LEXICAL STYLISTIC DEVICES
Metonymy is the substitution of one word for another with which it is associated: ‘The White House said…’ (the American government) ; the press (newspapers and magazines); the cradle(infancy, place of origin);the grave(death); The hall applauded; The marble spoke; The kettle is boiling; I am fond of Agatha Christie; We didn’t speak because there were ears all around us; He was about a sentence away from needing plastic surgery . Synecdoche
She passed through the grove like a shadow, and like a shadow she sailed across the garden.
I want to die young at a ripe old age. Irony
Well done! A fine friend you are!
‘What a noble illustration of the tender laws of this favoured country! - they let the poor go to sleep!’ Irony must not be confused with humour, although they have very much in common. Humour always causes laughter. But the function of irony is not to produce a humorous effect. Irony is generally used to convey a negative feeling: irritation, displeasure, pity or regret. Epithet
Epithet coveys the subjective attitude of the writer as it is used to characterize an object and pointing out to the reader some properties or features of the object. Epithet aims at evaluation of these properties or features. Heart-burning smile; wild winds; fantastic terrors; voiceless sands; unearthly beauty; deep feelings; sleepless bay. Fixed epithets (stock images) are mostly used in ballads and folk-songs: ‘true love’, ‘dark forest’, ‘sweet Sir’, green wood’; ‘good ship’, ‘brave cavaliers’. From the point of view of their compositional structure epithets may be divided into simple, compound, phrase and sentence epithets. Simple: dreary midnight; brilliant answer; sweet smile.
Compound: heart-braking sigh; good-for-nothing fellow;
Phrase epithets and sentence epithets: 1. ‘Personally I detest her (Giaconda’s) smug, mystery-making, come-hither-but-go-away-again-because-butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth expression’. 2. There is a sort of ‘Oh–what–a-wicked-world-this-is-and-how-I-wish-I-could-do-something-to-make-it-better-and-nobler’ expression about Montmorency that has been known to bring to tea s into the eyes of pious old ladies and gentlemen. The reversed epithets, or metaphorical, are of two types: 1) two nouns are linked in an of-phrase: a devil of a job; ‘A little Flying Dutchman of a cab’2) The predicative is in the inverted position: ‘Fools that they are’; ‘Wicked as he is’ Transferred epithets describe the state of a human being but referred to an animate object: sleepless pillow; unbreakfasted morning; merry hours; an indifferent shoulder; sick chambers.
Oxymoron is a combination of two words in which their meaning clash, being opposite in sense: Sweet sorrow; pleasantly ugly face; deafening silence; horribly beautiful. The following example describes the author’s attitude to New York: ‘I despise its vastness and power. It has the poorest millionaires, the littlest great men, the plainest beauties, the lowest skyscrapers of any town I ever saw. (Satiric mocking) Allusion
Allusion is reference to a famous historical, literary, mythological, biblical or everyday life character or event, commonly known. As a rule no indication of the source is given. It’s his Achilles heel.
Antonomasia is intended to point out the leading, most characteristic features of a person or of event. It categorizes the person and simultaneously indicates both the general and the particular. Antonomasia can be defined as a variety of allusion: Vralman, Molchalin, Mr. Zero, Don Juan.
Metalepsis is a reference to something remotely associated with the theme of the speech. ‘I’ve got to go catch the worm tomorrow...
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