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Latin Rhetorical Devices
Terms in this set (37)
the repetition of the same letter or sound, usually at the beginning of a series of words. Often associated with onomatopeoia. EG Interea magno misceri murmure pontum.
the repetition of a word or words at the beginning of successive clauses. Often associated with asyndeton. EG. Miratur molem Aeneas...miratur portas.
the inversion of the normal order of words. EG te propter
(a silent falling) a breaking off in the middle of a sentence, the syntax of which is never resumed. EG Quos ego- sed motos praestat componere fluctus. Neptune suddenly decides to suppress his wrath.
a sudden break from the previous narrative for an address, in second person, of some person or object. EG O terque quaterque beati,/ quis ante ora patrum Toiae sub moenibus altis / contigit oppetere! addressed to the Trojans who fell at Troy
the omission of conjunctions EG nunc hos nunc accipit illos
an extended and elaborate description of a work of art, a building, or a natural setting. EG Aen. 1.159-69, describing the nymphs' cave at Carthage
the omission of one or more words which must be logically supplied in order to create a grammatically complete expression. EG sperate deos memores, where the verb futuros esse must be supplied to complete the sense of this line
the transference of an epithet from the word to which it strictly belongs to another word connected with it in thought. EG somni nocitsque soporae, where the epithet soporae in fact describes not night itself but the drowsiness associated with sleep and night.
the continuation of a unit of thought beyond the end of one verse and into the first few feet of the next. EG melle soporatam et medicatis frugibus offam / obicit, where obicit completes the meaning of the preceding line; a strong pause follows thereafter.
the repetition of a word (often a proper name, and often in successive lines of verse) for dramatic and/or emotional effect. It sometimes appears in combination anaphora and asyndeton. EG divum inclementia, divum / has evertit opes
the avoidance of a direct, sometimes blunt manner of speaking in favor of a more subtle and sometimes diluted form of expression. EG the circumlocution extrema secutam instead of the explicit mortuam.
the expression of an idea by means of two nouns connected by a conjunction instead of by a noun and a modifying adjective, or by one noun modified by another. EG vincilis et carcere = vincilis carceris
the avoidance in meter of elision between one word ending in a vowel and another beginning with a vowel. EG femineo ululatu. Here as often the metrical device enhances Onomatopoiea
the distanced placement of two (or more) words which are logically meant to be understood together. EG cum mihi se, non ante oculis tam clara, videndam / obtulit et pura per noctem in luce refulsit / alma parens, where the subject+verb+object combination se obtulit et refulsit alma parens is dislocated and added emphasis is thus given to each word
the exaggeration for rhetorical effect EG fluctusque ad sidera tollit
the reversal of the natural or logical order of ideas. EG submersas... obrue puppes, where, contrary to logic, Juno instructs Aeolus to flood the Trojan ships after they have been sunk.
an understatement, often enhanced by the use of the negative. EG Aen. 6.392 nec...me sum laetatus.
the substitution of one word for another which it suggests. EG Aen. 4.309, hiberno sidere = hiberno tempore
the use of words the sound of which suggests the sense. EG, Aen. 1.105, insequitur cumulo praeruptus aquae mons.
Pathetic Fallacy (transferred epithet)
is the attribution of human emotion to inanimate objects. EG Aen. 667-68, Lamentis gemituque et femineo ululatu / tecta fremunt, where the roaring is in fact done not by the dwelling but by those whose cries fill it. When used with adjectives it is a transferred epithet.
a rhetorical or literary figure in which words, grammatical constructions, or concepts are repeated in reverse order, in the same or a modified form; e.g. 'Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.'
the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form.
a question that anticipates no real answer. EG Aen. 2.577-78 Sciliciet haec Spartam incolumnis patriasque Mycenas / aspiciet, partoque ibit regina triumpho?
exceptional fullness of expression (usually unnecessary), typical of archaic Latin style. EG Aen. 4.203, amens animi
the repetition of a noun or pronoun in different cases at the beginning of successive phrases or clauses. EG Aen. 1.106-7 hi summo in flucto pendent; his unda discens / terram inter fluctus aperit. (form of anaphora)
an overabundance of conjunctions. EG Aen. 1.85-86, una Eurusque Notusque ruunt creberque procellis / Africus
the inclusion int he main story of references to events which in fact will occur after the dramatic time of the poem, and to the people and circumstances involved in these later events. EG Aen. 6.847-50 Ecudent...ducent...orabunt... describent...dicent, all used to describe the Romans who will be descended from Aeneas and who aare not themselves characters in the Aeneid.
a figure of speech which likens or asserts an explicit comparison between two different things (usually using like or as) EG Aen. 6.451-54, (Dido) quam.../ obscuram, qaulem primo qui surgere mense / aut videt aut vidisse putat per nubile lunam.
a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.
interlocking word order; many variations on the pattern abAB exist. EG Aen. 4.700, Iris croceis...roscida pennis.
the use of a part for the whole, or the reverse. EG Aen. 4.354, capitis...iniuria cari, where capitis cari is used to indicate a person.
a metrical effect whereby two contiguous vowels within the same word and normally pronounced separately are slurred into one syllable. EG Aen. 1.120, Ilionei, where the last two vowels, normally pronounced as a short vowel followed by a long, become one long vowel.
(splitting) the separation into two parts of a word normally written as one, often for a (quasi-) visual effect. EG Aen. 2.218-19 bis collo squamea circum / terga dati, where circum+dati =circumdati; the word terga is literally surrounded by the two parts of circumdati
an epithet which has been transferred from the word to which it strictly belongs to another word connected with it in thought. EG Aen. 1.123, inimicum imbrem = imimici dei imbrem. (see Enallage)
the accumulation of three parallel phrases of clauses, each of which is at least one syllable longer than that preceding it. EG Aen. 4.307-8 Nec te noster amor (6 syllabels) nec te data dextera quondam (9 syllables) / nec moritura tenet crudeli funere Dido? (15 syllables). Is often found in combination with anaphora and asyndeton.
the joining of two words by a modifying or governing word which strictly applies to only one of them. EG Aen. 12.898, limes agro positus litem ut discerneret arvis, where zeugma occurs in the use of the verb discerneret with both litem and arvis: the boundary stone settles disagreements by dividing the fields.
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