Polyptoton is a stylistic device that may be a rhetorical repetition of the identical root phrase. However, each time the word is repeated in a distinctive manner, such as the words luppiter, lovi, lovis, and lovem are derived from the basis word “love.”
Features of Polyptoton
Polyptoton is the use of immoderate phrases instead of shorter expressions. It entails an indirect manner of expressing things. These words can help beautify sentences to create hanging effects. In fact, it occurs when the grammatical which means may be expressed by way of the usage of syntactical construction as opposed to morphological marking. The phrases in polyptoton percentage the same etymologies. It is once in a while used as superlative and comparative adjectives formed by adding words like “more” or “most” rather than suffixes.
Similarity with Antanaclasis
Antanaclasis is another linguistic device that is similar to polyptoton, wherein the same words are repeated several times, but on every occasion with different meanings, in the identical phrase or sentence. For instance:
“The handiest aspect we need to worry is fear itself.”
(Franklin D. Roosevelt)
Examples of Polyptoton in Literature
Example #1: The Dry Salvages (By T. S. Eliot)
“There is not any give up of it, the voiceless wailing,
No cease to the withering of withered flowers,
To the movement of pain that is painless and motionless,
To the drift of the ocean and the drifting wreckage,
The bone’s prayer to Death its God. Only the hardly, slightly prayable
Prayer of the only Annunciation…”
There are three Polyptoton examples within the above excerpt. In the second one line, the phrase “wither” is utilized in two approaches (verb and adjective). Also, inside the fourth line the word “waft” (noun and adjective), and the word “pray” were used to give exceptional senses (adjectives and nouns) each time.
Example #2: Trolius and Cressida (By William Shakespeare)
“The Greeks are strong, and skillful to their strength, fierce to their skill, and to their fierceness valiant …”
In this excerpt, Shakespeare has repeated 3 words in exceptional methods. Each use of these words creates a distinct feel. The word, “strong” is repeated as “strength.” In the same manner, the root phrases “fierce” and “skill” also are used twice.
Example #3: Maud A Monodrama (By Alfred Lord Tennyson)
“My personal heart’s coronary heart, and ownest own, farewell…
My dream? Do I dream of bliss?
I actually have walk’d wakeful with Truth … For my dark-dawning youth,
Darken’d looking a mother decline
And that dead guy at her heart and mine…
Yet so did I allow my freshness die…
Seal’d her mine from her first candy breath.
Mine, mine through a right, from birth until death.
Mine, mine—our fathers have sworn.”
This is one of the right examples of polyptoton in which Tennyson has used the same word in numerous forms. Here, it is developing poetic effect by way of contrasting exclusive forms.
Example #4: Richard II (By William Shakespeare)
“With eager feeding meals doth choke the feeder …”
Here, Shakespeare offers an interesting contrast of various varieties of the same root phrase, “feed.” This repetition additionally attracts attention closer to the paradoxical meaning of the word.
Example #5: Barchester Towers (By Anthony Trollope)
“The signora at each grimace and at each bow smiled a bit smile and bowed a little bow…”
This is another very good example of polyptoton. Here, the phrases bow and smile are used in more than one forms. “Bow” is used as a noun and then as a verb. Similarly, “smile” is used twice in two methods with special meanings.
Example #6: Sonnet 116 (By William Shakespeare)
“Love isn't always love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove …”
Again Shakespeare has employed polyptoton as a stylistic tool. The word “alter” is used as a verb, and inside the equal line additionally as a noun. In the 0.33 line, “remove” is repeated in a unique feel however the root words are same.
Function of Polyptoton
Polyptoton complements the which means of a word persuasively and dramatically, in writing or speech, through using a cognate of the phrases. It is likewise used to create rhetorical impact by way of the articulation of a speech or statement. Although it enables offer an thrilling contrast of various words in a text, it's also in didactic feel to create dramatic and poetic effects. Besides, it brings a paradox or a sarcasm in a textual content to the surface. It is broadly used in popular dramas and poems, even as numerous political leaders have extensively utilized this tool of their speeches to emphasize unique points.
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