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Rhetorical Devices

Here are some rhetorical devices found in the Aeneid.

AB
alliterationrepetition of sound at the beginning of words
anacolouthonthe grammatical sequence of the sentence changes
anaphorarepetition of the same words at the beginning of clauses or phrases.
anastropheinversion of usual word order
antithesisopposition or contrast of words or ideas
aposiopesisthe abrupt and deliberate pause in a sentence.
assonancethe recurrence of similar sounds
asyndetonomission of conjunctions in a closely related series
brachylogyomission of an element which should have been repeated; and must be supplied in order to complete the thought.
chiasmusarrangement of pairs in opposite order: ABBA word order
ellipsisomission of words understood but grammatically necessary
enallageshifting from one form to another (e.g. plural for singular)
epithetdescriptive term or nickname
euphemismusing a more agreeable expression in place of an unpleasant one
hendiadysexpressing an idea by two nouns instead of using a noun and agreeing adjective
hyperboleexaggeration
hysteron - proteronthe reversal of the natural order of things
ironystating an apparent fact with the intention of expressing the opposite; a form of light sarcasm
litotesdouble negative or affirming something by denying the opposite
metaphora direct comparison
metonymythe substitution of one word for another which it suggests; in Latin metonymy often uses proper names
onomatopoeiaword whose sound suggests its meaning
oxymoron; paradoxapparently contradictory words combined into a single expression
personificationattributing human qualities to inanimate objects
polysyndetonuse of unnecessary conjunctions
synchysisinterlocked word order: ABAB
syncopeloss of letters by contraction
synecdochepart for the whole
tmesisseparation of parts of a compound word
trajection; hyperbatonviolent displacement of words
transferred epithetan epithet that is appended to some act or quality fo a person or thing
zeugmaa condensed expression in which one word is made to stand for two or more ideas


Depertment of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures, & Culture
Lexington, KY

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