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Rhetorical Devices

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Jessie Findora

on 22 February 2018

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Transcript of Rhetorical Devices

Rhetorical Devices
Assonance
The repetition of vowel sounds in a sequence of nearby words
I lie down by the side of my bride
Consonance
the recurrence of similar sounds, especially consonants, in close proximity
"He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake" --"Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost
Hypophora
the technique of asking a question, then proceeding to answer it (to tell readers something they don't already know, anticipating their skepticism, and nipping it in the bud)
"What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured." --Vonnegut
Synecdoche
A figure of speech in which a part represents the whole.

By not speaking plainly, but by using this sort of comparison, the speaker is forcing the audience to put in a little bit of effort in order to determine what he means. The more the audience is thinking about what is being said, the more memorable it is, and the more engaged they will be. Many of the expressions that get used as examples of synecdoche are cliches at this point, so using them might not have the same effect.
"The western wave was all a-flame
The day was well was nigh done
Almost upon the western wave
Rested the broad bright Sun" --Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Apostrophe
when a speaker breaks off from addressing one party and instead addresses a third party. This third party may be an individual, either present or absent in the scene. It can also be an inanimate object, like a dagger, or an abstract concept, such as death or the sun.
"Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou are not so;
For those who think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet can'st thou kill me"
--Holy Sonnet 10
Metonymy
A figure of speech that replaces the name of a thing with the name of something else with which it is closely associated. Metonymy has the effect of creating concrete and vivid images in place of generalities, as in the substitution of a specific “grave” for the abstraction “death.”
"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears" --Julius Caesar
Asyndeton
The omission or absence of a conjunction between parts of a sentence. This rhetorical device works to make a speech more dramatic and effective by speeding up its rhythm and pace. Public speakers use asyndeton when they want to emphasize the gravity or drama of their topics.
Litotes
Litotes is an understatement in which a positive statement is expressed by negating its opposite.
not a bad day's work
he's no fool
you're not wrong
she's no ordinary girl
I'm not unfamiliar with poetry
Anaphora
the deliberate repetition of the first part of the sentence in order to achieve an artistic effect. Anaphora has the effect of engaging your audience in a particular emotional experience.
"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, and 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." --Winston Churchill
Polysyndeton
Several coordinating conjunctions used in succession in order to achieve an artistic effect. The rhetorical effect of polysyndeton, however, often shares with that of asyndeton a feeling of multiplicity, energetic enumeration, and building up.
Enumeration
a rhetorical device used for listing the details or a process of mentioning words or phrases step by step. Writers use enumeration to elucidate a topic, to make it understandable for the readers. It also helps avoid ambiguity in the minds of the readers.
"[W]hen we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!'" --MLKjr
Antithesis
1. A person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else
2. A rhetorical device in which two opposites are juxtaposed for a contrasting effect--usually in parallel structure
Batman and Joker
Dorothy and the Wicked Witch
Good and Evil
A technique that an author or speaker uses to evoke an emotional response in the audience (the reader(s) or listener(s)). These emotional responses are central to the meaning of the work or speech, and should also get the audience's attention. Usage of rhetorical device techniques can give an auxiliary meaning, idea, or feeling to the literal or written.
"Let the white folks have their money and power and segregation and sarcasm and big houses and lawns like carpets, and books, and mostly--mostly--let them have their whiteness" --I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools." Martin Luther King, Jr.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice
Many are called, but few are chosen.
Effect: There is a sense that the speaker is having a dialogue with the audience. The speaker asks a question (usually one that is on the minds of his listeners) and then answers it. Asking the question arouses the curiosity of the audience about the answer
The effect of an apostrophe in poetry is to personify or bring to life something not living, so the poet is able to address it directly. This puts the subject in a form to which the reader relates.”
Interestingly, the use of understatement adds emphasis to the ideas, rather than decreasing their importance. This is due to the ironic effect produced by the understatement.
Antitheses are used to strengthen an argument by using either exact opposites or simply contrasting ideas, but can also include both. They typically make a sentence more memorable for the reader or listener through balance and emphasis of the words.
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