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In
rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic – see Martianus Capella), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the techniques writers or sp ...
, a rhetorical device, persuasive device, or stylistic device is a ''technique'' that an author or speaker uses to convey to the listener or reader a
meaning Meaning most commonly refers to: * Meaning (linguistics), meaning which is communicated through the use of language * Meaning (philosophy), definition, elements, and types of meaning discussed in philosophy * Meaning (non-linguistic), a general ter ...
with the goal of
persuading
persuading
them towards considering a topic from a perspective, using language designed to encourage or provoke an
emotion Emotions are psychological state A mental state is a state of mind that an agent is in. Most simplistically, a mental state is a mental condition. It is a relation that connects the agent with a proposition. Several of these states are a comb ...

emotion
al display of a given perspective or action. Rhetorical devices evoke an emotional response in the audience through use of language, but that is not their primary purpose. Rather, by doing so, they seek to make a position or argument more compelling than it would otherwise be.


Modes of persuasion

Originating from
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
's ''Rhetoric'', the four
modes of persuasion The modes of persuasion, modes of appeal or rhetorical appeals (Greek: ''pisteis'') are strategies of rhetoric Rhetoric () is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the m ...
in an argument are as follows: ;
Logos ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος, lógos; from , , ) is a term in Western philosophy Western philosophy refers to the philosophy, philosophical thought and work of the W ...

Logos
: is an appeal to logic using intellectual reasoning and argument structure such as giving claims, sound reasons for them, and supporting evidence.Selzer, J. (2004). Rhetorical Analysis: Understanding How Texts Persuade Readers. In C. Bazerman & P. Prior (Eds.), ''What Writing Does and How It Does It: An Introduction to Analyzing Texts and Textual Practices'' (pp. 279-308). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. ;
Pathos Pathos (, ; plural: ''pathea'' or ''pathê''; , for "suffering Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual. Suffering is th ...

Pathos
: is an appeal to the audience's emotions, often based on claims they hold. By influencing their feelings, the audience can be pushed to take an action, believe an argument, or respond in a certain way. ;
Ethos Ethos ( or ) is a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

Ethos
: is an appeal based on the good character of the author. It involves persuading the audience that the author is credible and well-qualified, or possesses other desirable qualities that mean the author's arguments carry weight. ;
Kairos Kairos ( grc, καιρός) is an ancient Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europ ...

Kairos
: is an appeal to timing, such as whether the argument occurs at the right time and in the ideal surrounding context to be accepted. It has been argued to be the most important since no matter how logical, emotionally powerful and credible the argument, if the argument is made in an unsuitable context or environment, the audience will not be receptive to it. Rhetorical devices can be used to facilitate and enhance the effectiveness of the use of rhetoric in any of the four above
modes of persuasion The modes of persuasion, modes of appeal or rhetorical appeals (Greek: ''pisteis'') are strategies of rhetoric Rhetoric () is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the m ...
. Rather than certain rhetorical devices falling under certain modes of persuasion, rhetorical devices are ''techniques'' authors, writers or speakers use to execute rhetorical appeals. Thus, they overlap with
figures of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and ...
, differing in that they are used specifically for persuasive purposes, and may involve how authors introduce and arrange arguments (see the section on discourse level devices) in addition to creative use of language.


Sonic devices

Sonic devices depend on sound. Sonic rhetoric is used as a clearer or swifter way of communicating content in an understandable way. Sonic rhetoric delivers messages to the reader or listener by prompting a certain reaction through auditory perception.


Alliteration

Alliteration In literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the defin ...
is the repetition of the sound of an initial consonant or consonant cluster in subsequent syllables. It is one of the most well-known and effective rhetorical devices throughout literature and persuasive speeches. :From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, :A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life. ( Prologue) :Small showers last long but sudden storms are short. ( R2 2.1)


Assonance

Assonance Assonance is a resemblance in the sounds of words/syllables either between their vowels (e.g., ''meat, bean'') or between their consonants (e.g., ''keep, cape''). However, assonance between consonants is generally called ''consonance'' in American ...
is the repetition of similar vowel sounds across neighbouring words. :So keen and greedy to confound a man. ( MoV 3.2) :Blow wind, swell billow and swim bark! (
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...
5.1)


Consonance

Consonance In music, consonance and dissonance are categorizations of simultaneous or successive sounds. Within the Western tradition, some listeners associate consonance with sweetness, pleasantness, and acceptability, and dissonance with harshness, unple ...
is the repetition of consonant sounds across words which have been deliberately chosen. It is different from alliteration as it can happen at any place in the word, not just the beginning. In the following example, the ''k'' sound is repeated five times. :...with streaks of light, :And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels... ( 2.3)


