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 your point.

Go ahead, stay home on Election Day! It’s no big deal. Why bother to vote? Who cares! It’s rigged anyway. It’s all about who has the most money and who’s the most corrupt.

Yeah–that’s right: Stay home on Election Day. It’s no big deal. Be an idiot. Throw away your opportunity to change things.

Sucker!

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

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

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