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Bdelygmia is a Greek word that translates to “filth” or “nastiness”. It emerged in ancient Greece around the 6th century and helped people to manage physical violence instead of resorting to verbal violence. It is popularly used in literature to express heated emotions such as hatred, anger and /or criticism. It uses very strong language that is aimed at the target audience.

Characters that use Bdelygmia tone appear abusive and angry, as well as verbally violent and commanding. For literal writings, this tone has been used in political plays by writers like Shakespeare to instigate discourse between opposing political groups. This is well observed in social media sites especially when people feel dissatisfied and angered by the instruments of power. If used wrongly, this tone of speech in social media can be attributed to the increasing cases of cyberbullying and can cause great mental harm to the target victim.

In classical rhetoric, Bdelygmia is used by the author or narrator to emotionally move their audience so that they may feel the same emotions. This makes the author seem intolerant and offensive and having abhorrence and hatred towards a person or deed. If used extremely wrongly, people may find the narrator unpleasant.

The use of this literature is still evident even in today’s political landscape as most politicians use rhetorical violence in politics when campaigning or pushing their agenda. They try to paint a negative image of the opposition party or group and try to persuade people to believe their propaganda and dismiss that one of the opposing party. In America, this is very evident by the Republican and Democrats opposing and dismissing talks fueled by the email scandals, America’s position in the Middle East war among other issues.

In the musical scene, this type of expression is mostly popular among hip-hop artists who curse a lot when they are expressing their disgust. An example of this can be heard in Eminem’s song, “Legacy” and Mockin’ Bird’’.

Activists and environmentalist have also used this figure of speech to express disgust towards unhealthy products. For example, anti-abortionists portray those who support abortion as human killers and murderers with no regard to the sacredness of human life. Health activist, on the other hand, try to make cigarette manufacturers and smoke look terrible by describing smoking as “a horrible habit which not only pollutes our environment but also poisons our children”

There are myriads other cases where Bdelygmia, as a literary stylistic device, is used. However, what stands out is the extremity of the feelings and emotions it conveys, especially to those people on whom the action, speech or deed is directed.

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In literature, there are writing devices used to make the literature work pleasant and convey the intended meaning of every word used. Just to mention a few this includes symbolic, similes, idiom, metaphor and irony among others.

Irony  Definition

The irony is a figure of speech that uses words with an intended meaning to mean different from the real meaning of the used words. It can also apply to the opposite of the expected. In other words, it’s a distinction between the appearance and the reality of the literature concerned.

There are Three Types of Irony

  • Dramatic Irony
  • Situational Irony
  • Verbal Irony

Dramatic Irony

This is a type of irony commonly used in work of art such as plays, movies, poems, and books. It arises when audience have a clue of what is going to happen and the characters in the art are not aware.

Dramatic irony has 3 stages, they are;

  1. Installation stage – Audience is made aware of something the character doesn’t know about.
  2. Exploitation stage – the information is used to grow the curiosity in the midst of the audience.
  3. Resolution stage – this shows what really happens when the character lastly figures out what’s going
  4. on?

In some cases, there is a dramatic irony categorized as tragic irony which occurs when characters in the art say or do something that converses a meaning unknown to them but recognized by their audience.

Situational Irony

This is the type of irony occurs where the opposite of expected actually happens. It comprises the difference between what intended to happen and what really happens. It doesn’t mean that all that is not expected to happen when they happen is a situational irony. In some cases, they are coincidences or bad lucks which are not situational irony. For situational irony to occur there must be a clue which drives a person to suspect that a specific situation or event is unlikely to happen.

Verbal Irony

Verbal irony involves the use of words in a speech to mean something different from what a person actually says. This type of irony is differentiated from other types by the feature of speakers intentional use of words to mean something different from what they literary mean in their conversation.

Many are contradicted by sarcasm and verbal irony but they are different devices with different intentions. Sarcasm is mostly used as a direct and sharp statement intended to insult and cause harm and pain whereas verbal irony denotes an altered meaning to what is literally said,

2 Types of Verbal Irony

Overstatement – Implies in a scenario where the speaker exaggerates something.

Understatement – Is a verbal irony used when a speaker is undermining something.

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The term “understatement” is a significant figure-of-speech which can be used in literature in various ways. Mostly, it’s used to create irony or show different outcomes and purposes especially when you want something to look smaller, less important or good, or severe than it actually is. The term can be used both in speech and writing.

One of the most used synonyms of understatement is litotes which conveys an idea in an opposite construction. For instance, instead of saying, “The summer was hot”, the author or writer may use litotes to say, “There was not much heat this summer”. Other synonyms may include meiosis and euphemism. The commonly used antonym is yperbole’ which is actually the opposite of understatement. It’s frequently used by the speakers, authors or writers to deliberate exaggeration.

