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Home » Shakespeare's Works » Elements » Figures of Speech » Figures of Speech by Name » Aposiopesis


Aposiopesis (a-pos-i-o-pee’-sis) is a sudden breaking off of an utterance before it is completed, usually in moments of emotion. “O judgment! Thou art fled to brutish beasts, / And men have lost their reason. Bear with me, / My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, / And I must pause till it come back to me…” Julius Caesar, 3.2.82.

Aposiopesis is an example of:

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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Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!

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Friends, Romans, countrymenExordium, lend me your earsSynecdoche!
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.Antithesis
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bonesAntithesis
So let it be with Caesar.
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