Anachronism is derived from the Greek phrase anachronous, which means “against time.” Therefore, an anachronism is an mistakes of chronology or timeline in a literary piece. In other words, anything this is out of time and out of region is an anachronism.
Anachronisms seem in literature, paintings, and other works, and it's far captivating to explore them. Generally, they are taken into consideration mistakes that occur due to lack of research. For example, if a painter paints a portrait of Aristotle, and shows him carrying a wrist watch, it might be an instance of anachronism, as we're all conscious that wristwatches did now not exist at some point of Aristotle’s time. Similarly, the presence of a wall clock in a stage placing that depicts the indoors of a Roman citadel is an anachronism.
Examples of Anachronism in Literature
Example #1: The Great Gatsby (By F. Scott Fitzgerald)
The most well-known anachronism instance comes from Act 2, Scene 1 of William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar:
Brutus: “Peace! Count the clock.”
Cassius: “The clock has stricken three.”
The time this play depicts is a point in records dating again to forty four A.D. Mechanical clocks mentioned inside the above-noted talk had not been invented at that time, but were found in Shakespeare’s time. Thus, the mention of a clock on this play is an anachronism.
The equal play presents another instance of anachronism in Act 1, Scene 2:
“… he plucked me open his doublet and provided them his throat to cut.”
Romans at the time of Julius Caesar did no longer wear a doublet, a close-geared up jacket. This become, however, a style among men on the time of Shakespeare, and therefore its use within the play is an anachronism.
Example #2: Hamlet (By William Shakespeare)
It is thrilling to cite an instance of anachronism in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. Hamlet, the protagonist, is the Prince of Denmark. We are told inside the play that he has been attending the University of Halle-Wittenberg.
It is a historical fact that the aforementioned institute turned into installed in 1502 A.D. The time that become depicted inside the play become that of the seventh or 13th century. Shakespeare did not hassle plenty to set the error right, nor did human beings ever call into question the presence of the university noted above in the Hamlet character’s time.
Example #3: Macbeth (By William Shakespeare)
Yet another example of Shakespearean anachronism comes from Act 1, Scene 2 of his play Macbeth:
“Ross: That now
Sweno, the Norways’ king, craves composition:
Nor could we deign him burial of his guys
Till he allotted at Saint Colme’s inch
Ten thousand bucks to our preferred use.”
The use of the word “dollar” within the above excerpt is really an instance of an anachronism, as the dollar was now not the monetary unit at some stage in the time that the play is set. Shakespeare’s lack of research prompted him to say an item out of its time.
Example #4: Pharaoh (By Boleslaw Prus)
Another instance of anachronism as a result of a scarcity of research is within the novel Pharaoh, written by means of the Polish creator Boleslaw Prus. The putting of the unconventional is the regime of Ramses XII (1087-1085 B.C). The creator mentions in his novel a Prince Harim’s canal within the time of Ramses XII, and claims that it turned into the size of the Suez Canal. Careful research reveals that the canal existed earlier than the cited timeline of the narrative, and it become tons smaller than the Suez Canal.
Example #5: Ode on a Grecian Urn (By John Keats)
An example of anachronism may be traced in John Keats’ poem Ode on a Grecian Urn:
“Heard melodies are sweet, however those unheard
Are sweeter: therefore, ye gentle pipes play on.”
Notice using the century-antique and formal term “ye,” instead of the informal and more appropriate to Keats’ time, “you.” It is an anachronism, however its use here is intentional, as it's miles used to expose the respect that the urn inspires in Keats; hence, produces an artistic effect.
Function of Anachronism
Generally, an anachronism is taken into consideration an unintended errors that may be a end result of a writer’s carelessness, and his lack of studies. At times, however, it is employed a good way to produce a special creative effect, so as to attract the eye of the readers via the right use of anachronism.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw