Pathopoeia ( path-o-poy’-a): A general term for speech that moves hearers emotionally, especially as the speaker attempts to elicit an emotional response by way of demonstrating his/her own feelings (exuscitatio). Melanchthon explains that this effect is achieved by making reference to any of a variety of pathetic circumstances: the time, one’s gender, age, location, etc

I am crying softly standing in this sea of graves. Stones all the same size. All the same height. All the same shape. Plots, all the same length and width. All showing the military’s obsession with order, and uniformity, but more importantly, showing equality–the joining, the training, the fighting, the dying. Maybe a stone’s inscription will mark some difference, but from here there is a display of patriotic unity, and equality of duty capturing the essence of service to flag and country.

At this point in the Republic’s history our highest ranking officer, our Commander in Chief does not seem to understand what makes the tears well up in our eyes–he pardons war criminals, he abandons our Kurdish allies, and he makes deals with other countries purely for personal gain. I think about his moral failures and incompetence and my tears dry, and my eyes coldly project my desire that this man–this fake Commander–this corrupt President–‘don’ an orange jumpsuit and join the ranks of criminals, keeping company among his fellow pimples on America’s ass.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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