Rhetorical figures of Addition use either more words than necessary or the words invoke more meanings than expected.
Ambage (am’-bij) is the excessive use of words in an ambiguous or indirect manner. “But be contented when that fell arrest / Without all bail shall carry me away, / My life hath in this line some interest, / Which for memorial still with thee shall stay.” Sonnet 74. Ambage is similar to circumlocution, in that both use excessive words and are indirect, but a circumlocution circles around the meaning and an ambage creates ambiguity. Also see periphrasis.
Amplification (am-plee-fə-kā’-shən) is an elaborate decoration of an argument to suggest copiousness or intensify emotional impact. “Ay, my good lord—“my lord,” I should say rather. / ’Tis sin to flatter; “good” was little better: / “Good Gloucester” and “good devil” were alike, / And both preposterous: therefore, not “good lord.” Henry VI Pt3, 5.6.1.
Apposition is the interrupting a sentence with a word or phrase to add descriptive content. “The winds did sing it to me, and the thunder, / That deep and dreadful organ pipeApposition, pronounced / The name of Prosper.” The Tempest 3.3.114. Similar to a parenthesis but appositions are less interruptive, more like clauses providing clarifying or additional information.
Asteismus (as-te-is’-mus) is a witty joke in which a word or phrase is turned on the user. “Katherine: What is your crest? A coxcomb? Petruchio: A combless cock, so Kate will be my hen. Katherine: No cock of mine. You crow too like a craven.” Taming of the Shrew. 2.1.209.
Circumlocution is the use of more words than necessary, or of evasive words, in order to circle around a meaning and to avoid being direct. “Then weigh what loss your honor may sustain / If with too credent ear you list his songs / Or lose your heart or your chaste treasure open / To his unmastered importunity. / Fear it, Ophelia; fear it, my dear sister.” Hamlet. 1.3.33. See also ambage, amplification, euphemism, and periphrasis.
Conceits are an elaborate and extended figure of speech, involving metaphors, similes, imagery, etc. “Thou counterfeits a bark, a sea, a wind. / For still thy eyes, which I may call the sea, / Do ebb and flow with tears; the bark thy body is, / Sailing in this salt flood; the winds thy sighs, / Who, raging with thy tears and they with them, / Without a sudden calm, will overset / Thy tempest-tossèd body.” Romeo and Juliet, 3.5.117
Epenthesis (e-pen’-thes-is) is the adding an extra syllable or letters in the middle of a word (also called infixation). “I have but with a cursitory eye / O’erglanced the articles.” Henry V, 5.2.69
Euphemism (u’-fa-miz’-em) is a substitution of an inoffensive term for one considered offensive.
Exordium is an introduction to a speech to catch attention of the listeners. “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears! I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.” Julius Caesar, 3.2.82
Hendiadys (hen-di’-a-dis) is the expression of a single idea by two nouns connected with “and” rather than a noun modified by an adjective. “And thy commandment all alone shall live / Within the book and volume of my brain.” Hamlet, 1.5.99.
Hyperbole (hy-per’-bo-lee) is exaggeration for the purpose of emphasis or heightened effect. “He is the bluntest wooer in Christendom.” Henry VI Pt 3, 3.2.36.
Metaplasm (met’-a-plazm) is a generic term for a number of figures of speech that change the spelling of words by either adding or deleting letters or syllables. Shakespeare often used these figures to accommodate the meter of his lines. Sometimes he creates dialect. See prosthesis (adding to beginning), epenthesis (adding to middle), proparalepsis (adding to end), aphaearesis (deleting from beginning), syncope (deleting from middle), apocope (deleting from end).
A neologism is a deliberately created new word. “…heaven and earth together demonstrated / Unto our climatures and countrymen.” Antony and Cleopatra, 1.1.124. Here Shakespeare created a portmanteau in which he merged “climate” with “temperature.” Sometimes Shakespeare used an existing word but gave it a new meaning, e.g. “bedroom” meaning the room in a bed, not the room with a bed in it. Shakespeare is credited with creating many neologisms, some obsolete and some still in use. However, scholarly research continues to reveal that many words previously attributed to him were already in use. See also acyrologia and malapropism, which are unintentionally misused words, and metaplasmus, which is a generic term for different types of misspelled words.
Periphrasis is the use of elaborate description for what is normally a common word, phrase or proper name — or of a proper name, e.g. Venus for a description, i.e, beautiful and seductive. “Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope / The Lord’s anointed temple and stole thence / The life o’ th’ building.” Macbeth, 2.3.73. A type of circumlocution — excessive words are used in a roundabout manner; also see ambage — excessive words used to create ambiguity or misdirection.