pro-so-po-graph'-i-a from Gk. prosopon, "face" or "person,"
and graphein, "to write"
counterfeit countenance, description of persons

The vivid description of someone's face or character. A kind of enargia. Also, the description of feigned or imaginary characters, such as devils or harpies.
He is a monster both in mind and in body; whatever part of mind or body you consider, you will find a monster quivering head, rabid eyes, a dragon's gape, the visage of a Fury, distended belly, hands like talons ready to tear, feet distorted, in short, view his entire physical shape and what else does it all present but a monster? Observe that tongue, observe that wild beast's roar, and you will name it is a monstrosity; probe his mind, you will find a horror; weigh his character, scrutinize his life, you will find all monstrous...through and through he is nothing but a monster. —Erasmus, De copia
Related Figures

Related Topics of Invention

  • Subject and Adjuncts
    Since description typically takes the form of delineating the attributes of something, it is therefore the use of this topic of invention, by which one identifies the characteristics (or adjuncts) of a given subject.
See Also

  Sources: Sherry (1550) 66; Peacham (1577) O2r

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Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
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