AP Latin: Aeneid Rhetorical Devices
Terms in this set (50)
An extended metaphor. A narrative in which abstract ideas figure as circumstances or persons.
Effects: adds interest, teaches a moral lesson
Latin: The personification of Fama (Rumor) in 4.173-197 and 655-56
Repetition of the same consonantal sound, usually at the beginning of two or more successive words
Effects: emphasizes, enlivens
Latin: Veni, Vidi, Vici./"magno cum murmure monte"
Repetition of a word, usually at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses or lines. Appears frequently in Vergil, and is often accompanied by ansydeton.
Effect: demands attention, emphasizes
Latin: "Ut spolia, ut currus, utque ipsum corpus amici...conspexit."
An abrupt break in a sentence, wherein the speaker is seemingly overwhelmed with anger, fear, excitement, or some other excessive emotion. An unfinished thought, the implied meaning of which is usually clear. Being at a loss for words.
Effect: creates dramatic energy
Latin: "Quos ego---! Sed motos praestat componere fluctus."
A "turning away" from one to address another; often used to address an absent personified object or a person. Apostrophe differs from personification in that it addresses an object directly, rather than merely describing it in human terms. Appears frequently in Vergil.
Effect: expresses deep emotion and pathos; draws the reader into the situation.
Latin: "O patria, O divum domus Ilium!" (2.241)
The omission of connectors in a closely related series. Creates a rapid statement of ideas. Common in Vergil when combined with anaphora.
Effects: accelerates the words or actions; expresses non-stop action or violence.
Latin: "Unus natorum Priami, per tela, per hostes...fugit." (2.527-28)
Arrangement of two sets or pairs of corresponding or syntactically parallel words in opposite or reverse order. AaBb becomes AbBa (order varies).
Effect: balances, contrasts, embraces, creates a word picture.
English: The cat jumped in, out jumped the mouse.
Latin: "Ilionea petit dextra laevaque Serestum."(1.611)
A digression vividly describing a place, object, or event. In epic poetry, this device creates transition to a new scene.
Effect: adds vividness, interest.
Latin: 1.159-70 describes elaborately a harbor into which Aeneas' fleet limps after the storm.
Omission of an easily understood or assumed word in order to avoid repetition, to secure rapidity of narration, or to accommodate the requirements of meter. Differs from gapping in that the understood word is often a form of "esse," but it can also be a form of the verb ago, dico, facio, inquit, or loquor.
Effect: confusion, economy, acceleration of the narrative; creates a variety of style.
Latin: "Tantae animis caelestibus irae?" ("Suntne" is ellipted at the beginning)
In verse, the building of suspense by postponing to the next line a significant word or words related to the previous line. A run-on line. Common in Vergil.
Effect: develops suspense and creates surprise.
Latin: "Arcades, haec, inquit, memores mea dicta referte/Evandro." 10.491-92)
The use of two nouns connected by a conjunction and having the meaning of a single modified noun.
Effect: amplifies, adds force.
Latin: "Hoc metuens, molemque et montes insuper altos." (molem montium= a mass of mountains) (1.61)
A significant departure from normal word order, sometimes referred to in English as anastrophe. The separation of words, most commonly an adjective from its noun, that logically belong together. First word, the adjective, is placed in an emphatic position. Just like bracketing to create ideas.
Effect: emphasizes the first of the separated words; creates images and wordplay
Latin: "Speluncam Dido dux et Troianus eandem." (4.124)
Exaggeration for emphasis or rhetorical effect; overstatement.
Effect: stresses the importance or seriousness of a situation; helps the reader to experience it with those involved.
Latin: "Fluctusque ad sidera tollit." (1.103)
Reversal of the normal or expected sequence of events in order to put the more important idea, which logically would come later in time, first.
Effect: emphasizes a particular word or idea, or stresses the result of an action.
Latin: Ut tecum loquerer simulque ut essem. (speaking is placed before the being together.) (Catullus 50.13)
The expression of something contrary to what is intended, i.e.., the words say one thing but actually mean another.
Effect: adds humor or sarcasm
Latin: "Nos munera templis quippe tuis ferimus"(4.218) (Iarbas sarcastically suggests that worshipping Jove has no payoff for mortals)
An understatement or double negative.
Latin: "Neque enim ignari sumus." (1.198)
An implied comparison, made through the figurative use of words that suggest a likeness between what is actually being described and something else, like using fire to describe "passion."
Effect: creates interest, or further understanding of something unfamiliar; stimulates the imagination.