Cacophony

Cacophony Phonaesthetics (also spelled phonesthetics in North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up t ...
refers to the use of unpleasant sounds, such as the '''', '''', '''', '' d'', '''' and '''', the hissing sounds '''' and '''', and also the
affricates An affricate is a consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the tongue; , pr ...
'''' and '' j'', in rapid succession in a line or passage, creating a harsh and discordant effect. :Hear the loud alarum bells– :Brazen bells! What tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells! :In the startled ear of night :How they scream out their affright! :Too much horrified to speak, :They can only shriek, shriek... (
Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe (; born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, poet, editor, and literary criticism, literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and ...

Edgar Allan Poe
, " The Bells")


Onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia (also onomatopeia in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Cu ...

Onomatopoeia
is the use of words that attempt to emulate a sound. When used colloquially, it is often accompanied by multiple
exclamation mark The exclamation mark, , also sometimes referred to as the exclamation point, especially in American English, is a punctuation mark usually used after an interjection or Sentence (linguistics), exclamation to indicate strong feelings, or to show ...

exclamation mark
s and in
all caps In typography Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by ...
. It is common in comic strips and some cartoons. Some examples include these: ''smek'', ''thwap'', ''kaboom'', ''ding-dong'', ''plop'', ''bang'' and ''pew''.


Word repetition

Word repetition rhetorical devices operate via repeating words or phrases in various ways, usually for emphasis.


Anadiplosis/Conduplicatio

Anadiplosis Anadiplosis ( ; el, ἀναδίπλωσις, ''anadíplōsis'', "a doubling, folding up") is the repetition of the last word of a preceding clause. The word is used at the end of a sentence and then used again at the beginning of the next sentence ...
involves repeating the last word(s) of one sentence, phrase or clause at or near the beginning of the next. ''To die, to sleep;''
''To sleep, perchance to dream...'' (
Hamlet ''The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark'', often shortened to ''Hamlet'' (), is a tragedy Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a genre of drama Drama is the specific Mode (litera ...

Hamlet
3.1) ''Who alone suffers, suffers most in the mind''... (
Lear Lear or Leir may refer to: Acronyms * Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios, a Mexican association of revolutionary artists and writers * Low Energy Ion Ring, an ion pre-accelerator of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN ** Low Energy Antipr ...

Lear
3.6) ''It is the stars,''
''The stars above us govern our conditions.'' (
Lear Lear or Leir may refer to: Acronyms * Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios, a Mexican association of revolutionary artists and writers * Low Energy Ion Ring, an ion pre-accelerator of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN ** Low Energy Antipr ...

Lear
4.3) Conduplicatio is similar, involving repeating a key word in subsequent clauses. ''Thou quiet soul, sleep thou a quiet sleep!'' ( R3 5.3)


Anaphora/Epistrophe/Symploce/Epanalepsis

Anaphora is repeating the same word(s) at the ''beginning'' of successive sentences, phrases or clauses. ''There's no trust,''
''No faith, no honesty in men; all perjured,''
''All forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers.'' ( 3.2) ''With mine own tears I wash away my balm,''
''With mine own hands I give away my crown,''
''With mine own tongue deny my sacred state,''
''With mine own breath release all duty's rites.'' ( R2 4.1)
Epistrophe Epistrophe ( el, ἐπιστροφή, "return") is the repetition of the same word or words at the end of successive phrases, clauses or sentences. It is also known as epiphora and occasionally as antistrophe. It is a figure of speech and the coun ...

Epistrophe
is repeating the same word(s) at the ''end'' instead. ''If you had known the virtue of the ring,''
''Or half her worthiness that gave the ring,''
''Or your own honour to contain the ring,''
''You would not then have parted with the ring.'' ( MoV 5.1)
SymploceIn rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic – see Martianus Capella), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the techniques ...
is a simultaneous combination of both anaphora and epistrophe, but repeating different words at the start and end. ''That Angelo's forsworn; is it not strange?''
''That Angelo's a murderer; is't not strange?''
''That Angelo is an adulterous thief,''
''An hypocrite, a virgin-violator;''
''Is it not strange and strange?'' (
Measure Measure may refer to: * Measurement, the assignment of a number to a characteristic of an object or event Law * Ballot measure, proposed legislation in the United States * Church of England Measure, legislation of the Church of England * Measu ...
5.1) ALFRED DOOLITTLE: ''I'll tell you, Governor, if you'll only let me get a word in. I'm willing to tell you. I'm wanting to tell you. I'm waiting to tell you.''
HENRY HIGGINS: ''Pickering, this chap has a certain natural gift of rhetoric. Observe the rhythm of his native woodnotes wild. 'I'm willing to tell you. I'm wanting to tell you. I'm waiting to tell you.' Sentimental rhetoric! That's the Welsh strain in him. It also accounts for his mendacity and dishonesty.'' (
George Bernard Shaw George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950), known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, polemic Polemic () is contentious rhetoric Rhetoric () is the art Art is a diverse range ...

