Tmesis is derived from the Greek word tmesis, which means “to cut.” It is a rhetorical device that entails the breaking down of a word or a word into parts. In less difficult phrases, tmesis is an insertion of a word among the elements of a phrase, a compound word, or a word (phrasal verbs usually). It is a exercise of dividing a phrase or word into its components with the aid of inserting another phrase within the middle of that phrase or word. Tmesis is commonly employed in phrases that have greater than 3 syllables. Let us study these two examples of tmesis to have a higher know-how of this tool:
Eliza Dolitttle: “Fan-bloody-tastic” or “abso-blooming-lutely” (Pygmalion, through George Bernard Shaw).
Here, the words “fantastic” and “absolutely” are separated by way of the words “bloody” and “blooming,” respectively.
“How-heinous-ever it be,” (Richard II, by means of William Shakespeare).
The phrase, however, is separated through the word “heinous.”
Classification of Tmesis
Tmesis examples may be classified in line with the tool’s two principal groups. The first institution of tmesis is fashioned from slicing phrasal verbs. For example, the phrasal verb “flip off” may be cut into components by placing another word, such as “radio,” to shape the word “turn the radio off“). The that means of the phrasal verb in this example is retained. In other instances, however, it is able to change. Another class of English tmesis is formed by means of including an infix in modifiers. A top instance for this is, “I were given forty-bloody-seven /and that’s excellent e-bloody-nough” (Tumba Bloody Rumba, with the aid of John O’Grady).
Examples of Tmesis in Literature
Example #1: Romeo and Juliet (By William Shakespeare)
“This isn't Romeo, he’s some other where.”
In this excerpt, “someplace” is cut up up with the aid of putting the word “different.” The purpose of splitting up the phrase is to highlight and draw the focal point of readers to the reality that Romeo isn't always there, but someplace else.
Example #2: Hymn to Christ (By John Donne)
“In whattorn shipsoever I embark,
That ship shall be my brand
Whatseasoever swallow me, that flood
Shall be to me an emblem of thy blood.”
This is a very good example of phrasal verb tmesis. “Whatsoever” is cut up into components with the aid of putting the phrases, “torn ship.” The identical is done in the third line, wherein the word “sea” is inserted in the center of the compound phrase “whatsoever.”
Example #3: Old Age Sticks (By E. E. Cummings)
“antique age sticks
kids yanks them
Tres) & (pas)
&) children goes
Cumming has used lots of tmesis in his works. This poem is a great example. The phrasal verb “yanks down” is cut up apart by way of the word “them.” This cut up up of phrases is used for artistic reason.
Example #4: Troilus & Cressida (By William Shakespeare)
“That man–how dearly ever parted.”
Shakespeare makes use of tmesis in his literary pieces. Here, the insertion of the phrase “dearly” into “however” emphasizes the fond feeling that the speaker has closer to the useless person.
Example #5: Take a Girl Like You (By Kingsley Amis)
“It’s a type of lengthy cocktail—he were given the components off a barman in Marrakesh or some-bloody-where.”
The phrase “someplace” is divided through the phrase “bloody.” This inserted word makes the readers focus at the speaker’s “I don’t care” attitude in the direction of the foundation of the system.
Function of Tmesis
Tmesis is particularly used to create humor, and lay emphasis on a specific word or word. The Romans and Greeks used tmesis for special effects in literature. In comedy, it works as over-carried out exaggeration. In poetry, its mission is to stress a point, because it forces readers to offer extra interest to the reduce word or line. It is frequently used in casual speech, as well. In Australian English, it's miles called “tumba rumba.”
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