epitrope epitrope
 e-pi'-tro-pe from Gk. epi, "upon" and trope, "turn" ("to yield")
Also sp. epitropis
concessio, permissio
admission, figure of reference, figure of submission

    A figure in which one turns things over to one's hearers, either pathetically, ironically, or in such a way as to suggest a proof of something without having to state it.

    Epitrope often takes the form of granting permission (hence its Latin name, permissio), submitting something for consideration, or simply referring to the abilities of the audience to supply the meaning that the speaker passes over (hence Puttenham's term, figure of reference). Epitrope can be either biting in its irony, or flattering in its deference.

    A specific form of epitrope is the (apparent) admission of what is wrong in order to carry our point.

Go ahead, make my day... —Clint Eastwood

If you seeke the victorie take it, and if you list, triumph. — A. Fraunce

Because all things [be] taken away, only is left unto me my body and mind. These things, which only are left unto me of many, I grant then to you and to your power. —R. Sherry

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. —Ecclesiastes 11:9

Related Figures

Related Topics of Invention

Sources: Ad Herennium 4.29.39 ("permissio"); Sherry (1550) 55 ("epitrope," "permissio," "permission"); Peacham (1577) M4r; Putt. (1589) 234 ("epitropis," "the figure of reference")

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Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
Please cite "Silva Rhetoricae" (rhetoric.byu.edu)

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