修辞格解释及例子

1. alliteration

Definition : the repetition of the same sounds or of the same kinds of sounds at the beginning of words or in stressed syllables of an English language phrase.

Examples: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the c olor of their skin but by the c ontent of their c haracter". -Martin Luther King, Jr.

"We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the s tar that guides us s till; just as it guided our forebears through S eneca Falls, and S elma, and S tonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, s ung and uns ung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth". -Barack Obama

2. assonance

Definition: The repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds in neighboring words to create internal rhyming within phrases or sentences, and together with alliteration and consonance serves as one of the building blocks of verse.

Examples:

"Soft language issued from their spitless lips as they swished in low circles round and round the field, winding hither and thither through the weeds, dragging their long tails amid the rattling canisters."

(James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, 1916)

"The spider skins lie on their sides, translucent and ragged, their legs drying in knots."

(Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm, 1977)

3. consonance

Definition: Broadly, the repetition of consonant sounds; more specifically, the repetition of the final consonant sounds of accented syllables or important words.

Examples:

‘T was later when the summer went

Than when the cricket came,

And yet we knew that gentle clock

Meant nought but going home.

‘T was sooner when the cricket went

Than when the winter came,

Yet that pathetic pendulum

Keeps esoteric time.

(Emily Dickinson, "‘T was later when the summer went")

4. onomatopoeia

Definition:

Onomatopoeia is defined as a word, which imitates the natural sounds of a thing, which it

describes. It creates a sound effect that makes the thing described, making the idea more expressive and interesting.

Examples:

The buzzing bee flew away.

The sack fell into the river with a splash.

The books fell on the table with a loud thump.

He looked at the roaring sky.

The rustling leaves kept me awake.

a group of words reflecting different sounds of water are; bloop, splash, gush, sprinkle, drizzle, drip etc.

Similarly, words like growl, giggle, grunt, murmur, blurt, chatter etc. denote different kinds of human voices.

Moreover, we can identify a group of words related to different sounds of wind, such as; swish, swoosh, whiff, whoosh, whizz, whisper etc.

5. simile

Definition: A simile is a figure of speech that makes a comparison, showing similarities between two different things. Unlike a metaphor, a simile draws resemblance with the help of words ―like‖ or ―as‖. Therefore, it is direct comparison.

Examples:

1. Written by Joseph Conrad,

―I would have given anything for the power to soothe her frail soul, tormenting itself in its invincible ignorance like a small bird beating about the cruel wires of a cage.‖

2. In her novel ―To the Lighthouse‖, Virginia Woolf compares the velocity of her thoughts about the two men with that of spoken words.

―. . . impressions poured in upon her of those two men, and to follow her thought was like followin g a voice which speaks too quickly to be taken down by one‘s pencil . . .‖

3. Robert Burns uses a simile to describe beauty of his beloved.

―O my Luve‘s like a red, red rose

That‘s newly sprung in June;

O my Luve‘s like the melodie

That‘s sweetly played in tune.‖

6. metaphor

Definition: Metaphor is a figure of speech makes an implicit, implied or hidden comparison between two things or objects that are poles apart from each other but have some characteristics common between them. In other words, a resemblance of two contradictory or different objects is made on a single or some common characteristics.

Examples:

1. ―She is all states, and all princes, I.‖

John Donne , a metaphysical poet, was well-known for his abundant use of metaphors

throughout his poetical works. In his well-known work ―The Sun Rising,‖ the speaker scolds the sun for waking him and his beloved. Among the most evocative metaphors in literature, he explains ―she is all states, and all princes, I.‖ This line demonstrates the speaker‘s belief that he and his beloved are richer than all states, kingdoms, and rulers in the entire world because of the love that they share.

2. ―Shall I Compare Thee to a summer‘s Day‖,

William Shakespeare was the best exponent of the use of metaphors. His poetical works and dramas all make wide-ranging use of metaphors.

