apostrophe apostrophe
 a-pos'-tro-phe Gk. apo “away from” and strephein “to turn”
the turne tale

Turning one's speech from one audience to another. Most often, apostrophe occurs when one addresses oneself to an abstraction, to an inanimate object, or to the absent.
  Since this figure often involves emotion, it can overlap with exclamatio.
  Antony addresses Caesar's corpse immediately following the assasination in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar:
O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
That ever lived in the tide of times.
—Shakespeare, Julius Caesar 3.1.254-257
Related Figures

  Sources: Ad Herennium 4.15.22 ("exclamatio"); Quintilian 9.2.38-39 ("aversio"); Aquil. 9 ("apostrophe," "aversio"); Sherry (1550) 60 ("apostrophe," "aversio," "aversion"); Peacham (1577) M4v; Putt. (1589) 244 ("apostrophe," "the turne tale"); Day 1599 90 ("apostrophe," "aversio") ; Melanchthon (1523) C8v

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
Please cite "Silva Rhetoricae" (rhetoric.byu.edu)

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