Daily Archives: October 16, 2007

Epitrope

Epitrope (e-pi’-tro-pe): 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.

Sure, you can do what you want to do–go ahead–quit your job, leave my sister, abandon my little baby niece.  Go ahead–have some real fun! I won’t come looking for you. I won’t track you down. I won’t hurt you.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)