Catachresis is a determine of speech wherein writers use blended metaphors in an beside the point way, to create rhetorical effect. Often, it is used intentionally to create a completely unique expression. Catachresis is also known as an exaggerated evaluation among two ideas or objects.
Features of Catachresis
Mixed metaphors are appropriate examples of catachresis, and writers regularly use them to create rhetorical impact. They are used to specific excessive alienation or heightened emotions. Catachresis is considered as a mistake in language, as it is able to alternate the meanings of words. It is a combination of exceptional types of figures of speech. It is prominently used in post-structuralist literary works, since the ones writers were professional in the usage of wordplay, and growing confusion in literary texts, that's an important part of catachresis.
Some Forms of Catachresis
Sometimes a phrase is used to signify something completely different from the literal meaning of that word. Such as on this example, “Tis deepest iciness in Lord Timon’s purse; that is, one may reach deep enough, and discover little” (Timon of Athens, by way of William Shakespeare).
Sometimes a word is used to suggest something whose real name isn't always used like, “A chair’s arm.”
Sometimes a paradoxical declaration is used to create illogical strained metaphors. Such as, “Take arms towards a sea of troubles.”
Abusio is a subtype of catachresis, which ends up from the combination of metaphors.
Examples of Catachresis in Literature
Example #1: On Revenge (By Francis Bacon)
“A man that research revenge maintains his own wounds green…”
Bacon makes use of metaphorical language by way of comparing revenge with wounds. The writer has made a connection among reputedly unconnected topics. However, catachresis is creating a rhetorical effect on this serious text.
Example #2: King John (By William Shakespeare)
“I do not ask much:
I beg bloodless comfort …”
We can find numerous catachresis examples in Shakespeare’s works, as he regularly used mixed metaphors deliberately in his literary writings. Here, he has used catachresis, “cold comfort.”
Example #3: Poem 640 (By Emily Dickinson)
“With just the Door ajar
That oceans are — and Prayer—
And that White Sustenance — Despair—”
In the primary and 2nd lines, we will see the anomaly in phrases which are shown in bold. These describe two differing distances that spread hopelessness. In the identical way, “white sustenance” manner colorless nourishment that sincerely does not nourish the body.
Example #4: Hamlet (By William Shakespeare)
“… Or to take arms towards a sea of troubles
And, by opposing, cease them? To die, to sleep—”
Here, Hamlet is simply wondering futilely after going through a sea of problems. In this way, Shakespeare has used a directly metaphor, albeit taken as a catachresis here.
Example #5: somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond (By E. E. Cummings)
“The voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses –
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands …”
In this extract, the poet is making an illogical comparison between the voice of his loved’s eyes, and roses and rain with the hands. The poet is trying to specific the electricity of his loved over him, and her importance to him.
Example #6: The Tempest (By William Shakespeare)
“His complexion is perfect gallows …”
In the given line, the individual Gonzalo is implying that Boatswain seems like a criminal, and must be hanged. Here, “ideal gallows” is used as a combined metaphor. The objects are compared, although there may be no apparent similarity among them.
Example #7: Peri Bathous (By Alexander Pope)
“Mow the beard,
Shave the grass,
Pin the plank,
Nail my sleeve …”
In the above example, the metaphoric words are proven in bold. The literal and metaphorical meanings may be understood in the context, which the poet is describing as: know-how, capacities, dispositions, and skills.
Function of Catachresis
Catachresis may be used each in poetry and prose. In poetry it is utilized by misusing a phrase or word to deliberately create a mixed metaphor. Poets use catachresis to gain a stylistic impact, or to exert exquisite compression in both comedian as well as severe writing. Also, every so often it is used to create a reference that did not exist, but the major purpose of the usage of this method is to specific the thoughts in a completely unique and innovative way.
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