skip to main | skip to sidebar
Home » » Zeugma Definition & examples -Literaturemini.com

It is a figure in which a verb (or an adjective)  is applied to two nouns, though it is strictly appropriate to only one of them but not to the other so that another suitable verb (or adjective)  should be mentally supplied to the latter for the proper understanding of its meaning. It is not used to produce any comic effect.

This figure,  according to Kennedy, consists in the 'connection of one word with two words or clauses, to both of which it does not equally apply,  so that for one of them,  another word,  to be gathered from the sense of the passage must be mentally supplied'.

The chief characteristics of this figure are given below:

(i) One verb is applied on two nouns

(ii) It is applicable to only one of them

(iii) Another suitable verb should be mentally supplied for the other noun.

In this figure one verb is connected with two nouns to each of which it is not strictly appropriate ; it is suitable only to one so that for the other another fitting verb is necessary,  and it is mentally supplied to grasp its proper meaning. What is important to note about this figure is that the single verb gives sense only to one of the nouns and that for the other noun an additional suitable verb is necessary. Thus in the following example 'Kill the boys and the luggage ' we notice that a single verb (kill) is required to do duty for two nouns (boys and luggage)  whereas it is strictly appropriate to only one (boys) so that for the other (luggage)  another suitable verb (destroy or plunder)  should be mentally supplied to grasp its proper meaning. We also note that here the single verb fails to give sense to both the nouns and that the sentence is used not for the sake of raising any laughter. 

Examples:

1.

The feast and noon grew high (Milton)

2.

Banners on high,  and battles passed below

3.

To lay my head and (keep) hallowed pledge.


0 comments:

Post a Comment

 
Back To Top