Types of Understatement

  • Modesty – The author or speaker may choose to use this kind of an understatement when they don’t want to boast or brag about something serious. For example, after winning a lottery or your first trophy, the media may ask you what you feel or how it really was. Your answer becomes “It was not a big deal” when it was actually a very big deal.
  • Comedic – Most authors use comedic understatements when they want to add or express humor to an otherwise solemn circumstance. A good example would be when there is a huge storm at your precious home and there is a high chance that the house will get severely damaged. Instead of saying otherwise you utter, “Wow! At least the plants and trees will get enough water”
  • Polite – This is used in many different circumstances when the speaker, writer or author wants to make a disagreement with another person’s opinion but doesn’t want to be rude about it. Instead, he/she wants to remain as polite as possible during the difference of opinion. For instance, when you’re asked to choose a very short person among a group of boys and you say, “That one is not tall”. Or when you’re discussing politics and your friend seems to be on the opposite side, you simply say, think we have a slight difference in our opinions.’

The Significance of Understatement in Literature

The word “Understatement” is very common in almost all languages and since the historic times, it has been found in early pieces of literature which have been found to span many different cultures. For example, the word is seen in the Ancient Greek literature by a legendary author, Homer, and the very old English Books such as Beowulf. Most authors use this term for many reasons such as expressing humor and politeness. Others use the term to minimize the mining of a statement while emphasizing the other.

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The literary technique resolution is employed by writers to unfold or offer a solution to a predicament in a story. Resolution literary referred as denouement from French term denoue meaning to untie.


Resolution often works to solve a mystery that the readers try to figure out in a narrative. It is typically where the story ends. The question or mysteries arising from the beginning of the story are answered and explained during resolution.


It is a device that is common in all narrative and poems even when the author does not give the details to the reader.In some novels, resolution, and climax coincide. However, in most cases, resolution end the story. Given that it ends the story, this is the central point of the predicaments in the narrative. Resolution as a literary device has been employed by writers to cap up the story in a relaxing way to the reader.


In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Lord Montalue and Lord Cotalue in their final dialogue, both of them regret their long family enmity that results in Romeo and Juliet to commit suicide of love. To tragedy in their tribes, both family heads agree to end their long dispute.
In The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare employs resolution where Florizel and Perdita to Sicily Polixenes. He and Leontes finally reconcile after Polixenes finds the identity of Paulina and at the end both families are happy. The Family reunion of Neontes later happens, and he realizes that Hermoin is alive.


J.D. Salinger in The Catcher uses resolution in the story at the end of the novel. While leaving in psychiatric, Holden, the protagonist regrets his actions. Through the resolution, Holden provides readers with future plans of his future life through a narrative. He lets readers are made aware that he will only go home, meet his parents and attend school only after a merry-go-round ride in Phoebe.


Resolution is common in many narratives. It is employed in all genres of literature to end the story. It is usually used to cap the story and is realized after the climax. It is always a relaxing moment for the writer after anxiety created by the climax. It calms the conflicts and centers the theme of the novel. Resolution resolves the problem in a likely significant way. It is what makes the story worthwhile. The literary device is a must-have in storytelling.

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The juxtaposition is a literary device in which two or more places, ideas, characters, and their deeds are compared side by side in a poem, play or novel for comparisons and contrasts.


Writers of literature use juxtaposition to portray deep traits of them in details for rhetorical effect and creation of suspense. The juxtaposition works well for readers to understand characters in a narrative as it is natural human behavior to compare things before making a decision.
Juxtaposition has been used for decades across all sections of the society, from politicians to writers. Notably, John .F. Kennedy loved to use juxtaposition in his speeches.


The literary device services to elicit response among the minds of the readers and serves to keep their minds fully engaged throughout the reading.


There are several examples of juxtaposition in literature. In John Milton’s narrative poem Paradise Lost, he uses juxtaposition throughout the narrative. Milton juxtaposes two characters in the book; God and Satan. The writer places the good qualities of God side by side to those evil deeds of Satan hence a reader can draw a contrast between the two characters. Through juxtaposition, the reader can conclude on to why Satan’s expulsion from the paradise was warranted.


William Shakespeare uses juxtaposition in his novel Romeo and Juliet to bring contrast between light and darkness. Romeo talks of how Juliet’s face glows at night like a jewel that glitters against dark African skin. Through contrast, the reader can relate how Juliet’s face looked according to Romeo.


