christina mirabilis (klokanek) wrote in linguaphiles,
christina mirabilis
klokanek
linguaphiles

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The history of parentheses

Does anyone know when the modern use of parentheses in literature began?

In discussing Elizabethan sonnets, one of my students asked about the use of parentheses, whether it was the poet or editor's choice.  We were discussing Shakespeare's Sonnet 29 in particular, ll. 11-12:

(Like to the lark at break of day arising
   From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate;


The student asked a really good question about the history of punctuation, and I'd like to give him an answer.  (I'm used to the very random punctuation in medieval manuscripts, which is utterly non-modern in use.)

Thanks!
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