A Glossary of Rhetorical Terms with Examples NOTE: FIGURE OF SPEECH : A mode of expression in which words are used out of their literal meaning or out of their ordinary use in order to add beauty or emotional intensity or to transfer the poet's sense impressions by comparing or identifying one thing with another that has a meaning familiar to the reader. Some important figures of speech are: simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole and symbol. Alliteration: repetition of the same sound beginning several words in sequence. *Let us go forth to lead the land we love. J. F. Kennedy, Inaugural Betty bought some butter but the butter was bitter so Betty bought some better butter to make the bitter butter better. “What would the world be, once bereft/Of wet and wildness?” (Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Inversnaid”) 'She sells seashells by the seashore' Anacoluthon: lack of grammatical sequence; a change in the grammatical construction within the same sentence. *Agreements entered into when one state of facts exists -- are they to be maintained regardless of changing conditions? J. Diefenbaker Anadiplosis: ("doubling back") the rhetorical repetition of one or several words; specifically, repetition of a word that ends one clause at the beginning of the next. *Men in great place are thrice servants: servants of the sovereign or state; servants of fame; and servants of business. Francis Bacon *Whene'er Anaphora: the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses or lines. *We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender. Churchill. Her love made her live, her love made her grieve Her beauty was her best friend, her beauty her worst enemy Anastrophe: transposition of normal word order; most often found in Latin in the case of prepositions and the words they control. Anastrophe is a form of hyperbaton. *The helmsman steered; the ship moved on; yet never a breeze up blew. Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Antistrophe: repetition of the same word or phrase at the end of successive clauses. *In 1931, ten years ago, Japan invaded Manchukuo -- without warning. In 1935, Italy invaded Ethiopia -- without warning. In 1938, Hitler occupied Austria -- without warning. In 1939, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia -without warning. Later in 1939, Hitler invaded Poland -- without warning. Page 1 of 7
And now Japan has attacked Malaya and Thailand -- and the United States -without warning. Franklin D. Roosevelt Antithesis: opposition, or contrast of ideas or words in a balanced or parallel construction. (It is the use of words with opposite meanings in the same line.) *Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. Barry Goldwater *Brutus: Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar *The vases of the classical period are but the reflection of classical beauty; the vases of the archaic period are beauty itself." Sir John Beazley The good and bad of it lies in where you look he was neither fat nor skinny Aporia: expression of doubt (often feigned) by which a speaker appears uncertain as to what he should think, say, or do. *Then the steward said within himself, 'What shall I do?' Luke 16 Aposiopesis: a form of ellipse by which a speaker comes to an abrupt halt, seemingly overcome by passion (fear, excitement, etc.) or modesty. Apostrophe: a sudden turn from the general audience to address a specific group or person or personified abstraction absent or present. (Words that are spoken to a person who is absent or imaginary, or to an object or abstract idea). *For...
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