by finding half-buried references to ... and even prophetic hints of...

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ironman2012

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

Ever since Shakespeare wrote the sonnet They That Have Power to Hurt, people thought they knew what it meant. But in 1935 a young British critic named William Empson told them they did not. The sonnet, he announced, contains 4,096 possible meanings. He then presented some of them by showing the sonnet's ambiguous use of words, metaphors and punctuation, by finding half-buried references to Machiavelli and King Solomon and even prophetic hints of Oscar Wilde.

(This comes from Scratching at Beauty on my English reading material. It seems to originate from time.com.)

1. Does the blue part mean "by finding half-buried references to Machiavelli and King Solomon and even finding half-buried references to prophetic hints of Oscar Wilde", or "by finding half-buried references to Machiavelli and King Solomon and finding even prophetic hints of Oscar Wilde"?

2. Does "half-buried references to Machiavelli and King Solomon" mean "inexplicitly mention Machiavelli and King Solomon"?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    1) It means he found prophetic hints, not references to prophetic hints.
    2) We don't say "inexplicitly mention", but you have the right idea. The references are hidden, so they would allude to M and KS rather than mention them explicitly.
     
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