Stylistic means - what are they and what are their functions?
Stylistic means are an inseparable element of poetry. It is difficult to imagine the analysis and interpretation of the poem without careful analysis. What is their function?
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1. Why do we use stylistic means?
The stylistic means in the poem are intended to evoke specific emotions in the recipient. With their help, the author can sharpen certain terms and diminish others. Builds tension and helps you focus on the text.
2. Selected stylistic means and their functions
The means of artistic expression can be assigned to several groups: phonetic, inflectional, word-formation, lexical and syntactic. Below are examples for each group.
2.1. Phonetic stylistic means
Among the phonetic stylistic means are:
- onomatopoeias - imitating natural sounds with words that sound similar to them, e.g. hiss,
- anaphora - starting successive sentences or phrases with the same word or words, eg How my eyes melt - they faint, || How thoughts throw from the bottom (J. Słowacki),
- epiphora - repetition of the same word or words at the end of successive lines, sentences, eg. Hell I all swear against you, || Let all hell be in you (J. Słowacki).
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2.2. Inflective stylistic means
Inflective stylistic means include:
- archaisms - words, phrases and grammatical forms typical of old eras, unused today,
- neologisms - newly formed words in accordance with the grammatical rules of a given language.
2.3. Word-forming stylistic means
Word-forming stylistic means include:
- diminutives - they most often express tenderness, sympathy, although they may also indicate malice, irony, e.g. tufts, female,
- thickenings - most often indicate people or objects that we refer to with contempt, dislike, e.g. an old man.
2.4. Lexical stylistic means
Among the lexical stylistic means are:
- synonyms - synonyms whose meanings are similar, e.g. house - apartment,
- animation - assigning the features of living creatures to objects, natural phenomena, e.g. the door squeaks,
- personification - assigning human characteristics and activities to animals, objects, phenomena, e.g. a smile of fate,
- metonymy - replacing the proper word with another one in a specific relationship with that word, e.g. I'm reading Prus,
- periphrase - replacing a word meaning an object, activity, feature with a metaphor, e.g. the sun - a fire star,
- synecdoche - using the name of a whole to designate a part (and vice versa), e.g. spring (instead of year),
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- oxymoron - a juxtaposition of words with opposite, mutually exclusive combinations, e.g. black snow,
- euphemism - a word or phrase used to soften drastic, vulgar expressions,
- hyperbole - deliberate exaggeration in the description of an object or phenomenon, e.g. a sea of blood, mad with anger,
- symbol - a linguistic sign, with other, hidden, apart from the literal meaning, e.g. a torn pine tree (S. Żeromski),
- comparison - a word combination whose parts are connected by a conjunction or adverb, e.g. white as snow,
- epithet - designation of a noun, emphasizing the characteristics of an object, e.g. earth - mother.
2.5. Syntactic stylistic means
Syntactic stylistic means are different types of sentences, including:
- rhetorical question - a question that is not expected to be answered,
- apostrophe - a direct return to the described person, object, phenomenon in an exclamation point, eg Lithuania! My fatherland!
- anacoluty - sentences that do not have the correct syntax structure,
- inversion - a conscious change of words.
Stylistic means appear not only in poetry. They are used by broadly understood art. They are also making a staggering career in advertising. Journalists also sometimes use the means of artistic expression.