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Examples (serial application of tropes)

Was this the face that launched a thousand ships
and burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
- Chistopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
Face is a metonymy for "person" or "woman" (Helen), a metonymy for Paris's motivation, casus belli for the Trojan War (metaphorically, "launched a thousand ships"), which led to the sacking of Troy, metonymically invoked by "burnt the topless towers of Ilium".


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metalepsis (plural metalepses)

  1. (rhetoric) The metonymical substitution of one word by another which is itself a metonym.
  2. (rhetoric) The result of a series of metaphors
  3. (rhetoric) The unexpressed serial application of tropes of substitution.


See also[edit]