Reductio ad absurdum is a Latin time period that manner “to reduce some thing to absurdity.” It is a discern of speech that is described as a manner of arguing some thing for one’s personal position by showing the absurdity of the location of his opponent. In simple words, it way to reduce a controversy to absurdity, by using drawing conclusions with logical limits, or through displaying ridiculous consequences. Reductio ad 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 cannot be used as an appeal to ridicule. Though both gadgets are substantially used in satire, an enchantment to ridicule is using ridiculing a state of affairs without arguing or explanation; while, reductio advert absurdum pursues arguments and logical consequences.
Examples of Reductio ad Absurdum in Literature
Example #1: The Ladies’ Dressing Room (By Jonathan Swift)
“Five hours, (and who can do it much 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 uses reductio advert absurdum as a satirizing technique here. In this case, the purpose is to ridicule the duality of individuals in their personal and public spheres.
Example #2: A Modest Proposal (By Jonathan Swift)
“I think it is agreed via all parties, that this prodigious range of kids within the arms, or at the backs, or on the heels in their mothers, and often in their fathers, is within the gift deplorable kingdom of the kingdom … reasonably-priced and easy method of making these youngsters sound and useful members of the common-wealth, would deserve so well of the publick, as to have his statue installation for a preserver of the nation.”
This is one of the more well-known examples of reductio ad absurdum in English literature. Here, Swift makes use of reductio ad absurdum with the aid of arguing about social situations to ridiculous lengths. This highlights a horrific scenario of youngsters.
Example #3: Waiting for Godot (By Samuel Beckett)
ESTRAGON: “That’s the concept, let’s ask each other questions …”
“Nothing happens, no one comes … no person goes, it’s awful …”
ESTRAGON: “What did we do yesterday?”
VLADIMIR: “What did we do yesterday?”
VLADIMIR: “Why … (Angrily.) Nothing is certain while you’re about …
ESTRAGON: “In my opinion we were here.”
Estragon and Vladimir indulge themselves in vain and aimless activities. They talk, joke, rebuke, question, and argue approximately the cause in their existence. This excerpt is full of reductio ad absurdum due to the fact characters push the communique to severe ridicule with argumentations.
Example #4: The Republic (By Plato)
Polemarchus: “The physician.”
Socrates: “Or while they are on a voyage, amid the perils of the sea?”
Polemarchus: “The pilot.”
Socrates: “And in what sort of moves or so that you can what end result is the just man most able to do harm to his enemy and accurate to his friends?”
Socrates: “But when a person is properly, my pricey Polemarchus, there's no want of a physician?
Socrates: “Then in time of peace, justice will be of no use?”
Polemarchus: “I am very far from questioning so …”
Adeimantus: “The strongest point of all has no longer been even mentioned, he replied.”
Socrates: “Well, then, in step with the proverb, ‘Let brother help brother'”
Adeimantus: “Nonsense, he replied…”
In this extract, Plato argues for justice – that men must be just. By using this approach, he ridicules the questions of other speakers. Adeimantus disagrees to the intense of absurdity towards Glaucon’s claims concerning human beings trying to be unjust rather than just.
Function of Reductio advert Absurdum
Reductio advert absurdum makes a situation ridiculous or extraordinarily absurd. Often, it is used to point out the flaws of an authentic claim this is untenable or false. It turned into exclusively employed in Greek philosophy. However, in a while it become added in prose, as well as philosophical and formal mathematical reasoning.
Today, it's far used usually in casual debates. The cause of the use of this approach is to expose the foolishness and ridiculous attitudes of sure assumptions and behaviors. However, there's a tremendous hazard that readers would possibly fail to apprehend the targets 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