Paralipsis is from the Greek phrase paraleipein, which means “to omit,” or “to leave some thing on one side.” It is described as a rhetorical device wherein an concept is deliberately suggested thru a brief treatment of a topic, even as maximum of the big points are omitted. It is explained through using this device that a few points are too obvious to point out. Also, paralipsis is a manner of emphasizing a topic with the aid of seemingly passing over it.
This is one of the finest current examples of paralipsis:
“I’m now not pronouncing I’m answerable for this country’s longest run of uninterrupted peace in 35 years! I’m not saying that from the ashes of captivity, never has a Phoenix metaphor been extra personified! I’m now not saying Uncle Sam can relax on a garden chair, sipping on an iced tea, due to the fact I haven’t come across anyone man sufficient to move toe to toe with me on my nice day!”
(Iron Man 2 with the aid of Justin Theroux)
Features of Paralipsis
Paralipsis is a literary tool in which a speaker pretends to cover what he exactly wants to say and enforce. It is a sort of irony in which an outline of a message is conveyed in a manner that seems to suppress the exact message. Paraliptic strike-through is a shape of paralipsis. It is a wellknown rhetorical device in journalism and print media.
Examples of Paralipsis in Literature
Example #1: The Knight’s Tale (By Geoffrey Chaucer)
“The music, the carrier on the feast,
The noble gifts for the notable and small,
The wealthy adornment of Theseus’s palace
All these items I do no longer mention now.”
In the example above, paralipsis is used wonderfully. Though all the crucial factors are cited clearly, Chaucer seems to faux in the very last line that he has no longer given any significance to these points.
Example #2: A Modest Proposal (By Jonathan Swift)
“Therefore, permit no man talk to me of other expedients: of taxing our absentees … of using neither clothes, nor house hold furniture … of curing the expensiveness of pride, vanity, idleness, and gaming, of learning to like our country…”
This excerpt is a good example of paralipsis, as Swift briefly indicates the concept of expedients, whilst trying to show that this concept isn't of much significance and must be passed over.
Example #3: Blue Shoes and Happiness (By Alexander McCall Smith)
“Ssh,” stated Grace Makutsi, putting a finger to her lips. “It’s no longer polite to speak approximately it. SO I won’t point out the Double Comfort Furniture Shop, which is one of the businesses my fiance owns, you already know. I must not speak about that. But do you know the store, Mma? If you save up, you should come in a few day and buy a chair …”
Here, the orator emphasizes the point with the aid of passing over it, pronouncing, “I must not communicate approximately that.” The nullifying assertion is mentioning the fixtures shop. The paraliptic line is in bold.
Example #4: Julius Caesar (By William Shakespeare)
“Have patience, mild friends, I must now not read it.
It isn't meet you understand how Caesar cherished you.
You aren't wood; you are not stones, however men;
And, being men, hearing the desire of Caesar,
It will inflame you, it will make you mad …
For if you must–oh–what might come of it! …
But here’s a parchment, with the seal of Caesar;
I located it in his closet. ‘Tis his will.
Let but the commons hear this testament—
Which, pardon me, I do not suggest to read— …”
This is one of the most well-known paralipsis examples. Here, Mark Antony provokes the public via talking approximately the desire of Caesar; meanwhile, he suppresses the problem with out directly citing the subject.
Function of Paralipsis
The reason of the employment of paralipsis is to deliberately emphasize or assert an idea through pretending to disregard or skip over it. Paralipsis examples are very commonplace in literary works, journalism, and political speeches. The orators use this tool to draw the attention of readers closer to a touchy matter, at the same time as the orator ostensibly appears indifferent from it. Often, descriptive works that lack the direct meaning of an concept use paralipsis. Besides, as a rhetorical tool, its approach is ironic due to the fact the intentions of writers are different. However, writers use paralipsis in order to preserve themselves faraway from unfair claims, though they create them up pretty often.
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