Features of Literary Style

  • Anaphora: the repetition of the same word at the beginning of successive clauses or lines

    hic currus fuit; hoc regnum dea gentibus esse (Aeneid I.16-17)

    Apostrophe: the direct address of a person or object that usually isn't present and that suddenly breaks off from the main narrative

    O terque quaterque beati (Aeneid I.94)

    Asyndeton:  the omission of conjunctions where they would be expected

    spem vultu simulat, premit altum corde dolorem (Aeneid I.209)

    Chiasmus:  word order in a single line of the pattern ABBA (there may be words separating an element)

    impulerit. Tantaene animis caelestibus irae? (Aeneid I.11)

    Hyperbole:  exaggeration for literary effect

    ...fluctus ad sidera tollit. (Aeneid I.103)

    Litotes:  understatement, often involving a negative, and thus stating a positive idea by its opposite (not large = small)

    Post mihi non simili poena commissa luetis. (Aeneid I.136)

    neque enim ignari sumus ante malorum (Aeneid I.198)

    Metonymy:  the use of a word to stand in the place of something suggested by it

    arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris (arma = war, Aeneid I.1)

    Polysyndeton:  the excessive (and often unnecessary) use of conjunctions

    disiecitque rates evertitque aequora ventis (Aeneid I.43)

    Synchesis:  word order in a single line of the pattern ABAB (there may be words separating an element)

    saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram (Aeneid I.4)

    Tmesis:  the splitting of a compound word into two parts

    nec prius absistit quam septem ingentia victor (Aeneid I.192)