Charles Dickens’ is another writer that was good in using juxtaposition in his novels. In his novel, A Tale of Two Cities, he uses juxtaposition in the opening sentence of his novel where he places best times side-by-side with worst time, the age of wisdom against the age of foolishness, everything before us against nothing before use…He uses it so well that the reader builds curiosity from the first sentence. The juxtapositions help the readers relate to factors that led to the French revolution.


He extends juxtaposition between the poor and rich to compare and contrast the discord in the then French society. The literary devices serve to prepare the reader to accept why the Revolution was necessary.
The writer uses juxtaposition literary definition as a way of surprising them and evoking their interest, by comparing two unequal elements and placing them side by side. The juxtaposition definition helps readers draw clear images and provides a connection between unlikely concepts in the narrative.

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The word incongruous is a well-known term in literature often used to describe terms which may be ironical or inappropriate in nature. It is usually used in making comparisons between two or more objects. Two objects or events are said to be incongruous when they are incompatible or are lacking in harmony.

It could also be used when describing an event or object as unsuitable or inconsistent with what was expected or required. When there is a debate over an issue and the parties in the debate seem to have completely different opinions concerning the same issue, one could say that their claims are incongruous. When people begin to exhibit a kind of behavior that is somewhat unbecoming, one could also classify this new line of action as incongruous with what was initially obtainable.

Incongruity is simply the state of being incongruous and when matters of this nature occur; they are usually classified as being paradoxical, ironical, contrasting, etc. This popular term has been used as far back as the early 1600s. it was coined from the Latin word “incongruus” which means opposite of. It could also be used when statements or reports seem contradictory or incoherent. They are also used in describing items that contain disparate or discordant elements.

Also, it can be used in other forms like incongruent which is the adjective form, incongruously, incongruently as an adverb, it could also be used as a noun in the form of incongruence or incongruousness, etc. Let’s take a look at some of the ways the word incongruous could be used in literature. “The incongruous lid made the door impossible to shut”, “Mr. John and Mrs. Maggie just got a divorce due to their unending incongruous views”, “He has the habit of making statements incongruous to the discussion”, “He lost his job based on incongruity related issues”, etc.

There are a lot of synonyms to the word like; unsuitable, inappropriate, ridiculous, contradictory, inharmonious, inconsistent, discordant, absurd, contrary, incoherent, illogical, divergent, conflicting, etc. these are but a few of the many similar words available. It also has some antonyms like; consistent, becoming, proper, compatible, coherent, congruous, harmony, etc

The word has been widely used in tonnes of literary works and poems, some of the popular ones include The Golden Bowl written by Henry James, Brazillian Sketches written by TB Ray, The Emancipated by George Gissing, etc. some poems like To Albius Tibullus composed by Eugene Field, Eternal Me by Charlotte Perkins and Stetson Gilman, etc.

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In most occasions, playwrights usually tells stories using character dialogue. However, the use of a character dialogue in telling stories doesn’t give an great impression of what the character’s minds are thinking. They, therefore, employ the use of a typical style in drama called an “aside” to explain what  a character is thinking

So, What Is An Aside?

In literature, an “aside” can be defined as a statement that is short and is delivered to the audience by the character. The other characters would seem to have not heard the statement as it was being said. They show the audience what the in-depth thoughts of the characters look like.

More over an aside shows the hidden secrets which a character wishes not to express to other characters. It’s also a platform for judgement passing regarding a certain event in the play.

Basing on the dramatic approach in ancient Greek, the plays’ chorus shows an aside by periodically delivery the main characters fate. On the other hand during the drama of Elizabethan, the device is regarded as a particulars’ character province.

Nevertheless, an aside and soliloquy are two dramatic devices used by playwrights which are similar but they have a number of differences. Whereas an aside put to use short and brief statements which are aired out by a particular character, soliloquy employs long statements which are like speeches in nature. Although an aside works as tool in assisting the audience to discover many issues that they could have not known using other means it does not bring out any new meaning concerning the characters that uttered them.

More so, in novels, an side is evident where intrusive narrators are present. An intrusive narrator is one whose main purpose is to explain characters behaviour this making readers to feel comfortable. The application of this aside is evident in times when the narrator brings out clearly the meaning to the reader concerning the actions which particular characters have decided to do. In this occasion, the narrator also plays his/her role like a minor character. An aside is seen when the judgments are being passed instantly when the event happens.

Asides have been put in use by many playwrights and novelists in many occasions. An example of an aside is vividly shown in Dante’s’ inferno epic where he is quoted saying and telling readers who are slow to understanding the play to believe the words he was saying as they were true.

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