Quintilian, and J.S. Watson. Institutes of Oratory. Edited by Lee Honeycutt, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition. Book 8 Chapter 6.
“A trope is a conversion of a word or phrase from its proper signification to another, in order to increase its force” (Quintilian VIII.6.1). Quintilian here addresses the most useful of the tropes. Metaphor is widely favored and used (Quintilian VIII.6.4). One word or phrase is used as if it is another. While some metaphors are short, they may also be extended and used in various ways (Quintilian VIII.6.8). Quintilian does caution against using metaphor in prose as if it is in poetry (Quintilian VIII.6.17) Another important trope is synecdoche, in which a part stands for the whole (Quintilian VIII.6.19). Metonymy is similar to synecdoche. “It is the substitution of one word for another” (Quintilian VIII.6.23). For instance, “Ceres by water damaged” uses “Ceres” to indicate “grain” (Quintilian VIII.6.23). “Antonomasia, which for a proper name substitutes something equivalent, is very common among the poets, and is sometimes effected by an epithet, which, when the name to which it is applied is set aside, is a sufficient substitute for it” (Quintilian VIII.6.29). Onomatopaeia is the use of words which sound like the sound they describe (Quintilian VIII.6.31). In catachresis a word which does not necessarily denote one thing is used for a whole class (Quintilian VIII.6.34). An English example could be “glass” in “a glass of water’ even if the container is not made of glass. The use of epithet is very common for ornamentation. It uses a descriptive term to supplement or replace the other word (Quintilian VIII.6.40). Allegory presents one thing literally but means something very different (Quintilian VIII.6.44). Quintilian makes numerous examples, including derisive and sarcastic uses of allegory. Another trope, mainlly used by orators, is periphrasis, in which an idea that could be stated briefly is drawn out and enlarged (Quintilian VIII.6.61). In Latin this is called circumlocutio. Hyperbaton is the rearrangement of words for emphasis (Quintilian VIII.6.62). Finally, hyperbole may be used to eaggerate or extenuate a situation (Quintilian VIII.6.67).
END OF BOOK 8