―Sonnet 18,‖also known as ―Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer‘s Day,‖ is an extended metaphor between the love of the speaker and the fairness of the summer season. He writes that ―thy eternal summer,‖ here taken to mean the love of the subject, ―shall not fade.‖

3. ―Before high-pil‘d books, in charact‘ry / Hold like rich garners the full-ripened grain,‖

The great Romantic poet John Keats suffered great losses in his life – the death of his father in an accident, and of his mother and brother with the tuberculosis.

When he began displaying signs of tuberculosis himself at the age of 22, he wrote ―When I Have Fears,‖ a poem rich with metaphors concerning life and death. In the line ―before high-pil‘d books, in charact‘ry / Hold like rich garners the full -ripened grain‖, he employs a double -metaphor. Writing poetry is implicitly compared with reaping and sowing, and both these acts represent the emptiness of a life unfulfilled creatively.

7. metonymy

Definition: It is a figure of speech that takes the place of the name of a thing with the name of something else with which it is closely associated

Examples:

England decides to keep check on immigration. (England refers to the government.)

The suits were at meeting. (The suits stand for businesspersons.)

Pen is mightier than sword. (Pen refers to written words and sword to military force.)

The Oval Office was busy in work. (―The Oval Office‖ is metonymy as it stands for people at work in the office.)

Let me give you a hand. (Hand means help.)

1. The given lines are from Shakespeare‘s ―Julies Caesar‖ Act I.

―Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.‖

Mark Anthony uses ―ears‖ to say that he wants the people present there to listen to him attentively. It is metonymy because the word ―ears‖ replaces the concept of attention.

2. This line is from Margaret Mitchell‘s novel ―Gone with the Wind‖.

―I‘m mighty glad Georgia waited till after Christmas before it secedes or it would have ruined the Christmas parties.‖

Scarlett uses ―Georgia‖ to point out everything that makes up the state: citizens, politician , government etc. It is a metonymy extremely common in the modern world, where a name of a country or state refers to a whole nation and its government. Thus, it renders brevity to the ideas.

3. These lines are taken from ―Out, Out‖ by Robert Frost.

―As he swung toward them holding up the hand

Half in appeal, but half as if to keep

The life from spilling‖

In these lines, the expression ―The life from spilling‖ is a metonymy that refers to spilling of blood. It develops a link between life and blood. The loss of too much blood means loss of life.

4. These lines are from the poem ―Yet Do I Marvel‖.

―The little buried mole continues blind,

Why flesh that mirror Him must someday die,‖

Countee Cullen uses ―flesh‖ to represent human and questions God why we have to die when we are created in His likeness.

8.synaesthesia

Definition: a technique adopted by writers to present ideas, characters or places in such a manner that they appeal to more than one senses like hearing, seeing, smell etc. at the same.

Examples:

1. Dante makes use of synesthesia in his poem ―The Devine Comedy‖. In the first canto, the poet tells us about ―Inferno‖ where he was sent. He says, ―Back to the region where the sun is silent.‖ Here, poet binds the sense of sight with the sense of hearing. By using the phrase ―the sun is silent‖, he declares that the sun is there but it does not provide any warmth or comfort. This description gives us an idea that the place he is driven to is dreadfully frightening.

2. We notice synesthetic imageries in John Keats ―Ode to a Nightingale‖:

―Tasting of Flora and the country green,

Dance, and Provencal song, and sun burnt mirth!‖

In the above, Keats associates visual sensations with the sense of taste. In the same poem, he further states:

―In some melodious plot,

Of beechen green,

Singest of summer in full throated ease.‖

Keats associates the act of melodious singing with a plot covered with green beechen trees and thus associates visuals with the sense of hearing.

3. We see Shakespeare employing synesthetic device in play ―King Lear‖ Act 2, Scene 2: ―Thou art a lady: if only to go warm were gorgeous,

Why nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear‘st,

Which scarcely keeps thee warm.‖

In the above extract, Lear makes fun of his daughter ―Goneril‖ for wearing revealing attire. He associates the word ―warm‖ with ―gorgeous‖ which is an attempt to blend the sense of touch with the sense of sight.

9. antonomasia

Definition:

a substitution of any epithet or phrase for a proper name, such as "the little corporal" for Napoleon I. The reverse process is also sometimes called antonomasia.

