“My capacities and talents can only be expressed by my pen”: Linguistic aspects and literary discourse in Aphra Behn's history of Isabella and Villenoys

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Juan de Dios Torralbo Caballero

Abstract

This paper frames Aphra Behn’s mastery through The History of the Nun in order to single out the outstanding discursive and linguistic strategies from the beginning until Villenoys’s departure. This study highlights the interrelationship between the morphosyntactic tools and the semantic techniques to illustrate the author’s intention within the context of her work. This close reading allows us to scrutinize a few samples of lexical and semantic groupings as well as some homophonic puns found along the story without leaving aside the valuable writer’s purpose. It also explores the narrative geographies, the chronological coordinates and the historical landmarks that generate a very realistic scenario which paves the way towards the emergence of the English novel.

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