whence

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ebrahim

Senior Member
Persian
Hi,
I need a through explanation on the red phrase. Particularly I need to know: To what does 'whence' refer to and what is the main verb of the phrase starting with 'whence'?
<<another question moved here.>>

"
Our era likewise is dominated by displays of power and wealth, by an apparently insatiable cruelty, and by an immense (and immensely pleasurable) playfulness. The neo-baroque is as addicted to games as the old baroque, and indeed as its inspiration in the Roman Empire—whence the success of Gladiator (2000), a film that has the honesty to revel in the violent games it depicts, avoiding the hypocrisy of earlier sword-and-sandals epics."


Film Theory and Contemporary Hollywood Movies, chapter two
: The Supernatural in Neo-baroque Hollywood, by Sean Cubitt
 
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  • ebrahim

    Senior Member
    Persian
    I still can't grasp the structure. I feel something is missing in the sentence. doesn't 'whence the success of Gladiator' need a main verb? Also what does 'whence' refer to?​



     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    There is no main verb. This is a peculiarity of 'whence' and 'hence', that they can introduce noun phrases like this. You can imagine it with some linking verb like 'comes': whence comes the success of Gladiator = and from this comes the success of Gladiator. I'm not sure what precisely "this" points back to: the neo-baroque's addiction to games, I suppose.

    You see this use in forming, in effect, complete sentences. 'I thought it was going to rain today. Hence the umbrella.' Just accept this as an idiom; I wouldn't like to suggest there was a longer form that was grammatically complete: you can't just add a verb there.
     

    ebrahim

    Senior Member
    Persian
    There is no main verb. This is a peculiarity of 'whence' and 'hence', that they can introduce noun phrases like this. You can imagine it with some linking verb like 'comes': whence comes the success of Gladiator = and from this comes the success of Gladiator. I'm not sure what precisely "this" points back to: the neo-baroque's addiction to games, I suppose.

    You see this use in forming, in effect, complete sentences. 'I thought it was going to rain today. Hence the umbrella.' Just accept this as an idiom; I wouldn't like to suggest there was a longer form that was grammatically complete: you can't just add a verb there.
    Thank you. But there is no 'this' in my quote. Tell me what 'it' refers to instead.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    No, but there was a "this" in my quote, giving an equivalent for 'whence'. Or you could regard 'whence' as equivalent to the relative expression "from which", where 'which' has the vague reference "the situation just mentioned".
     
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