George Bernard Shaw
, '' Pygmalion'' )
Epanalepsis Epanalepsis (from the Greek language, Greek , ''epanálēpsis'' "repetition, resumption, taking up again") is the repetition of the initial part of a clause or sentence at the end of that same clause or sentence. The beginning and the end of a sent ...
repeats the same word(s) at the beginning and end. ''Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!'' ( H5 3.1) ''Nothing will come of nothing''. (
Lear Lear or Leir may refer to: Acronyms * Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios, a Mexican association of revolutionary artists and writers * Low Energy Ion Ring, an ion pre-accelerator of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN ** Low Energy Antipr ...

Lear
1.1)


Epizeuxis/Antanaclasis

Epizeuxis In rhetoric, epizeuxis is the Repetition (rhetorical device), repetition of a word or phrase in immediate succession, typically within the same sentence, for vehemence or emphasis. A closely related rhetorical device is diacope, which involves wo ...
is simply repetition of the same word without interruption. ''Words, words, words.'' (
Hamlet ''The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark'', often shortened to ''Hamlet'' (), is a tragedy Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a genre of drama Drama is the specific Mode (litera ...

Hamlet
2.2) ''O horror! Horror! Horror!'' (
Macbeth ''Macbeth'' (, full title ''The Tragedie of Macbeth'') is a Shakespearean tragedy, tragedy by William Shakespeare. It is thought to have been first performed in 1606 in literature, 1606. It dramatises the damaging physical and psychological ...

Macbeth
2.3)
Antanaclasis In rhetoric, antanaclasis (; from the el, ἀντανάκλασις, ''antanáklasis'', meaning "reflection", from :wikt:ἀντί, ἀντί ''anti'', "against", :wikt:ἀνά, ἀνά ''ana'', "up" and κλάσις ''klásis'' "breaking") is the ...
is more witty, repeating the same word but in a different sense. This can take advantage of
polysemy Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple related meanings. Polysemy is thus distinct from homonymy In linguistics, homonyms, broadly defined, are words which are h ...
. ''Put out the light, and then put out the light.'' (
Othello ''Othello'' (full title: ''The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice'') is a tragedy Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a genre of drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mod ...

Othello
5.2; first referring to extinguishing the candle, then referring to killing Desdemona.) VIOLA: ''Dost thou live by thy labour?''
CLOWN: ''No, sir, I live by the church.'' ( 3.1) ''Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave''. ( R2 2.1;
John of Gaunt John of Gaunt (6 March 1340 – 3 February 1399) was an English prince, military leader, and statesman. He was the third of the five sons of King Edward III of England Edward III (13 November 1312 – 21 June 1377), also known as Edwar ...

John of Gaunt
plays on his name.) ''Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear''. ( MoV 3.2; the first 'dear' has the meaning of 'at great cost') ''Dreaming of you won't help me to do''
''All that you dreamed I could!'' (
Andrew Lloyd Webber Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber (born 22 March 1948) is an English composer and impresario of musical theatre. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End theatre, West End and on Broadway theatre, Br ...
, ''
Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again ''The Phantom of the Opera'' is a stage musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart (lyricist), Charles Hart, and a book by Richard Stilgoe (which also contributed with additional lyrics) and Lloyd Webber. Based on the 1910 ...
'') ''We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.'' (
Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin ( April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States The Founding Fathers of the United States, or simply the Founding Fathers or Founders, were a group of American revolutionary Patriots (also ...

