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


Catachresis (kat-a-kree'-sis) is an implied or mixed metaphor, in which usually a verb or adjective are misapplied to the noun they reference. “Lent him our terror, dressed him with our love,” Measure for Measure. 1.1.3. Related to hyperbole and synaesthesia.

Catachresis is an example of:
Arrangement, Substitution

How oft, when thou, my music, music play’st

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How oft, when thou, my music, music play’stAnastrophe, Antanaclasis, Epizeuxis & Metaphor
Upon that blessèd wood whose motion sounds
With thy sweet fingers when thou gently sway’st
The wiry concord that mine ear confounds,Anastrophe & Synecdoche
Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap
To kiss the tender inward of thy hand,

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Of government the properties to unfold

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Of government the properties to unfold
Would seem in me t’ affect speech and discourse,
Since I am put to know that your own science
Exceeds, in that, the lists of all advice
My strength can give you.Hyperbaton

For you must know, we have with special soul
Elected him our absence to supply,
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Act 1
Scene 1
Line 1

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Figures of Speech:
, ,

The night has been unruly

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The night has been unruly. Where we lay,
Our chimneys were blown down and, as they say,
Lamentings heard i’ th’ air, strange screams of death,
And prophesying, with accents terrible,
Of dire combustion and confused events
New hatched to th’ woeful time. The obscure bird
Clamored the livelong night. Some say the Earth
Was feverous and did shake.
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Come, cousin Angelo, In this I’ll be impartial

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Come, cousin Angelo,
In this I’ll be impartial. Be you judge
Of your own cause.  Duke and Angelo are seated.
 Enter Mariana, veiled.
Is this the witness, friar?
First, let her show her face, and after speak.
Pardon, my lord, I will not show my face
Until my husband bid me.
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