Figure of Speech Part III


Metonymy literally means a change of name. In metonymy an object is denoted by the name of something which is generally associated with it.

For example

  • The Bench, for the judges
  • The laurel, for success
  • Bluejackets, for sailors
  • Red-coats, for British sailors
  • The Crown, for the king

Since there are different kinds of association between objects, there are
several varieties of metonymy. For example, a metonymy may result from the use of the sign for the person or thing symbolized.

  • From the cradle to the grave (= from infancy to death)

In Lilotes an affirmative is conveyed by negation of the opposite. It is the
opposite of hyperbole.

  • I am a citizen of no mean city. (= I am a citizen of a very celebrated
  • city.)
  • He is no fool. (= He is very clever.)


In this figure of speech, the exclamatory form is used to draw greater
attention to a point.

  • What a piece of work is man!
  • How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!

Climax is the arrangement of a series of events or ideas in the order of
increasing importance.

  • What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties! In action, how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a God.

Anticlimax is the opposite of climax. It shows a sudden descent from the
higher to the lower. The anticlimax is employed for the purpose of satire or

  • Here thou great Anna! whom three realms obey,
    Dost sometimes counsel take – and sometimes tea.