Benjamin Franklin
)


Diacope

Diacope Diacope () is a rhetorical term meaning repetition of a word or phrase with one or two intervening words. It derives from a Greek language, Greek word ''thiakhop,'' which means "cut in two". Examples * "Bond. James Bond." — James Bond * "Put ou ...
is the repetition of a word or phrase after an intervening word or clause. It can also be thought of as a reshaped
epanalepsis Epanalepsis (from the Greek language, Greek , ''epanálēpsis'' "repetition, resumption, taking up again") is the repetition of the initial part of a clause or sentence at the end of that same clause or sentence. The beginning and the end of a sent ...
. ''A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!'' ( R3 5.4) ''Good queen, my lord, good queen, I say good queen.'' (
Winter's Tale ''The Winter's Tale'' is a play by William Shakespeare originally published in the First Folio of 1623. Although it was grouped among the comedies, many modern editors have relabelled the play as one of Shakespeare's late romances. Some criti ...
2.3) ''Farewell, my dearest sister, fare thee well:''
''The elements be kind to thee, and make''
''Thy spirits all of comfort! fare thee well.'' ( 3.2)


Word relation

Word relation rhetorical devices operate via deliberate connections between words within a sentence.


Antithesis/Antimetabole/Chiasmus

Antithesis Antithesis (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximate ...
involves putting together two opposite ideas in a sentence to achieve a contrasting effect. Contrast is emphasised by parallel but similar structures of the opposing phrases or clauses to draw the listeners' or readers' attention. Compared to chiasmus, the ideas must be opposites. ''Scarce any joy''
''Did ever so long live; no sorrow''
''But killed itself much sooner.'' (
Winter's Tale ''The Winter's Tale'' is a play by William Shakespeare originally published in the First Folio of 1623. Although it was grouped among the comedies, many modern editors have relabelled the play as one of Shakespeare's late romances. Some criti ...
5.3) ''Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.'' (
Measure Measure may refer to: * Measurement, the assignment of a number to a characteristic of an object or event Law * Ballot measure, proposed legislation in the United States * Church of England Measure, legislation of the Church of England * Measu ...
2.1) ''The evil that men do lives after them,''
''The good is oft interred with their bones.'' (
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...
3.2) ''QUEEN: Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue.''
''HAMLET: Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.'' (
Hamlet ''The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark'', often shortened to ''Hamlet'' (), is a tragedy Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a genre of drama Drama is the specific Mode (litera ...

Hamlet
3.1)
Antimetabole In rhetoric Rhetoric () is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hai ...
involves repeating but reversing the order of words, phrases or clauses. The exact same words are repeated, as opposed to antithesis or chiasmus. ''Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.'' (
John F Kennedy John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is th ...

John F Kennedy
Inaugural Address In government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by t ...
) ''Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.'' (
Hamlet ''The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark'', often shortened to ''Hamlet'' (), is a tragedy Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a genre of drama Drama is the specific Mode (litera ...

Hamlet
3.2) ''The setting sun, and music at the close'',
''As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last.'' ( R2 2.1) ''Cease to lament for that thou canst not help,''
''And study help for that which thou lament'st.'' (
TGV The TGV (french: TurboTrain à Grande Vitesse and then Train à Grande Vitesse, "high-speed train") is France's intercity high-speed rail High-speed rail (HSR) is a type of rail transport that runs significantly faster than traditional rail ...
3.1)
Chiasmus In rhetoric, chiasmus ( ) or, less commonly, chiasm (Latin term from Greek , "crossing", from the Ancient Greek, Greek , , "to shape like the letter chi (letter), Χ"), is a "reversal of grammatical structures in successive phrases or clauses ...
involves parallel clause structure but in reverse order for the second part. This means that words or elements are repeated in the reverse order. The ideas thus contrasted are often related but not necessarily opposite. ''But O, what damned minutes tells he o'er''
''Who dotes, yet doubts; suspects, yet strongly loves!'' (
Othello ''Othello'' (full title: ''The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice'') is a tragedy Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a genre of drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mod ...

Othello
3.3)


Asyndeton/Polysyndeton

Asyndeton Asyndeton (, ; from the el, ἀσύνδετον, "unconnected", sometimes called asyndetism) is a literary scheme in which one or several conjunctions ''Conjunctions'' is a biannual American literature, American literary journal based at Bard Co ...
is the removal of conjunctions like "or," "and," or "but" from your writing where it might have been expected because the sentence flows better, or more poetically, without them. ''I might in virtue, beauties, livings, friends, exceed account...'' ( MoV 3.2) ''Accursed, unhappy, wretched, hateful day!'' ( 4.4) ''Beguiled, divorced, wronged, spirited, slain!'' ( 4.5) ''Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,''
''Shrunk to this little measure?'' (
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...
3.1)
Polysyndeton Polysyndeton comes from the Ancient Greek πολύ ''poly'', meaning "many", and συνδετόν ''syndeton'', meaning "bound together with". A stylistic scheme, polysyndeton is the deliberate insertion of Conjunction (grammar), conjunctions into ...
is the use of more
conjunctions ''Conjunctions'' is a biannual American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the ...
than strictly needed. This device is often combined with anaphora. ''We'll live,''
''And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh''
''At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues''
''Talk of court news''... (
Lear Lear or Leir may refer to: Acronyms * Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios, a Mexican association of revolutionary artists and writers * Low Energy Ion Ring, an ion pre-accelerator of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN ** Low Energy Antipr ...

