Aposiopesis is derived from a Greek word meaning "to be silent." It is a rhetorical device that can be defined as a rhetorical figure in which the speaker or writer abruptly interrupts, and leaves the statement incomplete, it is as if the speaker is not willing to state what is present in his mind, due to being overcome by passion, excitement or fear. In a literary work, it means leaving a sentence unfinished, so that the reader can determine their own meanings. This type of aposiopesis is used in conditions of conflict between emotional outbursts of a speaker and an environment that does not react. Usually the writer or speaker pauses in the middle of a sentence
Calculated aposiopesis - This type of aposiopesis is based on the conflict of the missing thought and its opposing force that rejects the substance of that thought, thus eliminating it the idea that is explicitly expressed later.
posiopesis - It is based on the elimination of thoughts that are unpleasant to the readers or offensive to the audience.
Transitio-aposiopesis - Eliminate ideas from the final part of a speech so that the audience is immediately interested in the next section. .
Emphatic Aposiopesis - Avoid using the full utterance to portray the idea as larger and truly ineffable
Some forms of Aposiopesis
Sometimes a word is used to indicate something completely different from its literal meaning in Lord Timon's purse; that is, one can reach deep enough and find little ”(Timon of Athens, by William Shakespeare) .
Sometimes a word is used to indicate something whose actual name is not used like“ arm of a chair ”.
Sometimes a paradoxical statement
Abusio is a subtype of aposiopesis that results from the combination of two metaphors.
Examples of aposiopesis in literature
Example 1: King Lear (By William Shakespeare)
"I will take revenge on you two
That those whole world will do - I will do such things -
What they are still I don't know; but they will be
The horrors of the earth! “
Shakespeare used this technique wonderfully to show the moods of his characters. Here it is used when King Lear gets angry with his wicked daughters. He can't explain the punishment, but he collapses and bursts into tears.
Example 2: Ulysses (by James Joyce)
“Take it easy on Howth. The distant hills shine. Where we. The rhododendrons. Maybe I'm a fool, He gets the plums and I get the plum stones. Where I come in “
During this passage, Joyce deliberately paused twice for a dramatic effect. The idea remains unfinished. This pause also gives the impression of reluctance to continue. The unfinished thoughts are shown in bold.
Example 3: Henry IV. (By William Shakespeare)
“O, I could prophesy,
But that the earthy and cold hand of death
is on my tongue. No, Percy, you are dust,
And food for —
"For worms, brave Percy, you are well, big heart!"
Shakespeare is famous for using emotional pauses or moments of sudden silence in monologues long stroke ( -). This is a pivotal moment in the game where a character pauses abruptly.
Example 4: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (By Mark Twain)
“She looked at a loss for a moment and then didn't say violently: but still loud enough to do that the furniture can hear it:
'Well, I'm lying, if I grab you, I'll -'
She wasn't finished, because at this point she was bending down and beating the broom under the bed, and so she needed breath, to interrupt the blows. All she did was revive the cat… ”
There are two examples of aposiopesis in this excerpt. First the author pauses on "Hold on tight, I'll -" and at the end of the excerpt "nothing but the cat". Both sentences remain incomplete.
Example # 5: Julius Caesar (By William Shakespeare)
"Oh judgment! You have fled brutal beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Hear with me,
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must stop until he returns to me ... ”
Once again, Shakespeare uses the aposiopesis in the soliloquy that Antonio gave at Caesar's funeral ceremony. Antonio is giving an emotional speech; therefore, he is unable to finish his thought. This gives him an impact perfect dramatic
Function of aposiopesis
The purpose of using aposiopesis is to create a dramatic or comical effect. Writers or announcers use it whenever they want to express ideas that are too overwhelming to finish. Several playwrights use this technique to make dialogues appear sincere and realistic. But the most effective use of
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