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It is a figure which,  consists in 'seeing what is not actually seen'

This figure, prof. Bain explains,'' consists in the vivid representation of the absent as if present to the senses.''

Nesfield identifies it with prosopopoeia which he defines thus: 'By this figure the writer or speaker, in relating something past,  or in describing some anticipated future,  employs the present tense instead of the past or future,  and thus makes it appear as if the event were actually passing before hus eyes'.

By this figure, one brings to one's mind sone absent or imaginary picture and represents it with such graphic reality as though it were actually present to the senses. In this figure, something which took place in the past or that will happen in the future is imagined to be present before one's sight though not actually present. 

In this figure (i) past events are described as through the present before one's sight (this is done by the use of the historic present tense); or (ii) dead or absent persons are represented as alive or present and speaking (in this respect its difference from Apostrophe lies in the absence of an address); or (iii) inanimate objects or abstract ideas are represented as speaking like human beings( in this respect it is almost identical with Personification,  its slight difference lies in the fact that while in the former objects act, in the latter they speak); or (iv) future events are anticipated (its difference from Anticipation lies in the latter's use of an anticipatory epithet in most cases)

In the following extract from Longfellow 

But lo!  In that house of misery

A lady with a lamp I see.

we get an example of vision because the poet sees before his very sight the presence of a past event,  i.e...., Florence Nightingale's going from room to room with her message of hope and service. 

The chief Characteristics of this figure are given below:

(i) A vivid picture is presented. 

(ii) It is either about a past event,  or about that which is to happen in the future,  about a person dead or absent,  about an inanimate object, or about an abstract idea.

(iii) Any of these is represented as present before one's sight. 


This is done with the help of imagination. 



I see before me the gladiator lie( Byron)


Even now, methinks, as pondering here I stand, I see the rural virtues leave the land (Goldsmith) 


Hark! forth from the abyss a voice proceeds, A long low distant murmur of dread sound.


Anonymous said...

Nice man thank you

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