Examples:

(1)biblical or mythological figures

Solomon —a wise man

Daniel —a wise and fair judge

Judas —a traitor

Hercules —a hero of strength and bravery

(2)historical figures

the Rubicon--an irrevocable step

Nero —a tyrant

John Wayne—a modern figure of a tough man

(3)literary figures

Uncle Tom—a Negro who compromises and conforms with the Whites

10. synecdoche

Definition:

a literary device in which a part of something represents the whole or it may use a whole to represent a part. Synecdoche may also use larger groups to refer to smaller groups or vice versa. It may also call a thing by the name of the material, it is made of or it may refer to a thing in a container or packing by the name of that container or packing.

Examples:

1. Coleridge employs synecdoche in his poem ―The Rime of the Ancient Mariner‖:

―The western wave was all a-flame.

The day was well was nigh done!

Almost upon the western wave

Rested the broad bright Sun‖

Th e ―western wave‖ is a synecdoche as it refers to the see by the name of its part i.e. wave.

2. Look at the use of synecdoche in the lines taken from Shakespeare‘s Sonnet 116:

―O no! It is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken.‖

The phrase ―ever-fixed mark‖ refers to a lighthouse.

3. Look how Shelly uses synecdoche in his poem ―Ozymandias‖:

―Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them.‖

―The hand‖ in the above lines refers to the sculptor who carved the ―lifeless things‖ into a grand statue.

4. Observe the use of synecdoche in the following lines from ―The Secret Sharer‖ by Joseph Conrad:

―At midnight I went on deck, and to my mate‘s great surprise put the ship round on the other tack. His terrible whiskers flitted round me in silent criticism.‖

The word ―whiskers‖ mentioned in the above lines refers to the whole face of the narrator‘s mate.

5. Jonathon Swift in ―The description of the Morning‖ uses synecdoche:

―Prepar‘d to scrub the entry and the stairs.

The youth with broomy stumps began to trace.‖

In the above lines the phrase ―broomy stumps‖ refers to the whole broom.

6. Note the use of synecdoche in ―The Lady or the Tiger?‖ by Frank R. Stockton:

―His eye met hers as she sat there paler and whiter than anyone in the vast ocean of anxious faces about her.‖

―Faces‖ refers to the whole persons.

11. personification

Definition: a figure of speech in which a thing, an idea or an animal is given human attributes. The non-human objects are portrayed in such a way that we feel they have the ability to act like human beings.

Examples:

1. Taken from L. M. Montgomery‘s ―The Green Gables Letters‖,

―I hied me away to the woods—away back into the sun-washed alleys carpeted with fallen gold and glades where the moss is green and vivid yet. The woods are getting ready to sleep—they are not yet asleep but they are disrobing and are having all sorts of little bed-time conferences and whisperings and good-nights.‖

The lack of activity in the forest has been beautifully personified as forest getting ready to sleep, busy in bed-time chatting and wishing good-nights, all of which relate typically to human customs.

2. Taken from Act I, Scene II of ― Romeo and Juliet‖,

―When well-appareled April on the heel

Of limping winter treads.‖

April cannot put on a dress, and winter does not limp and it does not have heel on which a month can walk. Shakespeare personifies month of April and winter season by giving them two distinct human qualities.

3. A.H. Houseman in his poem ―Loveliest of Trees the Cherry Now‖ personifies the cherry tree, ―Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

Is hung with bloom along the bough,

And stands about the woodland ride

Wearing white for Eastertide.‖

He sees a cherry tree covered with beautiful white flowers in the forest and says that cherry tree wears white clothes to celebrate Easter. He gives human attributes to a tree in order to describe it in human terms.

12. apostrophe

Definition: a figure of speech sometime represented by exclamation ―O‖. A writer or a speaker, using an apostrophe, detaches himself from the reality and addresses an imaginary character in his speech.

Examples:

1. William Shakespeare makes use of an apostrophe in his play ―Macbeth‖:

―Is this a dagger which I see before me,

The handle toward my hand?

