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Examples of Metonymy


Post by natttt
Posted on 2011-01-11 12:11:24
Metonymy is a figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept.

Some examples of metonyms in literature:

* In Julius Caesar, when Mark Antony, after the death of Caesar, addresses the people "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears", he means that he wants the people to listen to what he has to say.
* The Sergeant in Macbeth, while talking about the king refers to Macbeth"s sword as steel in "Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel, which smoked with bloody execution".
* In Hamlet, one can find many references like the ghost of Hamlet"s father referring to his murderer as "the serpent that did sting thy father"s life". Another mention is where Polonius instructs his son Laertes to "give every man thy ear" to say that he must listen to what other people have to say.
* Romeo and Juliet, one of William Shakespeare"s famous plays has a famous example of metonymy when Esculutus tells about the tragic death of Romeo and Juliet as "For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo".

More examples of metonyms:

* An institution - members or leaders (like in the Army or Red Cross)
* A committee or a board - members
* A newspaper - journalists or editors
* A faction - leaders or constitution members
* A hospital - doctors, nurses and other people working there
* A country - members of the population or leaders
* Red letter day – an important day. In calendars, important days and holidays are marked in red

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