Lear
5.3)


Auxesis/Catacosmesis

Auxesis is arranging words in a list from least to most significant. This can create
climax Climax may refer to: Language arts * Climax (narrative) The climax (from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, ...
. ''Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,''
''But sad mortality o'er-sways their power...'' ( Sonnet 65) ''Today, today, unhappy day too late,''
''O'erthrows thy joys, friends, fortune, and thy state'' ( R2 3.2) Catacosmesis, the opposite, involves arranging them from most to least significant. ''Nor brass, nor stone, nor parchment bears not one.'' (
Winter's Tale ''The Winter's Tale'' is a play by William Shakespeare originally published in the First Folio of 1623. Although it was grouped among the comedies, many modern editors have relabelled the play as one of Shakespeare's late romances. Some criti ...
1.2) ''Be certain what you do, sir, lest your justice''
''Prove violence, in the which three great ones suffer,''
''Yourself, your queen, your son.'' (
Winter's Tale ''The Winter's Tale'' is a play by William Shakespeare originally published in the First Folio of 1623. Although it was grouped among the comedies, many modern editors have relabelled the play as one of Shakespeare's late romances. Some criti ...
2.1) This can create anticlimax for humour or other purposes. ''He has seen the ravages of war, he has known natural catastrophes, he has been to singles bars.'' (
Woody Allen Woody Allen (born Allan Stewart Konigsberg; November 30, 1935) is an American film director, writer, actor, and comedian whose career spans more than six decades and multiple Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Os ...

Woody Allen
)


Oxymoron

An
oxymoron An oxymoron (usual plural oxymorons, more rarely oxymora) is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric ...
is a 2-word paradox often achieved through the deliberate use of antonyms. This creates an internal contradiction that can have rhetorical effect. ''His humble ambition, proud humility;''
''His jarring concord, and his discord dulcet;''
''His faith, his sweet disaster.'' ( 1.1) ''I could weep''
''And I could laugh, I am light and heavy.'' (
Coriolanus ''Coriolanus'' ( or ) is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1605 and 1608. The play is based on the life of the legendary Roman Republic, Roman leader Gaius Marcius Coriolanus, Caius Marcius Coriolanus. Sh ...

Coriolanus
2.1)


Zeugma/Syllepsis

Zeugma Zeugma may refer to: *Zeugma and syllepsis, figures of speech * Zeugma (Commagene), an ancient settlement in Commagene (eastern Anatolia) * Zeugma (Dacia), an ancient settlement in Dacia, mentioned by Ptolemy * Zeugma (literary journal), ''Zeugma' ...
involves the linking of two or more words or phrases that occupy the same position in a sentence to another word or phrase in the same sentence. This can take advantage of the latter word having multiple meanings depending on context to create a clever use of language that can make the sentence and the claim thus advanced more eloquent and persuasive. In the following examples, 2 nouns (as direct objects) are linked to the same verb which must then be interpreted in 2 different ways. ''He caught the train and a bad cold.'' ''This shirt attracts everything but men.'' ''I held my breath and the door for you.'' ''Dumbledore was striding serenely across the room wearing long midnight-blue robes and a perfectly calm expression.'' (
J. K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym ...
, ''
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ''Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'' is a fantasy novel Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology) The imaginary (or social imaginary) is the set of Value (ethic ...
'') Zeugma is sometimes defined broadly to include other ways in which one word in a sentence can relate to two or more others. Even simple constructions like multiple subjects linked to the same verb are then "zeugma without complication". ''Fred excelled at sports; Harvey at eating; Tom with girls.'' ''Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.'' (
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...
3.2)


Discourse level

Discourse level rhetorical devices rely on relations between phrases, clauses and sentences. Often they relate to how new arguments are introduced into the text or how previous arguments are emphasized. Examples include
antanagoge An antanagoge (Greek language, Greek ''ἀνταναγωγή'', a leading or bringing up), is a figure of speech, figure in rhetoric, in which, not being able to answer the accusation of an adversary, a person instead makes a counter-allegation or ...
,
apophasis Apophasis (; Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximate ...
,
aporia In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, lang ...
, hypophora, metanoia and
procatalepsis Procatalepsis, also called prolepsis or prebuttal, is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rheto ...
.