Latin: "remigio alarum" ("the oarage of his (i.e., Mercury's) wings")
The use of one noun for another which is suggests, such as the substitution of the name of a deity for an attribute (like, using the word "Ceres" instead of directly using "grain.")
Effect: avoids commonplace words; conveys what is abstract in concrete terms
Latin: "Arma virumque cano..."(1.1)
The poetic use of a single word whose sound suggests its meaning.
Effect: creates interest and illustrates or reinforces lexical meaning.
Latin: Qualis mugitus, fugit cum saucius aram. ("mooing" by a bull being sacrificed) (1.233)
Paradox, or the juxtaposition of opposite or contradictory words in the same phrase.
Effect: creates curiosity, surprise, "double-take"
Latin: "Plenus sacculus est aranearum," ("a purse full of cobwebs...") (Catullus 13.8)
The attribution of human qualities to inanimate objects, animals, or concepts, in order to stimulate the reader's imagination and thus gain vividness.
Effect: stimulates imagination, vividness; makes the abstract concrete.
Latin: "Aeolus.../luctantes ventos...imperio premit." (the winds are wrestling. 1.52-54)
The use of redundant, superfluous, or unnecessary words. Common in Vergil.
Effect: clarifies, reinforces, or lends reassurance or an air of dignity.
Latin: "Sic ore effata, " ("and thus having spoken with her mouth," 2.524)
Repetition either of the same word in different forms or case or tense or of different words having a close etymological relationship.
Effect: adds interest, clarifies
Latin: "Illum absens absentem auditque videtque." (4.83)
The use of more conjunctions than is needed in a series of coordinate words, phrases, or clauses.
Effect: produces a cumulative effect, a "heaping up"; drawing out or rushing.
Latin: "Eurusque Notusque ruunt creberque.../Africus." (1.85-86)
A Ciceronian figure of persuasion which draws attention to an idea by pretending to pass over it. This figure is also known as preterition or paraleipsis/paralipsis.
Effect: a kind of irony; draws more attention to something by pretending to ignore it.
Latin: "Illa nimis antiqua praetereo." (I pass over those (next samples) as too distant in time."
Speaking of something future as already completed or existing; anticipation or preconception.
Effect: prioritizes or puts in prime position what is considered most important.
Latin: "Summersas obrue puppes." (the ships are sunk before the are overwhelmed; 1.69)
A Ciceronian prose figure; the impersonation of an absent or imaginary speaker as speaking, for dramatic effect. A special type of personification.
Effect: adds drama.
English: If Miller Huggins were alive today, he'd by turning over in his grave. (Yogi Barra)
An expressed comparison introduced by words such as "like" or "as" (qualis, similis, ut, velut, veluti, and others).
Effect: describes or illustrates the unfamiliar by way of the familiar. Often lengthy.
Latin: "Quasi mugitus, fugit cum saucius aram/ taurus... (2.223-24)
Also spelled "synchesis"; often referred to as "interlocked word order"; emphasizes specific words by varying the usual word order found in prose. Words are arranged so that the one word pair is arranged between the other word pair.
Effect: variety, emphasizes the close association of the word pairs and gives a closely-knit expression.
Latin: "aurea purpuream subnectiti fibula vestem." (4.139)
The use of a part to represent the whole.
Effect: variety of expression.
Latin: "Numquam Dardaniae tetigissent nostra carinae." (Keels replaces the word for ships. 4.658)
The separation of parts of a compound word by one or more intervening words.
Effect: interrupts, stresses enclosed words.
Latin: Bis collo squamea circum/terga dati. (circumdati, 2.218-19)
Also known as hypallage; an adjective that agrees grammatically with one noun but is placed close to, and shares its meaning with, another noun.
Effect: reinforces or emphasizes.
Latin: "Iunonem interea rex omnipotentis Olympi" (it is the king and not Olympus that is all-powerful, but this suggests the opposite. 12.791)
The use of three closely-connected or parallel descriptive elements, increasing in size and emphasis, to modify a person or thing. Also known as tricolon crescendo or ascending tricolon, and is often accompanied by anaphora and asyndeton.
Effect: gives the impression of a series.
Latin: "I, sequere Italiam ventis, pete regna per undas." (Dido becomes increasingly more agitated as she rebukes Aeneas. Note the asyndeton. 4.381)
The use of one part of speech (usually a verb, but sometimes a noun) with two objects, when strictly speaking the word can be applied to only one of them. A condensed expression where one word has two different senses simultaneously, one sense often being wrong.
Latin: "Avium citharaeque cantus." (here, the singing comes from both the birds and the lyre. Horace Odes 3.1.20)
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