Analysis of a complex sentence

Barman

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I have analysed the following complex sentence into different clauses. It's an example given in the practice set of the grammar book written by P K DE Sarkar. Please advise me whether I'm right or not.

A) I can't avoid imagining that thus reigned by his lessons out of all my suspicion and divested of even all the little cunning which Nature had given me, I resembled, upon my first entrance into the busy and insidious world, one of those gladiators who were exposed without armour in the amphitheatre at Rome.

Analysis:-

1) I can't avoid imagining - Principal clause.

2) That, thus reigned by his lessons out of all my suspicion and divested of even all the little cunning, I resembled, upon my first entrance into the busy and insidious world, one of those gladiators- Noun clause, object of imagining in 1.

3) Which nature had given me- Adjective clause, qualifying cunning in 2.

4) Who were exposed without armour in the amphitheatre at Rome- Adjective clause, qualifying gladiators in 3.
 
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PaulMatthews

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1) I can't avoid imagining - Principal clause.

On my analysis it is not a clause, only part of one. Some people do treat it as a clause, and then it is a main clause -- it's not dependent on any other element in the sentence. I think it’s better to say that in your example the sentence as a whole is the main clause.

2) That, thus reigned by his lessons out of all my suspicion and divested of even all the little cunning, I resembled, upon my first entrance into the busy and insidious world, one of those gladiators- Noun clause, object of imagining in 1.

I very much dislike the term 'noun clause'. The classification of subordinate clauses should be based on their internal form rather than spurious analogies with the parts of speech. The that clause is thus a declarative content clause functioning as complement of "imagining".

3) Which nature had given me- Adjective clause, qualifying cunning in 2.
This is a relative clause. See 2) above for why the term 'adjective clause' is best avoided. Note that not everything that modifies a noun is an adjective.

4) Who were exposed without armour in the amphitheatre at Rome- Adjective clause, qualifying gladiators in 3.
Yes, but a relative clause: see 2) and 3) above.
 

Barman

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On my analysis it is not a clause, only part of one. I think it’s better to say that in your example the sentence as a whole is the main clause.

But according to definition of a clause, "A clause is a group of words having a subject and a predicate of its own, but forming part of a bigger sentence".

Therefore, how can I treat a whole sentence as a clause?
 

TheParser

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I can't avoid imagining that thus reigned by his lessons out of all my suspicion and divested of even all the little cunning which Nature had given me, I resembled, upon my first entrance into the busy and insidious world, one of those gladiators who were exposed without armour in the amphitheatre at Rome.

NOT A TEACHER

I think that the "skeleton" of your sentence is: "I can't avoid imagining that I resembled one of those gladiators."

Everything else is added to further explain something in the "skeleton."

1. "who were exposed without armour in the amphitheatre at Rome" is an adjective clause that modifies "gladiators."
2. "upon my first entrance into the busy and insidious world" is a prepositional clause that modifies "resembled."
3. It would have been helpful, I feel, if the writer had used a comma after the word "that." I am somewhat confident that "thus reigned by his lessons out of all my suspicion and divested of even all the little cunning which Nature had given me" modifies "I." In other words, maybe the sentence could have been written in this order: "I can't avoid imagining that I, thus reigned by his lessons out of all my suspicion and divested of even all the little cunning which Nature had given me, resembled, upon my first entrance into the busy and insidious world, one of those gladiators who were exposed without armour in the amphitheatre at Rome."
 
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