Rhetorical TermsGroup 31. Diction- style of speaking or writing determined bythe choice of words by a speaker or a writer.
(“Diction – Examples andDefinition of Diction.” Literary Devices, 11 Mar. 2015,literarydevices.net/diction/.)Example- “You just hold yourhead high and keep those fists down.
No matter what anybody says to you, don’tyou let ’em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change.” (To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee)Function –Here, Atticus isspeaking to Scout. In this choice of wording, it shows the close relationshipAtticus has with Scout. He uses phrases such as “don’t let ’em get your goat”casually in order to let Scout know that she shouldn’t let others bother her. Sheneeds to think before she plays out her actions. 2.
Epistrophe- a figure of speechthat involves the repetition of a word or phrase at the end ofsuccessive clauses or sentences. Epistrophe is also known as epiphora or antistrophe. The word epistrophe comes from theGreek for “return.” (Epistrophe Examplesand Definition.” Literary Devices, 30 Oct. 2015, www.literarydevices.
com/epistrophe/.)Example- “Ah, distinctly Iremember it was in the bleak December;And each separatedying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.Eagerly I wished themorrow;—vainly I had sought to borrowFrom my bookssurcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—For the rare andradiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—Nameless here forevermore.” (“The Raven” Edgar Allen Poe)Function- Here, Poe usesEpistrophe in order to stick to his specific rhyme scheme. He repeats “Lenore”twice within two stanzas to show that he cannot move on past his belovedLenore.
He repeats her name throughout the entire poem as well as rhyming withother words. He then puts the quote “Nameless here for evermore” which totallydefeats his purpose of naming his wife Lenore throughout the poem.3. Ethos- representscredibility, or an ethical appeal, which involves persuasion by the characterinvolved. (“Ethos – Examples and Definition of Ethos.” Literary Devices, 16Dec. 2017, literarydevices.
net/ethos/.)Example- “My old studies inalchemy,” observed he, “and my sojourn, for above a year past, among a peoplewell versed in the kindly properties of simples, have made a better physicianof me than many that claim the medical degree. Here, woman! The child isyours—she is none of mine—neither will she recognize my voice or aspect as afather’s. Administer this draught, therefore, with thine own hand.” (TheScarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne)Function- Here, the strangeris trying to get Hester Prynne to trust him with her case.
He is stating thatbecause of his studies in alchemy, he is better than most physicians that claima medical degree and everyone else. He establishes credibility here in orderget Hester Prynne to trust him on her case. He uses credibility to establishhow good he is.4. Euphemism- a polite or mild wordor expression used to refer to something embarrassing, taboo, or unpleasant.Euphemisms are especially common in reference to bodily functions and illegalbehavior, and to substitute for curse words. (“Euphemism Examples andDefinition.” Literary Devices, 30 Oct.
2015, www.literarydevices.com/euphemism/.)Example- “You know the truth,and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negromen are not to be trusted around women—black or white. But this is a truth thatapplies to the human race and to no particular race of men. There is not aperson in this courtroom who has never told a lie, who has never done animmoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a womanwithout desire.” (To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee)Function- Here, Lee uses theeuphemism of “negroe’.
This is a euphemism that was used to describe the raceof African Americans. During this time period this is the word that wascommonly used. Lee uses this euphemism quite a few times throughout the novelin order to use words that associate and are appropriate to the time periodthey are used in. 5. Euphony- refers to the qualityof being pleasant to listen to. Euphony generally comes about through aharmonious combination of sounds and words. An author can create euphony inmany different ways, such as using pleasant vowel and consonants, or byemploying other literary devices, such as rhythm, rhyme, consonance, andassonance to create an overall harmonious sound to a work of literature. (“EuphonyExamples and Definition.
