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Rhymes, Quasi-Rhymes, and Ghosts of Rhymes in Pushkin's 'Mozart and Salieri'

Olga Meerson. "Rhymes, Quasi-Rhymes, and Ghosts of Rhymes in Pushkin’s ’Mozart and Salieri’." Gumanitarnye nauki v Sibiri (The Humanities in Siberia) 4.1999 (1999).

The article reveals a pattern to rhymes appearing in Pushkin's most famous "Little Tragedy". Yet the "Little Tragedies" were written in the Shakespearean iambic pentametric blank verse. But then, rhymes are "smuggled" in Pushkin, for a snappy ending or a comic relief, much as they are in Shakespeare. The main message of "Mozart and Salieri" is that highfalutin' rhetoric often covers up impure motivations. The seemingly randomely inserted rhymes undermine the pathos of that rhetoric, whether when Salieri speaks or when Mozart seems to parody his bathos in his own rejoinders, through what Bakhtin has termed the double-voiced word (the second voice here is Salieri's, in the discourse of Mozart).

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