Identify the figure of speech in the following sentence- The pen is mightier than the sword. a) Litotes b) Synecdoche c) Metonymy d) Transferred Epithet
Hint: ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’ is a phrase that highlights the power of writing over the violent powers of military forces and wars.
Complete answer: The given phrase was derived in 1839 by the English writer, Edward Bulwer. He tried to state that the power of writing and communication is greater than the power of violence. Now, let’s look at the given options and identify the figure of speech- Option a- ‘Litotes’ is a figure of speech that expresses a positive statement by focusing on negative points. Example- The journey wasn’t a total failure. ‘Litotes’ is different in meaning to the given phrase. Hence, it is an incorrect option. Option b- ‘Synecdoche’ is a figure of speech that includes a part that is used to express the whole. Example- India lost the match. ‘Synecdoche’ is different in meaning to the given phrase. Hence, it is an incorrect option. Option c- ‘Metonymy’ is a figure of speech that is used to represent one thing by taking up the name of another thing which it represents or focuses on. Example- Lend me your ears. The above-given phrase is a metonymy. Hence, it is the correct option. Option d- ‘Transferred Epithet’ is a figure of speech that indicates an adjective that is transferred to another noun. Example- Sleepless night. ‘Transferred epithet’ is different in meaning to the given phrase. Hence, it is an incorrect option. So, the correct answer is “Option c”.
Note: In metonymy, words that take up the name of others should be closely associated or related to each other. Example- Pen represents ‘writing’ and the sword represents ‘violence’.