Rhetorical Figure

“Rhetorical Figure: An artful arrangement of words to achieve a particular emphasis and effect, as in apostrophe, chiasmus, and zeugma. A rhetorical figure does not alter the meanings of words as a metaphor may do. The repetitions in these lines from Gerard Manley Hopkins’sSt Winefred’s Well” are rhetorical in their emphasis and echoing:

‘T. What is it, Gwen, my girl? Why do you hove and haund me?

W. You came by Caerwys, sir?

V.                                 I came by Caerwys

W.                                                   There

Some messenger there might have met/met you from my uncle.

T. Your uncle met the messenger-/met me; and this is the message:

Lord Bueno comes to night./

W.                                                To night, sir!'”

Excerpted from: Cuddon, J.A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. New York: Penguin, 1992.

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