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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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My lord.

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.

For you must know,
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Act 1
Scene 1
Line 1

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Figures of Speech:

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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