Come, let me clutch thee!

I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.‖

In his mental conflict before murdering king Duncan, Macbeth has a strange vision of a dagger

and talks to it as if it were another person.

2. Jane Taylor uses apostrophe in well-known nursery rhyme ―The Star‖:

―Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are.

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.‖

In the above nursery rhyme, a child addresses a star which is an imaginary idea and hence is a classical example of apostrophe.

13. irony

Definition:

a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words. It may also be a situation that may end up in quite a different way than what is generally anticipated. In simple words, it is a difference between the appearance and the reality

Examples:

1. We come across the following lines in Shakespeare‘s ―Romeo and Juliet‖, Act I, Scene V. ―Go ask his name: if he be married.

My grave is like to be my wedding bed.‖

Juliet commands her nurse to find out who Romeo was and says if he were married, then her wedding bed would be her grave. It is a verbal irony because the audience knows that she is going to die on her wedding bed.

2. Shakespeare employs this verbal irony in ―Julius Caesar‖ Act I, Scene II,

―‗tis true this god did shake‖

When a character Cassius, despite knowing the mortal flaws of Caesar, calls him ―this god‖.

3. In the Greek drama ―Oedipus Rex‖ written by ―Sophocles‖,

―Upon the murderer I invoke this curse- whether he is one man and all unknown,

Or one of many- may he wear out his life in misery to miserable doom!‖

The above lines are an illustration of verbal and dramatic irony. It was predicted that a man guilty of killing his father and marrying his own mother has brought curse on the city and its people. In the above-mentioned lines, Oedipus curses the man who is the cause of curse on his city. He is ignorant of the fact that he himself is that man and he is cursing himself. Audience, on the other hand, knows the situation.

4. In his poem ―The Rime of the Ancient Mariner‖, Coleridge wrote,

―Water, water, everywhere,

And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water, everywhere,

Nor any drop to drink.‖

In the above stated lines, the ship, blown by the south wind, is stranded in the uncharted sea. Ironically, there is water everywhere but they do not have a single drop of water to drink.

1. alliteration

Definition : the repetition of the same sounds or of the same kinds of sounds at the beginning of words or in stressed syllables of an English language phrase.

Examples: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the c olor of their skin but by the c ontent of their c haracter". -Martin Luther King, Jr.

"We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the s tar that guides us s till; just as it guided our forebears through S eneca Falls, and S elma, and S tonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, s ung and uns ung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth". -Barack Obama

2. assonance

Definition: The repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds in neighboring words to create internal rhyming within phrases or sentences, and together with alliteration and consonance serves as one of the building blocks of verse.

Examples:

"Soft language issued from their spitless lips as they swished in low circles round and round the field, winding hither and thither through the weeds, dragging their long tails amid the rattling canisters."

(James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, 1916)

"The spider skins lie on their sides, translucent and ragged, their legs drying in knots."

(Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm, 1977)

3. consonance

Definition: Broadly, the repetition of consonant sounds; more specifically, the repetition of the final consonant sounds of accented syllables or important words.

Examples:

‘T was later when the summer went

Than when the cricket came,

And yet we knew that gentle clock

Meant nought but going home.

‘T was sooner when the cricket went

Than when the winter came,

Yet that pathetic pendulum

Keeps esoteric time.

(Emily Dickinson, "‘T was later when the summer went")

4. onomatopoeia

Definition:

Onomatopoeia is defined as a word, which imitates the natural sounds of a thing, which it

describes. It creates a sound effect that makes the thing described, making the idea more expressive and interesting.

Examples:

The buzzing bee flew away.

The sack fell into the river with a splash.

The books fell on the table with a loud thump.

He looked at the roaring sky.

The rustling leaves kept me awake.

a group of words reflecting different sounds of water are; bloop, splash, gush, sprinkle, drizzle, drip etc.

Similarly, words like growl, giggle, grunt, murmur, blurt, chatter etc. denote different kinds of human voices.

Moreover, we can identify a group of words related to different sounds of wind, such as; swish, swoosh, whiff, whoosh, whizz, whisper etc.

