Reductio ad Absurdum
Reductio ad absurdum is a Latin time period that means “to lessen something to absurdity.” It is a parent of speech this is defined as a manner of arguing some thing for one’s personal position by way of showing the absurdity of the location of his opponent. In easy words, it means to reduce an issue to absurdity, via drawing conclusions with logical limits, or with the aid of displaying ridiculous consequences. Reductio advert absurdum in satires breaks down an concept to the factor of absurdity.
Difference Between Reductio ad Absurdum and Appeal to Ridicule
Reductio advert absurdum examples can not be used as an appeal to ridicule. Though both gadgets are extensively used in satire, an enchantment to ridicule is the use of ridiculing a state of affairs without arguing or explanation; while, reductio advert absurdum pursues arguments and logical consequences.
Examples of Reductio advert Absurdum in Literature
Example #1: The Ladies’ Dressing Room (By Jonathan Swift)
“Five hours, (and who can do it less in?)
By haughty Celia spent in dressing;
The goddess from her chamber issues,
Arrayed in lace, brocades and tissues…
Her ointments, daubs, and paints and creams,
Her washes, slops, and each clout
Such order from confusion sprung,
Such gaudy tulips raised from dung.”
Swift makes use of reductio ad absurdum as a satirizing technique here. In this case, the cause is to ridicule the duality of individuals in their private and public spheres.
Example #2: A Modest Proposal (By Jonathan Swift)
“I think it's far agreed via all parties, that this prodigious number of kids in the arms, or at the backs, or at the heels of their mothers, and frequently in their fathers, is within the gift deplorable state of the kingdom … reasonably-priced and easy approach of creating these children sound and beneficial individuals of the common-wealth, would deserve so properly of the publick, as to have his statue installation for a preserver of the nation.”
This is one of the more famous examples of reductio ad absurdum in English literature. Here, Swift makes use of reductio ad absurdum by means of arguing approximately social situations to ridiculous lengths. This highlights a horrific scenario of kids.
Example #3: Waiting for Godot (By Samuel Beckett)
ESTRAGON: “That’s the idea, let’s ask every different questions …”
“Nothing happens, nobody comes … no person goes, it’s awful …”
ESTRAGON: “What did we do yesterday?”
VLADIMIR: “What did we do yesterday?”
VLADIMIR: “Why … (Angrily.) Nothing is sure while you’re about …
ESTRAGON: “In my opinion we had been here.”
Estragon and Vladimir indulge themselves in vain and aimless activities. They talk, joke, rebuke, question, and argue about the purpose in their existence. This excerpt is full of reductio advert absurdum due to the fact characters push the communication to excessive ridicule with argumentations.
Example #4: The Republic (By Plato)
Polemarchus: “The physician.”
Socrates: “Or when they're on a voyage, amid the perils of the sea?”
Polemarchus: “The pilot.”
Socrates: “And in what sort of movements or with a view to what result is the simply man most capable of do damage to his enemy and accurate to his friends?”
Socrates: “But whilst a man is well, my dear Polemarchus, there's no want of a physician?
Socrates: “Then in time of peace, justice can be of no use?”
Polemarchus: “I am very a long way from thinking so …”
Adeimantus: “The strongest point of all has not been even mentioned, he replied.”
Socrates: “Well, then, according to the proverb, ‘Let brother assist brother'”
Adeimantus: “Nonsense, he replied…”
In this extract, Plato argues for justice – that men must be just. By the usage of this approach, he ridicules the questions of other speakers. Adeimantus disagrees to the acute of absurdity towards Glaucon’s claims regarding people looking to be unjust rather than just.
Function of Reductio advert Absurdum
Reductio ad absurdum makes a situation ridiculous or extraordinarily absurd. Often, it's miles used to factor out the flaws of an unique claim this is untenable or false. It turned into exclusively hired in Greek philosophy. However, later on it was brought in prose, in addition to philosophical and formal mathematical reasoning.
Today, it's miles used basically in casual debates. The purpose of the use of this method is to show the foolishness and ridiculous attitudes of positive assumptions and behaviors. However, there may be a exquisite hazard that readers might fail to understand the objectives clearly.
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