of sentence members but also on their construction with definite demands on the lexico-semantic aspect of the sentence. They are known as lexico-syntactical stylistic devices.
Chiasmus is a good example of them.
According to Prof. Galperin I.R., chiasmus is based on the repetition of a syntactical pattern but it has a cross order of words and phrases.33
e.g. "All the married men live like bachelors, and all the
bachelors like married men." (p.114)
The effect of a cross order of words in this example produces an ironic character. Like parallel construction, chiasmus contributes to the rhythmical quality of the utterance.
e.g. "The body is born young and grows old. That is life's
tragedy. The soul is born old but grows young. That is
the comedy of life." (p.111)
In this example the effect is increased because the members of chiasmus are antonyms "young, old, comedy, tragedy". Usually chiasmus is a syntactical stylistic device, not a lexical one, but in this example the witty arrangement of the words gives the utterance an epigrammatic character. This can be considered as lexical chiasmus. Examples show the brilliancy of Wilde's style.
One more stylistic device used by Wilde is antithesis.
According to Prof. Galperin I.R antithesis is based on relative opposition which arises out of the context through the expansion of objectively contrasting pairs.34
Syntactically antithesis is just another case of parallel constructions. But unlike parallelism, which is indifferent to the semantics of its components, the two parts of an antithesis must be semantically opposite to each other, as in these examples from O.Wilde:
e.g. "Don't use big words. They mean so little." (p.252)
"Curious thing, plain women are always jealous of
their husbands, beautiful women never are!" (p.108)
Here we can see the semantic contrast, which is formed with the help of objectively contrasting pairs "big - little", "plain - beautiful", "always - never".
e.g. "She certainly had a wonderful faculty of remembering
people's names, and forgetting their faces." (p. 98)
In this example we can see antonyms: "remembering" and "forgetting", which create the contrasting pair and make the antithesis more expressive. But in his antithesis Wilde also uses some contextual antonyms.
e.g. "Men become old, but they never become good".
"Men can be analysed, women merely adored."
"…if one plays good music, people don't listen, if one plays bad music, people don't talk". (p.199)