5. simile

Definition: A simile is a figure of speech that makes a comparison, showing similarities between two different things. Unlike a metaphor, a simile draws resemblance with the help of words ―like‖ or ―as‖. Therefore, it is direct comparison.

Examples:

1. Written by Joseph Conrad,

―I would have given anything for the power to soothe her frail soul, tormenting itself in its invincible ignorance like a small bird beating about the cruel wires of a cage.‖

2. In her novel ―To the Lighthouse‖, Virginia Woolf compares the velocity of her thoughts about the two men with that of spoken words.

―. . . impressions poured in upon her of those two men, and to follow her thought was like followin g a voice which speaks too quickly to be taken down by one‘s pencil . . .‖

3. Robert Burns uses a simile to describe beauty of his beloved.

―O my Luve‘s like a red, red rose

That‘s newly sprung in June;

O my Luve‘s like the melodie

That‘s sweetly played in tune.‖

6. metaphor

Definition: Metaphor is a figure of speech makes an implicit, implied or hidden comparison between two things or objects that are poles apart from each other but have some characteristics common between them. In other words, a resemblance of two contradictory or different objects is made on a single or some common characteristics.

Examples:

1. ―She is all states, and all princes, I.‖

John Donne , a metaphysical poet, was well-known for his abundant use of metaphors

throughout his poetical works. In his well-known work ―The Sun Rising,‖ the speaker scolds the sun for waking him and his beloved. Among the most evocative metaphors in literature, he explains ―she is all states, and all princes, I.‖ This line demonstrates the speaker‘s belief that he and his beloved are richer than all states, kingdoms, and rulers in the entire world because of the love that they share.

2. ―Shall I Compare Thee to a summer‘s Day‖,

William Shakespeare was the best exponent of the use of metaphors. His poetical works and dramas all make wide-ranging use of metaphors.

―Sonnet 18,‖also known as ―Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer‘s Day,‖ is an extended metaphor between the love of the speaker and the fairness of the summer season. He writes that ―thy eternal summer,‖ here taken to mean the love of the subject, ―shall not fade.‖

3. ―Before high-pil‘d books, in charact‘ry / Hold like rich garners the full-ripened grain,‖

The great Romantic poet John Keats suffered great losses in his life – the death of his father in an accident, and of his mother and brother with the tuberculosis.

When he began displaying signs of tuberculosis himself at the age of 22, he wrote ―When I Have Fears,‖ a poem rich with metaphors concerning life and death. In the line ―before high-pil‘d books, in charact‘ry / Hold like rich garners the full -ripened grain‖, he employs a double -metaphor. Writing poetry is implicitly compared with reaping and sowing, and both these acts represent the emptiness of a life unfulfilled creatively.

7. metonymy

Definition: It is a figure of speech that takes the place of the name of a thing with the name of something else with which it is closely associated

Examples:

England decides to keep check on immigration. (England refers to the government.)

The suits were at meeting. (The suits stand for businesspersons.)

Pen is mightier than sword. (Pen refers to written words and sword to military force.)

The Oval Office was busy in work. (―The Oval Office‖ is metonymy as it stands for people at work in the office.)

Let me give you a hand. (Hand means help.)

1. The given lines are from Shakespeare‘s ―Julies Caesar‖ Act I.

―Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.‖

Mark Anthony uses ―ears‖ to say that he wants the people present there to listen to him attentively. It is metonymy because the word ―ears‖ replaces the concept of attention.

2. This line is from Margaret Mitchell‘s novel ―Gone with the Wind‖.

―I‘m mighty glad Georgia waited till after Christmas before it secedes or it would have ruined the Christmas parties.‖

Scarlett uses ―Georgia‖ to point out everything that makes up the state: citizens, politician , government etc. It is a metonymy extremely common in the modern world, where a name of a country or state refers to a whole nation and its government. Thus, it renders brevity to the ideas.

3. These lines are taken from ―Out, Out‖ by Robert Frost.

―As he swung toward them holding up the hand

Half in appeal, but half as if to keep

The life from spilling‖

In these lines, the expression ―The life from spilling‖ is a metonymy that refers to spilling of blood. It develops a link between life and blood. The loss of too much blood means loss of life.

