Rhetorical Devices By Shania and Luisa

Oxymoron- something (as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements; Example: cruel kindness

Paradox- a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true; Example: Your enemy’s friend is your enemy.

Parallelism- the use of components in a sentence that are grammatically the same; or similar in their construction, sound, meaning or meter. Example: Like father, like son.

Polysyndeton- repetition of conjunctions in close succession; Examples: we have ships and men and money; Pronunciation: poly·syn·de·ton

Pun- a play on words in which a humorous effect is produced by using a word that suggests two or more meanings or by exploiting similar sounding words having different meanings. Example: A horse is a very stable animal

Synecdoche- a literary device in which a part of something represents the whole or it may use a whole to represent a part. Example: The word “bread” refers to food or money as in “Writing is my bread and butter” or “sole breadwinner” Pronunciation: syn·ec·do·che

Juxtaposition- a literary technique in which two or more ideas, places, characters and their actions are placed side by side in a narrative or a poem for the purpose of developing comparisons and contrasts. Example: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,...”

Jargon- a literary term that is defined as a use of specific phrases and words by writers in a particular situation, profession or trade. Example: Getting on a soapbox

Malapropism- the use of a word sounding somewhat like the one intended but ludicrously wrong in the context; Example: “Jesus healing those leopards”

Irony- a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words. Example: The name of Britain’s biggest dog was “Tiny”.


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