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.

Take your time–go ahead, obey the speed limit! It can’t matter that much. I’ll have the baby right here on the front seat.  It’s better than a hospital. I won’t die. You won’t be sorry, and our baby won’t suffer! Why don’t you just slow down a little bit more–there’s no rush.

  • Post your own epitrope on the “Comments” page!

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

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