4. These lines are from the poem ―Yet Do I Marvel‖.

―The little buried mole continues blind,

Why flesh that mirror Him must someday die,‖

Countee Cullen uses ―flesh‖ to represent human and questions God why we have to die when we are created in His likeness.

8.synaesthesia

Definition: a technique adopted by writers to present ideas, characters or places in such a manner that they appeal to more than one senses like hearing, seeing, smell etc. at the same.

Examples:

1. Dante makes use of synesthesia in his poem ―The Devine Comedy‖. In the first canto, the poet tells us about ―Inferno‖ where he was sent. He says, ―Back to the region where the sun is silent.‖ Here, poet binds the sense of sight with the sense of hearing. By using the phrase ―the sun is silent‖, he declares that the sun is there but it does not provide any warmth or comfort. This description gives us an idea that the place he is driven to is dreadfully frightening.

2. We notice synesthetic imageries in John Keats ―Ode to a Nightingale‖:

―Tasting of Flora and the country green,

Dance, and Provencal song, and sun burnt mirth!‖

In the above, Keats associates visual sensations with the sense of taste. In the same poem, he further states:

―In some melodious plot,

Of beechen green,

Singest of summer in full throated ease.‖

Keats associates the act of melodious singing with a plot covered with green beechen trees and thus associates visuals with the sense of hearing.

3. We see Shakespeare employing synesthetic device in play ―King Lear‖ Act 2, Scene 2: ―Thou art a lady: if only to go warm were gorgeous,

Why nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear‘st,

Which scarcely keeps thee warm.‖

In the above extract, Lear makes fun of his daughter ―Goneril‖ for wearing revealing attire. He associates the word ―warm‖ with ―gorgeous‖ which is an attempt to blend the sense of touch with the sense of sight.

9. antonomasia

Definition:

a substitution of any epithet or phrase for a proper name, such as "the little corporal" for Napoleon I. The reverse process is also sometimes called antonomasia.

Examples:

(1)biblical or mythological figures

Solomon —a wise man

Daniel —a wise and fair judge

Judas —a traitor

Hercules —a hero of strength and bravery

(2)historical figures

the Rubicon--an irrevocable step

Nero —a tyrant

John Wayne—a modern figure of a tough man

(3)literary figures

Uncle Tom—a Negro who compromises and conforms with the Whites

10. synecdoche

Definition:

a literary device in which a part of something represents the whole or it may use a whole to represent a part. Synecdoche may also use larger groups to refer to smaller groups or vice versa. It may also call a thing by the name of the material, it is made of or it may refer to a thing in a container or packing by the name of that container or packing.

Examples:

1. Coleridge employs synecdoche in his poem ―The Rime of the Ancient Mariner‖:

―The western wave was all a-flame.

The day was well was nigh done!

Almost upon the western wave

Rested the broad bright Sun‖

Th e ―western wave‖ is a synecdoche as it refers to the see by the name of its part i.e. wave.

2. Look at the use of synecdoche in the lines taken from Shakespeare‘s Sonnet 116:

―O no! It is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken.‖

The phrase ―ever-fixed mark‖ refers to a lighthouse.

3. Look how Shelly uses synecdoche in his poem ―Ozymandias‖:

―Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them.‖

―The hand‖ in the above lines refers to the sculptor who carved the ―lifeless things‖ into a grand statue.

4. Observe the use of synecdoche in the following lines from ―The Secret Sharer‖ by Joseph Conrad:

―At midnight I went on deck, and to my mate‘s great surprise put the ship round on the other tack. His terrible whiskers flitted round me in silent criticism.‖

The word ―whiskers‖ mentioned in the above lines refers to the whole face of the narrator‘s mate.

5. Jonathon Swift in ―The description of the Morning‖ uses synecdoche:

―Prepar‘d to scrub the entry and the stairs.

The youth with broomy stumps began to trace.‖

In the above lines the phrase ―broomy stumps‖ refers to the whole broom.

