Can we use reflexive pronouns as intensifiers for objective pronouns?

This link is my best attempt that I've found and probably, is related to my question. However, the answerer only wrote about its usage to emphasize a subject i.e. the pronoun I.

Anyway, can I say this?

It is I who can comfort me, myself.

If I can't, what's the reason? (Let's not discuss about why I use I after to be.)

  • You can't say I can comfort me. The use of me as a reflexive pronoun (as in Now I lay me down to sleep) is archaic. It is I myself who can comfort myself sounds clumsy. Commented Jan 5, 2022 at 17:31
  • "It is I who" is just not used generally in English. Only in an English manor murder mystery: It is I who opened the barn door and let the horse out. [joke to make a point]
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 5, 2022 at 21:36
  • It's certainly rare, but it may be possibile in a sentence such as: "Most visitors to the zoo see only one of its two lions, but I saw the other one itself!" (I'm not sure about how many people would find this acceptable, but I don't know of any rule prohibiting it.) Commented Jan 6, 2022 at 0:20

2 Answers 2


Yes, in your sentence, "myself" clearly intensifies "me". It does not intensify the subject "I".

However, that sentence is really unnatural, and arguably ungrammatical.

MarcInManhattan has provided a much cleaner example of using a reflexive pronoun as an intensifier of an object:

"Most visitors to the Emerald City only see the palace exterior, but I met the Wizard himself!"

  • I think that this construction still occurs in modern English. E.g.: "Most visitors to the Emerald City only see the palace exterior, but I met the Wizard himself!" Commented Jan 5, 2022 at 23:58

You could say it, technically, however it's become archaic in modern usage.

The reason is, effectively, because it's no longer said that way. Ways or styles of speaking fall out of use for a variety of reasons that are often unknown and they will likely stay that way to some extant or another.

A strategy that is used today is to place the adverb only before the subject.

Only I can comfort myself.

Edit: Seems I misread your title, sorry about that!

It's not a structure I've ever encountered to emphasize an object personal pronoun with a reflexive; I also don't believe it's ever been one.

I'm not sure how else one could emphasize the object in this example. Although perhaps placing only before the subject effectively does so as the subject and object are one and the same here.

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