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I have a question about the interposition “fools that they are” in the following:

“Fools that they are, they never knew thy guiltless pride, thy true spirit.”

Using Google’s Ngram Viewer, I found other works in which this appears. Its meaning is clear, and I’ve seen similar constructions: “fool though he is,” for instance. But can anyone tell me what this (almost rhetorical) device is called, and also why “that” is used instead of one pronoun or another (or none at all)?

Thank you!

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    It doesn't need to be "that". Other prepositions are available. "Thoughtless as he is...", "Good while it lasts...", "Fool though he remains...* etc. – WS2 May 9 at 6:55
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    @WS2 Prepositions? M-W: << though conjunction ... (Entry 1 of 2) ... 2: in spite of the possibility that : even if though I may fail, I will try >> Re-ordering: Fail though I may, I will try. – Edwin Ashworth May 9 at 14:25
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    They are fools that they never knew thy guiltless pride, thy true spirit - As @EdwinAshworth said, it's a matter of rearranging the words. – Ram Pillai May 9 at 14:37
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    @EdwinAshworth Unless you can put your comments in lucidly-written English, I'm afraid, as ever, that I have not the faintest idea what you are on about. – WS2 May 9 at 15:07
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    @WS2 'It doesn't need to be "that". Other prepositions are available.' Since when has 'that' been a preposition? – Edwin Ashworth May 9 at 16:39

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