6. Note the use of synecdoche in ―The Lady or the Tiger?‖ by Frank R. Stockton:

―His eye met hers as she sat there paler and whiter than anyone in the vast ocean of anxious faces about her.‖

―Faces‖ refers to the whole persons.

11. personification

Definition: a figure of speech in which a thing, an idea or an animal is given human attributes. The non-human objects are portrayed in such a way that we feel they have the ability to act like human beings.

Examples:

1. Taken from L. M. Montgomery‘s ―The Green Gables Letters‖,

―I hied me away to the woods—away back into the sun-washed alleys carpeted with fallen gold and glades where the moss is green and vivid yet. The woods are getting ready to sleep—they are not yet asleep but they are disrobing and are having all sorts of little bed-time conferences and whisperings and good-nights.‖

The lack of activity in the forest has been beautifully personified as forest getting ready to sleep, busy in bed-time chatting and wishing good-nights, all of which relate typically to human customs.

2. Taken from Act I, Scene II of ― Romeo and Juliet‖,

―When well-appareled April on the heel

Of limping winter treads.‖

April cannot put on a dress, and winter does not limp and it does not have heel on which a month can walk. Shakespeare personifies month of April and winter season by giving them two distinct human qualities.

3. A.H. Houseman in his poem ―Loveliest of Trees the Cherry Now‖ personifies the cherry tree, ―Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

Is hung with bloom along the bough,

And stands about the woodland ride

Wearing white for Eastertide.‖

He sees a cherry tree covered with beautiful white flowers in the forest and says that cherry tree wears white clothes to celebrate Easter. He gives human attributes to a tree in order to describe it in human terms.

12. apostrophe

Definition: a figure of speech sometime represented by exclamation ―O‖. A writer or a speaker, using an apostrophe, detaches himself from the reality and addresses an imaginary character in his speech.

Examples:

1. William Shakespeare makes use of an apostrophe in his play ―Macbeth‖:

―Is this a dagger which I see before me,

The handle toward my hand?

Come, let me clutch thee!

I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.‖

In his mental conflict before murdering king Duncan, Macbeth has a strange vision of a dagger

and talks to it as if it were another person.

2. Jane Taylor uses apostrophe in well-known nursery rhyme ―The Star‖:

―Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are.

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.‖

In the above nursery rhyme, a child addresses a star which is an imaginary idea and hence is a classical example of apostrophe.

13. irony

Definition:

a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words. It may also be a situation that may end up in quite a different way than what is generally anticipated. In simple words, it is a difference between the appearance and the reality

Examples:

1. We come across the following lines in Shakespeare‘s ―Romeo and Juliet‖, Act I, Scene V. ―Go ask his name: if he be married.

My grave is like to be my wedding bed.‖

Juliet commands her nurse to find out who Romeo was and says if he were married, then her wedding bed would be her grave. It is a verbal irony because the audience knows that she is going to die on her wedding bed.

2. Shakespeare employs this verbal irony in ―Julius Caesar‖ Act I, Scene II,

―‗tis true this god did shake‖

When a character Cassius, despite knowing the mortal flaws of Caesar, calls him ―this god‖.

3. In the Greek drama ―Oedipus Rex‖ written by ―Sophocles‖,

―Upon the murderer I invoke this curse- whether he is one man and all unknown,

Or one of many- may he wear out his life in misery to miserable doom!‖

The above lines are an illustration of verbal and dramatic irony. It was predicted that a man guilty of killing his father and marrying his own mother has brought curse on the city and its people. In the above-mentioned lines, Oedipus curses the man who is the cause of curse on his city. He is ignorant of the fact that he himself is that man and he is cursing himself. Audience, on the other hand, knows the situation.

4. In his poem ―The Rime of the Ancient Mariner‖, Coleridge wrote,

―Water, water, everywhere,

And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water, everywhere,

Nor any drop to drink.‖

In the above stated lines, the ship, blown by the south wind, is stranded in the uncharted sea. Ironically, there is water everywhere but they do not have a single drop of water to drink.


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