Rhetorical devices D block
Terms in this set (75)
a word or expression used in a figurative sense. some of its examples are irony, hyperbole, metaphor, allegory, litotes, pun, personification, simile, metonymy, synecdoche, etc.
- Using a vaguely suggestive, physical object to embody a more general idea. Example: The working man follows the life of the crown in envy and awe.
-- Using a part of a physical object to represent the whole object. Example: the word "boots" refers to soldiers.
using one verb with two or more different objects.
Ex: You are free to execute your laws, and your citizens, as you see fit
Ex: To wage war and peace
giving human qualities to things that aren't human
Ex: Two Sunflowers Move into the Yellow Room
Ex: The door protested as it opened slowly.
saying something that is an exaggeration
e.g. #1: I am dying of shame
e.g. #2: I am trying to solve a million issues these days
saying something slightly negative to make a point. e.g. They do not seem the happiest couple around.
crossing senses to create a sentence
Oxymoron (plural oxymora, also called paradox) --
making a sentence that weirdly makes sense Example "agreed to disagree", "alone in a crowd"
Figures of speech that deal with word order, sytax, letters, and sounds, rather than the meaning of words. Example: "One for all and all for one"
When the writer establishes similar patterns of grammatical structure and length (ex 1: Like father, like son, ex 2: Nancy read a book while Joe watched television, ex 3: MLK repeats "I Have a Dream" in his "I Have a Dream" speech)
If the writer uses two parallel structures, the result is like this example:
If there are three structures, it is like this example: Be sincere, be brief, be seated. ex 2: You are talking to a man who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom, and chuckled at catastrophe. ex 3: Eye it, try it, buy it. ex 4: The key to Springfield has always been Elm Street. The Greeks knew it. The Carthaginians knew it. Now you know it.
Antithesis (plural: antitheses)
Balancing words, phrases, or ideas that are strongly contrasted, often by means of grammatical structure. Example: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." - Neil Armstrong
Inverted word order from what one expects. e.g. Excited the children were when Santa entered the room.
Repetition in reverse order
Taking parallelism and deliberately turning it inside out to create a sentence that flips. ei: Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.
Omitting a word implied by the previous clause. Example: "After school I went to her house ... and then came home."
Using no conjunctions to create an effect of speed or simplicity Ex: He was a bag of bones, a floppy doll, a broken stick, a maniac. Ex: In some ways, he was this town at its best-strong, hard-driving, working feverishly, pushing, building, driven by ambitions so big they seemed Texas-boastful.
Using many conjunctions to achieve an overwhelming effect
e.g. #1: "And Joshua, and all of Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had." (The Bible)
e.g. #2: "Let the whitefolks have their money and power and segregation and sarcasm and big houses and schools and lawns like carpets, and books, and mostly-mostly-let them have their whiteness." (Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)
placing things in rising order, the part of story or play where the tension or action reaches its highest part. Example: The deaths of Romeo (who kills himself because he thinks Juliet is dead) and Juliet (who kills herself when she awakes and sees Romeo dead).
anticlimax or bathos (not to be confused with pathos)
placing things in the defending order
Appeals to an audience's sense of morality/trust; Achieved by projecting an image of credibility which supports the speaker's position. Example: "As a doctor, I am qualified to tell you that this course of treatment will likely generate the best results."
A Greek term that refers to suffering but has come to be associated with broader appeals to emotion; one of Aristotle's three rhetorical appeals Empathizing with a friend who lost a family member
Feeling proud as your country's athlete receives a gold medal at the Olympics. Laughing when a story presents something funny.
A Greek term that means "word"; an appeal to logic; one of Aristotle's three rhetorical appeals. Example: A politician argues for a new domestic spending program by stating facts and figures about the current level of spending
Repetition of a sound in multiple words
e.g. #1 Dunkin Donuts
e.g. #2 She sells sea-shells down by the sea-shore
the repetition of consonant sounds. e.g. Mike likes his new bike.
the repetition of vowel sounds
Ex: "Fleet feet sweep by sleeping geese."
Ex: "Men sell the wedding bells."
Repetition of beginning clauses. Example: "My life is my purpose. My life is my goal. My life is my inspiration."
Repetition of concluding word(s) Example: "And that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth" - Abraham Lincoln
A story or visual image with a second distinct meaning partially hidden behind its literal or visible meaning. e.g. Allegory of the Cave, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a religious allegory with Aslan as Christ and Edmund as Judas.
A word, phrase, or clause to which a following pronoun refers. Example: When children are happy, they clap to express their pleasure.
An event or situation that may be interpreted in more than one way. ei:To be or not to be, that is the question.
addressing someone or something that cannot answer: "Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky."
Balancing words, phrases, or ideas that are strongly contrasted, often by means of grammatical structure
A reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art
"Don't act like a Romeo in front of her."
A comparison of two different things that are similar in some way
A brief narrative that focuses on a particular incident or event. Example: A group of coworkers are discussing pets, and one coworker tells a story about how her cat comes downstairs at only a certain time of the night
harsh, jarring noise e.g. He is a rotten, dirty, terrible, trudging, stupid dude! - hard t and d sounds are harsh
Rythmic rise and fall
Here is a good example (read this out loud to hear the rhythm of the poem): "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
"'Tis some visiter," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door—
A list of things, people, or events.
Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
use of informal language such as slang Examples: y'all - you all
a slight discrepancy between what is said and what happens. Example: Exclaiming "oh great" after failing an exam
A metaphor developed at great length, occurring frequently in or throughout a work
Ex: "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts."
Ex: "Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair ...
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair."
peculiar to or characteristic of a given language or a particular group of people - a dialect or jargon of a group of people not usually taken literally. -- "A chip on your shoulder"
Any combination of disparate elements that form a unified, single image
A recurring element, such as an image, theme, or type of incident. Example: prophecy, foretelling, blood in Macbeth
descriptive language in which words and sentence patterns create an effect or atmosphere e.g. The view of the sun setting over the water on a perfect summer day.
A 19th century artistic movement in which writers and painters sought to show life as it is rather than life as it should be. "There's been an unpleasantness here while you were away. In the old servants' part of the house, as you know, only the old people live - little old Efim and Polya and Evstigney, and Karp as well"
This flexible term describes the variety, the conventions, and the purpose of the major kinds of writing. The four most common of these include exposition, argumentation, description, and narration.
Methods and techniques that speakers use to achieve their speaking goals
language that conveys a speaker's attitude or opinion with regard to a particular subject. It is broader than, and actually includes, tone as part of the writer's purpose.
A question asked merely for rhetorical effect and not requiring an answer Example: Is rain wet?
A writer's attitude toward his or her subject matter revealed through diction, figurative language, and organization on the sentence and global levels. Tone can be: excited, happy, sarcastic, worried, etc.
the presentation of something as being smaller, worse, or less important than it actually is.
Ex: You just hit the biggest lottery of all time! An understatement would be: "I'm kind of excited."
Ex: In J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield says,"I have to have this operation. It isn't very serious. I have this tiny little tumor on the brain."
the hidden or underlying meaning of something. e.g. A student goes to turn in his paper. After looking through two pages, his teacher asks, "Are you sure you want to turn this in?"
A sentence that presents its central meaning in a main clause at the end. The independent clause is preceded by a phrase or clause that cannot stand alone. The effect is to add emphasis and structural variety.
Ex: "In spite of heavy snow and cold temperatures, the game continued."
Ex: "With a beautiful set and a pyrotechnic display, the act was sure to please."
A sentence in which the main independent clause is elaborated by the successive addition of modifying clauses or phrases (main clause is at the beginning) Example: Florida is a great vacation spot for families, with Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World.
A sentence constructed so that the predicate comes before the subject (ex: In the woods I am walking.)
description, exposition, persuasion, narration
the four rhetorical modes
Cumulative sentence. Know definition and how to write one.
a sentence in which the main independent clause is elaborated by the successive addition of modifing clauses or phrases.
Periodic sentence. Know definition and how to write one.
A sentence that departs from the usual word order of English sentences by expressing its main thought only at the end. In other words, the particulars in the sentence are presented before the idea they support.
Telegraphic sentence. Know definition and how to write one.
concise sentences typically containing five words or less. ex) Eat orange, the shoe wet, Dad fell
A mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing. ex) On the streets instead of homeless, passed away instead of died
The false assignment of an event, person, scene, or language to a time when the event, person, scene, or word did not exist. ex) iPhone in the 1700s Example: The GEICO Caveman—GEICO's tagline was "So easy, a caveman could do it," which humorously was supposed to offend cavemen living in the modern world.
A concise statement that expresses succinctly a general truth or idea, often using rhyme or balance. (ex: Don't judge a book by it's cover, ignorance is bliss, history repeats itself, a penny saved is a penny earned
intended to convey instruction and information as well as pleasure and entertainment didactic poetry
ex: "Know then thyself, presume not God to scan
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A Being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much;"
a speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly, typically someone who has just died or retired (ex: He was a serious and disciplined man, but he could never resist the opportunity to have a laugh with friends and loved ones, given half the chance...)
The name given to a well established technique or feature of a particular genre. Example: Soliloquies in Shakespearean plays
A category of art, music and literature characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.
Ex: Westerns. Stories that take place in the Wild West, typically including gun duels, train robberies, heists, and showdowns, are known collectively as Westerns.
A comparison where two vastly different objects are likened together using a simile or metaphor. Example: "Love is like an oil change."
Placement of two things closely together to emphasize comparisons or contrasts. Example: in "Romeo and Juliet," Shakespeare juxtaposes light and darkness.
a statement that seems contradictory or absurd, but is actually valid or true. Example: You can save money by spending it; "What a pity that youth must be wasted on the young." - George Bernard Shaw
irony that is inherent in speeches or a situation of a drama and is understood by the audience but not grasped by the characters.
Example: In a scary movie, the character walks into a house and the audience knows the killer is in the house.
A sermon or speech that a religious person or priest delivers before a group of people to offer them moral correction. e.g. Sermon on the Mount
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