What is Rhetorical Question?

A rhetorical question is a sentence in the grammatical form of a question which is not asked to get information or reply but to achieve expressive effect than from a direct saying. In everyday discourse if we say the rhetorical question "Isn't it a shame?" It functions as a forceful alternative to the saying "It's a shame".

This figure was a favorite of W. B. Yeats a well known example (instance) is in “Among School Children” which ends with the rhetorical question” How can we know the dancer from the dance?” Another example is from Blake’s The Songs of Experience “Did he who made the Lamb make thee?”  This rhetorical question does not expect any answer because we know that it is he who made the lamb as well as the tiger.

Published on 24 Jan. 2014 by Kedar Nath Sharma

Related Topics

William Butler Yeats: Biography

Among School Children: Analysis

William Blake: Biography

The Tyger: Analysis

The Lamb: Analysis