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Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.

Now is that a correct sentence to start with?

Does that strictly mean, 'when somone is worthy, then he can hold the hammer and posses the power'?

Or

Can this sentence also mean, 'Hammer can be held by anyone but only if he is worthy, he shall possess the power'?

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    Looks to me like the second meaning. Whosoever is not restrictive, but their worthiness is. – Weather Vane Apr 30 '19 at 12:58
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It is grammatical in early modern English. It is marginal in current English.

The sentence in current English would be something like

Anybody who holds this hammer, if they are worthy, will have the power of Thor.

It says nothing about whether there are restrictions on who may hold the hammer.

| improve this answer | |
  • That version sounds far more awkward to me than the original. – Jason Bassford May 1 '19 at 6:31

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