Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Poetry Device of the Day: Tricolon Crescens

For those of you who were curious about the TRICOLON CRESCENS we talked about in class, here is a little more Info on it:

an ascending tricolon – a combination of three elements increasing in size.

Non ferar, non patiar, non tolerabo. (anonymous)

Est vidisse satis; laudat digitosque manusque
Bracchiaque et nudos media plus parte lacertos. – Ovid Met. I.500-1

^This website also contains lots of helpful information on other literary devices. I added the link to the Interesting Websites as “Latin Literary Devices”.

The key to a tricolon crescens, or ascending tricolon, is that each thing is increasing with magnitude. In the Ovid example above, we see how he goes from fingers, to hands, to arms, to shoulders. Mr. O’Donnell’s example of “I hate your school, I hate you, I hate your parents” displays the increasing magnitude of hate. Hating your school is not as direct or intense as hating you, and according to Mr. O’D not as severe as having your parents hated (some of us may dispute this order of magnitude). Overall though, we can recognize a tricolon crescens if a list of 3 things appear in increasing size/magnitude/intensity. This is just one more poetic device you can add to your bag of witty stuff to pull out on the AP :).


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