Amplification/Pleonasm

Amplification involves repeating a word or expression while adding more detail, to emphasise what might otherwise be passed over. This allows one to call attention to and expand a point to ensure the reader realizes its importance or centrality in the discussion. ''But this revolting boy, of course,''
''Was so unutterably vile,''
''So greedy, foul, and infantile''
''He left a most disgusting taste''
''Inside our mouths...'' (
Roald Dahl Roald Dahl (13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) was a British novelist, short-story writer, poet, screenwriter, and wartime fighter pilot. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. Dahl was born in Wales ...

Roald Dahl
, ''
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ''Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'' is a 1964 children's novel Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, magazines, and poems that are made for children. Modern children's literature is classified in two diffe ...
'')
Pleonasm Pleonasm (; , ) is the use of more words or parts of words than are necessary or sufficient for clear expression (for instance, "black darkness", "burning fire"). Such Redundancy (linguistics), redundancy is a manifestation of Tautology (languag ...
involves using more words than necessary to describe an idea. This creates emphasis and can introduce additional elements of meaning. ''I heard it with my own ears.'' ''I should have found in some place of my soul''
''A drop of patience''. (
Othello ''Othello'' (full title: ''The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice'') is a tragedy Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a genre of drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mod ...

Othello
4.2) ''Swerve not from the smallest article of it, neither in time, matter or other circumstance''. (
Measure Measure may refer to: * Measurement, the assignment of a number to a characteristic of an object or event Law * Ballot measure, proposed legislation in the United States * Church of England Measure, legislation of the Church of England * Measu ...
4.2)


Antanagoge

Antanagoge An antanagoge (Greek language, Greek ''ἀνταναγωγή'', a leading or bringing up), is a figure of speech, figure in rhetoric, in which, not being able to answer the accusation of an adversary, a person instead makes a counter-allegation or ...
involves 'placing a good point or benefit next to a fault criticism, or problem in order to reduce the impact or significance of the negative point'. ''Within the infant rind of this weak flower''
''Poison hath residence, and medicine power.'' ( 2.3) One scenario involves a situation when one is unable to respond to a negative point and chooses instead to introduce another point to reduce the accusation's significance. ''We may be managing the situation poorly, but so did you at first.'' Antanagoge can also be used to positively interpret a negative situation: ''When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.''


Apophasis

Apophasis Apophasis (; Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximate ...
is the tactic of bringing up a subject by denying that it should be brought up. It is also known as paralipsis, occupatio, praeteritio, preterition, or parasiopesis. ''There's something tells me, but it is not love,''
''I would not lose you; and you know yourself,''
''Hate counsels not in such a quality.'' ( MoV 3.2) This device has a number of effects that make it quite useful in politics.
Donald Trump Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American politician A politician is a person active in party politics A political party is an organization that coordinates candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective reci ...

Donald Trump
, for instance, has been noted to frequently use
apophasis Apophasis (; Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximate ...
when attacking his political opponents.


Aporia

Aporia In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, lang ...
is the rhetorical expression of doubt. The most famous example of this is undoubtedly Hamlet's soliloquy, which begins: ''To be or not to be, that is the question.'' (
Hamlet ''The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark'', often shortened to ''Hamlet'' (), is a tragedy Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a genre of drama Drama is the specific Mode (litera ...

Hamlet
3.1) Another example is in Antony's famous speech at Caesar's funeral, which includes examples such as: ''Did this in Caesar seem ambitious? When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept.'' (
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...
3.2) When the rhetorical question posed is answered, this is also an instance of hypophora.


Diasyrmus

Rejecting an argument through ridiculous comparison.


Derision

This involves setting up an opposing position to ridicule without offering a counterargument, such as: ''You believe we should vote for him? I've got a bridge to sell you.'' No reason for why one should not vote for him is given. It is merely implied that it would be gullible to do so.


Enthymeme

Syllogism A syllogism ( grc-gre, συλλογισμός, ''syllogismos'', 'conclusion, inference') is a kind of logical argument In logic and philosophy, an argument is a series of statements (in a natural language), called the premises or premisses (bo ...
which omits either one of the premises or the conclusion. The omitted part must be clearly understood by the reader. Sometimes this depends on contextual knowledge. ''Mark'd ye his words? He would not take the crown;''
''Therefore 'tis certain he was not ambitious.'' (
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...
3.2; the premise implied is that no ambitious person would refuse the crown) ''They say it takes hundreds of years to build a nation.''
''Welcome to Singapore.'' (
Singapore Tourism Board The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is a statutory boardA statute reffers to the body of law that are made by legislature of the nation with instrument which govern the state, country or any nation. it includes laws, rules and the reulation whichhas ...

