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


Zuegma (zoog-ma) uses of a single word, usually a verb but sometimes a noun, to govern or modify two or more other parts of speech. The governing part of speech usually has different meanings or connotations as applied to the words it governs. A syllepsis is a type of zeugma in which one of the two governed words is inappropriate. Usually the repetition is elided (see ellipsis), and sometimes the verb takes different meanings for each noun. “Since saucy jacks so happy are in this, / Give them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss.” Sonnet 128

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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