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1. FIGURES OF RELATIVITY.
18. Antithesis is the statement of a contrast or opposition of thoughts and words, as
“In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
Let us be tigers in our fierce deportment."
feat !!! II. Antimetabole is an antithesis in which the order of words
is reversed in each member, as “A wit with dunces, and a
dunce with wits.” III. Parison, or isocolon, is an antithesis in which clauses of
similar construction follow in a series, word contrasting with word, phrase with phrase, etc., as “Homer was the greater genius, Virgil the better artist. In the one we most admire the man, in the other the work. Homer hurries us with a commanding impetuosity, Virgil leads us with an attractive
majesty." 19. The simile, or comparison, is a figure that formally likens one thing to another, as
“ Him, like the working bee in blossom dust,
Blanched with his mill they found.”—TENNYSON, 20. The metaphor is a comparison implied in the language used. It transfers a word from the object to which it literally belongs, and applies it to another, as
He bridles his anger. “ Athens, the eye of Greece,
Mother of arts and eloquence.”—Milton. I. Metaphor dispenses with the connectives of comparison (like, as, etc.) used in the simile; and instead of stating that one thing resembles another, asserts that it is that other: thus
Simile. He was as brave as a lion.
Metaphor. He was a lion in the combat. II. Conversion into Simile. -Every metaphor may be converted into a simile, since every metaphor is a condensed simile. The process of expansion is a matter of tact rather than of rule; but so far as any rule can be given, the following may be serviceable. First, it is to be noted that a simile is a kind of rhetorical proposition, and must, when fully expressed, contain four terms. Now let the metaphor to be explained be “The ship ploughs the sea.” The following is the rule given by Seeley and Abbott (English Lessons, p. 131): “ It has been seen that the simile consists of four terms. In the third term of the simile stands the subject (“ship,' for instance) whose unknown predicated relation ('action of ship on water') is to be explained. In the first term stands the corresponding subject ( plough '), whose predicated relation ('action on land') is known. In the second term is the known relation. The fourth term is the unknown predicated relation, which requires explanation.” Thus
III. Mixed Metaphors. It is a well-known canon of the meta
phor that in the same metaphor figures should not be mixed. A familiar example is afforded by the following couplet from Addison :
"I bridle in my struggling Muse with pain,
That longs to launch into a nobler strain." Here the Muse, a goddess, is spoken of as being "bridled.” Then, after raising the image of a horse, the author confounds us by viewing the Muse as a ship that longs to launch itself-and into a “strain !" Yet it is Addison who formulated this capital test of metaphors:
“Try and form a picture on them." 21. Allegory is a narrative with a figurative meaning, designed to convey instruction of a moral character. The Faerie Qucene of Spenser and Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress are the greatest allegories in English literature.
Allegory has been called “a prolonged metaphor.” Subjects
remote from each other are brought into a similitude sustained throughout the details. Thus in Bunyan's immortal work the spiritual life or progress of a Christian is represented in detail by the story of a pilgrim in search of a distant country, which he reaches after many struggles and difficulties. In the Faerie Queene the vices and virtues are personified, and made to act out their nature in a series of supposed adventures.
22. Personification is that figure in which some action or attribute of a living being is ascribed to an inanimate object, as
“The mountains sing together, the hills rejoice and clap hands.”
23. Apostrophe is that figure in which something absent is addressed as though present. It is found chiefly in poetry and oratory.
“Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee."—WORDSWORTH. 24. Vision is the narration of past or absent scenes as though actually occurring before us. It is allied to and is often found associated with apostrophe. 1. Byron's description of the Dying Gladiator
“I see before me the gladiator lie," etc. is a familiar example of vision, II. Metastasis.-Metastasis is a kind of description similar to
vision : it involves a transition from the present to the future. A good example is found in the peroration of Webster's
reply to Hayne. (See p. 345 of this book.) 25. Allusion is that figure by which some word or phrase calls to mind something not directly mentioned, as,
" It may be said of him that he came, he saw, he conquered.”
vici"), which it calls to mind.
others direct allusion (as “The patience of Job is proverbi-
“That shepherd who first taught the chosen seed
Rose out of chaos." 26. Irony is a mode of speech expressing a meaning contrary to that which the speaker intends to convey, as in Job's address to his friends, “ No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom will die with you."
27. Sarcasm is a mode of expressing vituperation under
a somewhat veiled form. The Letters of Funius come under this description.
Sarcasm is generally softened in the outward expression by the arts and figures of disguise — irony, innuendo, and epigram. Pope's Atticus (see pp. 128, 129 of this book) is a fine ex
ample. 28. Synecdoche is that figure which consists in substituting words denoting a part, a species, or the concrete for words denoting the whole, a genus, or the abstract; or the reverse. Thus,
1. A part for the whole, as sail for ship.
true prince's heart"-father meaning paternal love,
for a man.
“ Belgium's capital had gathered then
Hier beauty and her chivalry," meaning her beautiful women and brave men. Antonomasia.- Antonomasia is a form of synecdoche resembling (2), only that instead of the species being put for the genus, the individual is put for the species. It consists in using a proper name to designate a class, as a Solomon for a wise man, a Cræsus for a rich man.
29. Metonymy is that figure in which one thing is described by the name of another thing having to the thing described the relation of cause, effect, adjunct, or accompaniment. Thus:
1. Cause for effect, as “the savage desolation of war," where the
cause of the desolation (a savage spirit) is put for the effect. 2. The effect for the cause, as gray hairs for old age. 3. The sign for the thing signified, as sceptre for royalty, the
White House for the office of President. 4. The container for the thing contained, as bottle for intoxicat
ing drink, purse for money.
5. The instrument for the agent, as the arbitration of the sword
- meaning war. 6. An author for his works, as “They have Moses and the
prophets,” “We find in Bacon”—meaning Bacon's writings. Distinction.-From definitions 28 and 29 it may be inferred that
a synecdoche is a figure in which a word is used to express a thing that differs from its original meaning only in degree, and not in kind; while a metonymy is a figure in which a word is used to express a thing differing from its original in kind.
Hence metonymies are somewhat bolder than synecdoches. 30. Euphemism is the figure by means of which a harsh meaning is expressed in words of softer signification, as “He was unable to meet his engagements” for he failed in business.
31. Litotes is that figure in which, by denying the contrary, more is implied than is expressed, as
“Immortal names, That were not born to die”-i. e., that will live. 32. Transferred Epithet.—An epithet is a word joined to another in order to explain its character, as sca-girt Salamis, the sunny South.
The transference of an epithet from its proper subject to some
allied subject or circumstance is a common figure in poetry,
“Hence to his idie bed."
“The little fields made green By husbandry of many thrifty years."
II. FIGURES OF GRADATION.
33. Climax is an ascending series of thoughts or statements, increasing in strength or importance until the last. Thus: “It is an outrage to bind a Roman citizen ; to scourge him is an atrocious
crime ; to put him to death is almost a parricide; but to CRUCIFY him
—what shall I call it?"-CICERO. Anticlimax.-Any great departure from the order of ascending
strength is called an anticlimax. Thus: "If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of rob
bing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination."-DE QUINCEY.