In classical Greece and Rome, speakers recognized hyperbole and litotes
as useful devices.
The scarcity, however, is again underlined in the use of litotes
. The truth arises in the deception of self.
This inner conflict is effectively rendered by the phrase "these last strands of man / In me," the affirmation "I can," and the litotes
"not choose not to be," which, by giving shape to various actors ("man," "me," "I," the not-I), show the speaker's struggle against self-fragmentation.
Whitman represents this tenuousness through a series of double-negative grammatical constructions throughout the poem that function rhetorically in the mode of the litotes
: "Do you not hear?" (105); "there is nothing real but" (106); "to sternly reject all except" (106); "impossible to dissever" (107).
"Amici" describes his friends through an initial series of litotes
, structured in a loose anaphoric pattern: "Non sono vagabondi o abbaialuna, [...] Non son razza padrona, non sono gente arcigna [...] Contandoli uno a uno non son certo parecchi [...]" ("Amici").
After a series of counterbalanced assertions and negations, using litotes
to mix affirmation and ironic understatement--"I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him" (76), "I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke" (102), "It is not meet you know how Caesar lov'd you" (143)--he exploits the full impact of the dramatic disclosure of the body.
It would be a prime example of litotes
to state that the Northern Ireland manufacturing sector is under exceedingly mounting pressure.
But the narrative voice, with ironical litotes
, has already described Mrs.
LECTURING in law is not the most lucrative occupation (would that constitute an example of litotes
, I wonder) but one small perquisite, as yet still untaxed, is having a very interesting mix of colleagues.
Tibullus describes the condition of the rusticus with a form of litotes
(male sobrius), (7) and we realize quickly that his drunkenness is ugly as Tibullus moves from the journey home (51-2) to the assault.
Embora a litotes
negue a sua irrelevancia, a concessiva seguinte (etiam si), corroborada pelo adverbio aliquando, tem o efeito de anular o tom peremptorio inicial; o verbo obumbrentur confirma a sugestao contida em obscura, ao coloca-los na 'sombra' dos verdadeiros protagonistas, ou seja nos bastidores da accao.
Diaz concludes his detailed analysis, asserting that Borges is a better Whitman who employs the rhetorical device of litotes
to indicate a cosmos underlying the apparent chaos of the Aleph and to conjure up the impression of the entire world: "The more partial, minute, and insignificant things Borges enumerates (veins of metal, a tumor, the delicate bones of a hand, the shadows of a fern), the more vividly the impression of infinitude, endlessness, and totality is conveyed [...]" (158).
: Defined as saying less but implying a much dense, larger meaning,
The last days of Amrouche are punctuated by a formula of foreshadowing, a ritual of the text: "She is preparing herself ..." concluding with the litotes
"she has completed her task" (174).
Tropes (figurative language) include metaphors, similes, metonymy, periphrasis, personification, hyperbole, litotes
, rhetorical questions, irony, and paradoxes.