Singapore Tourism Board
campaign; to arrive at the omitted conclusion that Singapore is exceptional, the visitor must know that Singapore has but a short history of 50-odd years as an independent nation)


Hyperbole

Hyperbole Hyperbole (, ; adjective form hyperbolic, ) is the use of exaggeration Exaggeration is the representation of something as more extreme or dramatic than it really is. Exaggeration may occur intentionally or unintentionally. Exaggeration can ...
is deliberate exaggeration. This can be for literary effect: ''The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,''
''As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven''
''Would through the airy region stream so bright''
''That birds would sing and think it were not night'' ( 2.2) ''His face was as the heavens...''
''His legs bestrid the ocean: his rear'd arm''
''Crested the world... realms and islands were''
''As plates dropp'd from his pocket.'' ( 5.2) Or for argumentative effect: ''Her election to Parliament would be the worst thing to ever happen to this country!''


Hypophora

The use of hypophora is the technique whereby one asks a question and then proceeds to answer the question. This device is one of the most useful strategies in writing essays to inform or persuade a reader. ''Can honour set to a leg? No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. Honour hath no skill in surgery, then? No. What is honour? A word. What is in that word honour? What is that honour? Air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? He that died a' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. 'Tis insensible, then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it.'' ( 1H4 5.1)


Innuendo

This device indirectly implies an accusation without explicitly stating it. This can be combined with
apophasis Apophasis (; Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximate ...
. ''I know you aren't an alcoholic, but I did notice you've replaced all the bottles in your liquor cabinet.''


Metanoia

Metanoia qualifies a statement or by recalling or rejecting it in part or full, and then re-expressing it in a better, milder, or stronger way. A negative is often used to do the recalling. ''All faults that may be named, nay, that hell knows...'' (
Cymbeline ''Cymbeline'' , also known as ''The Tragedie of Cymbeline'' or ''Cymbeline, King of Britain'', is a play by William Shakespeare set in British Iron Age, Ancient Britain () and based on legends that formed part of the Matter of Britain concerni ...
2.4) ''He was the best of men - no, of all humanity.''


Procatalepsis

By anticipating and answering a possible objection,
procatalepsis Procatalepsis, also called prolepsis or prebuttal, is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rheto ...
allows an argument to continue while rebutting points opposing it. It is a relative of hypophora. Procatalepsis shows that concerns have been thought through. All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,''
But if we take the set away,''
''What shall we do to entertain''
''Our darling children? Please explain!
''We'll answer this by asking you,''
What used the darling ones to do?''
''How used they keep themselves contented''
''Before this monster was invented? (
Roald Dahl Roald Dahl (13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) was a British novelist, short-story writer, poet, screenwriter, and wartime fighter pilot. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. Dahl was born in Wales ...

Roald Dahl
, ''
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ''Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'' is a 1964 children's novel Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, magazines, and poems that are made for children. Modern children's literature is classified in two diffe ...
'')


Understatement

Understatement Understatement is an expression of lesser strength than what the speaker or writer actually means or than what is normally expected. It is the opposite of embellishment In sewing Sewing is the craft of fastening or attaching objects using ...
, or
meiosis Meiosis (; , because it is a reductional division) is a special type of of in organisms used to produce the , such as or . It involves two rounds of division that ultimately result in four cells with only one copy of each (). Additionall ...
, involves deliberately understating the importance, significance or magnitude of a subject. This means the force of the description is less than what is expected, thus highlighting the irony or extreme nature of an event. ''The war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage.'' (The ''
Hirohito surrender broadcast The Hirohito surrender broadcast (; "broadcast in the emperor's voice") was a radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30&n ...
'') BENVOLIO: ''What, art thou hurt?''
MERCUTIO: ''Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch''. ( 3.1; Mercutio dies of his wounds shortly after.) The captain's announcement onboard
British Airways Flight 9 British Airways Flight 9, sometimes referred to by its callsign Speedbird 9 or as the Jakarta incident, was a scheduled British Airways flight from London Heathrow Airport, London Heathrow to Auckland, with stops in Bombay, Kuala Lumpur, Perth, ...
has been described as 'a masterpiece of understatement': ''Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them going again. I trust you are not in too much distress.'' A subtype of understatement is
litotes In rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic – see Martianus Capella), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the techniques ...
, which uses negation: ''Heatwaves are not rare in the summer.''