” Literary Devices, 30 Oct. 2015, www.literarydevices.
com/euphony/.)Example- “Then, methought,the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censerSwung by Seraphimwhose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.”Wretch,” I cried,”thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent theeRespite—respite andnepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;Quaff, oh quaff thiskind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”Quoth the Raven”Nevermore.” (“The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe)Function- The tone of Poe’spoem “The Raven” is depressing and dark. Yet, he writes and chooses his use ofwords intelligently. Instead of the poem seeming dark the whole time while thereader reads the poem, Poe’s word choice makes the poem pleasant andinteresting. Instead of readers getting bored by depressing thoughts, readersare intrigued to continue reading because of how Poe words his sentences. 6.
Fallacy- a display of faultyreasoning that makes an argument invalid, or a faulty belief based on anunsound argument. Many fallacies are deceptive in that they may appear to bebased on sound reasoning and seem to follow good logic. (“Fallacy Examples andDefinition.” Literary Devices, 30 Oct.
2015, www.literarydevices.com/fallacy/.)Example- “The state has notproduced one iota of medical evidence to the effect that the crime Tom Robinsonis charged with ever took place. It has relied instead upon the testimony oftwo witnesses whose evidence has not only been called into serious question oncross-examination, but has been flatly contradicted by the defendant.
Thedefendant is not guilty, but somebody in this courtroom is.” (To Kill aMockingbird by Harper Lee)Function- The fallacy here issaying that Tom Robinson is definitely a criminal just because he is black. Heis saying that Tom Robison needs to be treated fairly and not unfairly justbecause of his race.7.
Foreshadowing- a literary devicein which a writer gives an advance hint of what is to come later in the story.Foreshadowing often appears at the beginning of a story, or a chapter, andhelps the reader develop expectations about the coming events in a story. (“Foreshadowing – Examples and Definition of Foreshadowing.” LiteraryDevices, 14 Aug. 2017, literarydevices.net/foreshadowing/.)Example- “Life were better ended by theirhate, Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love” (“Romeo and Juliet” by WilliamShakespeare)Function- Here, this is a foreshadow of how Romeowill end up killing himself in the end to be with his one true love. He issaying that he would rather die than live his life without his true love.
Everyone knows that in the end, the star-crossed lovers kill themselves in theend in order to spend eternity together.8. Hyperbole- a figure of speech thatinvolves an exaggerationof ideas for the sake of emphasis. (“Hyperbole – Examples andDefinition of Hyperbole.” Literary Devices, 15 Aug. 2017,literarydevices.
net/hyperbole/.)Example- “Neptune’s ocean wash this blood Clean from myhand? No. This my hand will rather The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Makingthe green one red.” (Macbeth ByWilliam Shakespeare)Function-Macbeth feels regret after killing the king, so he is saying that not even thegreatest ocean could wash the sin off of is hands. One really can’t wash sinaway. He is stuck with the sin of killing the king until he dies. Since he cantwash his sin away he feels sincere regret and even begins to wonder why he evenkilled the king.
9. Imagery-to use figurative languageto represent objects, actions, and ideas in such a way that it appeals to ourphysical senses. (“Imagery – Examples and Definition of Imagery.
” LiteraryDevices, 15 Aug. 2017, literarydevices.net/imagery/.
)Example- “O, she doth teach the torches to burnbright!Itseems she hangs upon the cheek of nightLike arich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear …” (Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare)Function- Here,Romeo is describing Juliet as the most beautiful creature he has ever seen. Heuses imagery to describe her beauty to the audience. He also is describing howshe shines bright, even in the darkest of nights. 10. Irony- a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that theirintended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words. (“Irony -Examples and Definition of Irony.” Literary Devices, 15 Aug. 2017,literarydevices.
net/irony/.)Example- “Go askhis name: if he be married.Mygrave is like to be my wedding bed.” (Romeoand Juliet by William Shakespeare)Function- Here, Juliet is using anexample of verbal irony by stating that if Romeo is married than she wouldrather die than marry someone else. This is irony because everyone knows thatshe kills herself in the end in order to be able to be with her one true love.