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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: January ::
Re: A Rhetorical Question
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0188  Friday, 26 January 2001

From:           Gideon Burton <
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Date:           Thursday, 25 Jan 2001 09:15:00 -0700
Subject: 12.0175 Re: A Rhetorical Question
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.0175 Re: A Rhetorical Question

I've been following the thread on metaphors of the type "sea of
despair." In authoring Silva Rhetoricae: The Forest of Rhetoric
(http://humanities.byu.edu/rhetoric/silva.htm), I have combed through as
many primary sources as possible from classical and renaissance
rhetoric, and I have not found that the Ad Herennium author, Cicero,
Quintilian, Melanchthon, Thomas Wilson, Peacham, Puttenham, etc.
specified this sort of metaphor (Marcus Dahl is accurate to refute this
as hendiadys).  More contemporary scholars of metaphor may have included
such a formulation in their taxonomies, of which I would love to made
aware.  It would not be farfetched to call this catachresis, but that
particular term has always been more of a "rhetorical" rhetorical term
than a clear label--one tends to reach for it whenever a metaphor seems
over-reaching.  I have been tracking various sorts of metaphor in my own
work, and am apt to call this construction a "genitive metaphor" on the
model of the Latin partitive genitive or the genitive of description
--though this only comprises the "of" portion, not the inclusion of an
abstraction necessarily.  Whether someone recent has coined their own
term for this I do not know, but no classical or renaissance authority
has done so to my knowledge.

Gideon Burton
Brigham Young University
 

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