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Transferred Epithet

Transferred epithets are adjectives that should properly modify one word but is shifted to another word in the same sentence. “The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,” Romeo and Juliet, 1P.1

Transferred Epithet is an example of:
Arrangement, Substitution

Two households, both alike in dignity

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Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudgeParenthesis
break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.Antanaclesis & Synecdoche
From forth the fatal loins of these two foesAlliteration & Synecdoche
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;Epithet
Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows
Doth with their deathAlliteration bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,Transferred Epithets
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,Parenthesis
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here Alliterationshall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.Parenthesis & Synecdoche

Hear him but reason in divinity

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Hear him but reason in divinity,
And all-admiring, with an inward wish
You would desire the King were made a prelate;
Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs,
You would say it hath been all in all his studyAnaphora & Isocolon
List his discourse of war, and you shall hear
A fearful battle rend’red you in music;
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O that this too too solid flesh would melt

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O, that this too too sullied flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!Epizeuxis & Metaphor

Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter!Metonymy
O God, God,
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!Apostrophe & Epizeuxis

O God,
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O horror, horror, horror!

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O horror, horror, horror!Epizeuxis
Tongue nor heart cannot conceive nor name thee!Catachresis & Synecdoche
Macbeth and Lennox
What’s the matter?

Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.

Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.Personification
Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope
The Lord’s anointed temple and stole thence
The life o’ th’ building.

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Search out thy wit for secret policies

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Search out thy wit for secret policies,
And we will make thee famous through the world.
Alanson, to Pucelle
We’ll set thy statue in some holy place
And have thee reverenced like a blessèd saint.Simile
Employ thee then, sweet virgin, for our good.

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Come, come, Lavinia. Look, thy foes are bound

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Come, come, Lavinia. Look, thy foes are bound.—
Sirs, stop their mouths. Let them not speak to me,
But let them hear what fearful wordsTransferred Epithet I utter.—
O villains, Chiron and Demetrius!
Here stands the spring whom you have stained with mud,
This goodly summer with your winter mixed.Metaphors

Here stands the spring whom you have stained with mud,
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Act 5
Scene 2
Line 169

Source Type:

Spoken by:


Figures of Speech:
, , ,

Give me another horse!

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Give me another horse! Bind up my wounds!
Have mercy, Jesu!—Soft, I did but dream.
O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!Apostrophe & Alliteration
The lights burn blue; it is now dead midnight.
Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.Transferred Epithet
What do I fear? Myself? There’s none else by.
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