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Meaning of の in the following sentences

Yoshie

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I cannot completely understand the following sentence pattern. As far as I can uderstand なんて ことか expresses the degree of something, for example "Something was so beautiful" etc. However, what is the point of の before the coma or 何と in the last sentence? 
My guesses:
1) の 'connects' to ことか;
2) の uses as が;

荒川さんが浮かべた笑みなんて楽しそうなことか
The smile Aragawa-san expressed, appeared so joyful.

世界録を求める姿、その何と純粋で美しいことか

自分の浪費を妻のせいにする者の何と多いことか
Many a one blames his wife for his own unthrift.
 

Toritoribe

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の is considered to be the possession marker modifying ~こと. For instance, が can't be replaced with の in the second example since その is there. However, が can be used in the last example: 自分の浪費を妻のせいにする者が、何と多いことか. The functions of の and が are overlapping especially in classical Japanese, so "The possession marker or the subject marker. It depends on the sentence." might be the best answer.
 

Morphling

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Thanks for the explanation. I was also stomped but now it makes perfect sense :).
 

Yoshie

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I understand now, thank you very much! Sorry for the late answer.
 
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