Irony and imagery


Irony

Irony Irony (), in its broadest sense, is a rhetorical device In rhetoric Rhetoric () is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emoti ...

Irony
is the figure of speech where the words of a speaker intends to express a meaning that is directly opposite of the said words. ''Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest -''
''For Brutus is an honourable man;''
''So are they all, all honourable men -''
''Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.''
''He was my friend, faithful and just to me:''
''But Brutus says he was ambitious;''
''And Brutus is an honourable man.'' (
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...
3.2; Antony attacks Brutus's character and that of his co-conspirators)


Metaphor

Metaphor A metaphor is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of ...
connects two different things to one another. It is frequently invoked by the ''to be'' verb. The use of metaphor in rhetoric is primarily to convey to the audience a new idea or meaning by linking it to an already familiar idea or meaning. The literary critic and rhetorician,
I. A. Richards Ivor Armstrong Richards Companion of Honour, CH (26 February 1893 – 7 September 1979), known as I. A. Richards, was an English educator, literary critic, and rhetorician. His work contributed to the foundations of the New Criticism, a Formal ...
, divides a metaphor into two parts: the vehicle and the tenor.
I. A. Richards Ivor Armstrong Richards Companion of Honour, CH (26 February 1893 – 7 September 1979), known as I. A. Richards, was an English educator, literary critic, and rhetorician. His work contributed to the foundations of the New Criticism, a Formal ...
, ''The Philosophy of Rhetoric'' (New York: Oxford University Press, 1936), 119-27.
In the following example, Romeo compares Juliet to the sun (the vehicle), and this metaphor connecting Juliet to the sun shows that Romeo sees Juliet as being radiant and regards her as an essential being (the tenor). ''But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?''
''It is the East, and Juliet is the sun.'' ( 2.2)


Personification

Personification Personification occurs when a thing or abstraction is represented as a person, in literature or art, as an anthropomorphic Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread spec ...
is the representation of animals, inanimate objects and ideas as having human attributes. In the following example Romeo personifies love as being blind yet able to enamour someone. ''Alas that love, whose view is muffled still,'' ''
Should without eyes see pathways to his will!'' ( 1.1) In another example: ''The gray-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night'' ( 2.3)


Simile

Simile A simile () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of pe ...
compares two different things that resemble each other in at least one way. It uses the ''as... as'' construction as compared to metaphor which is direct equivalence. In the following example, the nurse compares Romeo's manners and behaviour to a lamb. ''I'll warrant him, as gentle as a lamb.'' ( 2.5) Another example can be seen in a conversation between Emilia and Othello. OTHELLO: ''She was false as water''.
EMILIA: ''Thou art rash as fire,''
''To say that she was false. Oh, she was''
''heavenly true!'' (
Othello ''Othello'' (full title: ''The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice'') is a tragedy Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a genre of drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mod ...

Othello
, 5.2)


Metonymy

Metonymy Metonymy () is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is referred to by the name of something closely associated with that thing or concept. Etymology The words ''metonymy'' and ''metonym'' come from the Greek language, Greek , , "a cha ...
is a figure of speech where a thing or concept is referred to indirectly by the name of an attribute or adjunct for that of the thing meant. ''Examples:'' ''- "crown"'' to denote king or queen. - ''Oval Office'' or ''Washington'' to refer to the President of the United States of America.


Synecdoche

A
synecdoche A synecdoche ( , from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10. ...
is a class of
metonymy Metonymy () is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is referred to by the name of something closely associated with that thing or concept. Etymology The words ''metonymy'' and ''metonym'' come from the Greek language, Greek , , "a cha ...
, often by means of either mentioning a part for the whole or conversely the whole for one of its parts. Examples from common English expressions include "suits" (for "businessmen"), "boots" (for "soldiers") (''
pars pro toto ''Pars pro toto'' (, ), , is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (sk ...
''), and "America" (for "the United States of America", ''
totum pro parte ''Totum pro parte'' is Latin for "the whole for a part"; it refers to a kind of metonymy. The plural is ''tota pro partibus'', "wholes for parts". In a context of language, it means something is named after something of which it is only a part (o ...
'').


See also

*
Figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and ...
*
Glossary of rhetorical terms Owing to its origin in ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Anti ...
*
Rhetorical modes Rhetorical modes (also known as modes of discourse) describe the variety, conventions, and purposes of the major kinds of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a c ...
*
Stylistic device In literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the defin ...
* Translation (rhetorical device)


References


External links


Handbook of rhetorical devices
{{DEFAULTSORT:Rhetorical Device Rhetorical techniques,