October 11, 2016

Language Devices

Patheic Fallacy

Patheic Fallacy is a dramatic language device used in many plays, books and movies. It is when the weather or the environment tells us if something good or bad is about to happen in our storyline. An example of Pathetic Fallacy in Shakespeare’s Macbeth in Act 2 Scene 1, on the night Macbeth is planning to murder King Duncan, Banquo is talking to his son outside in the dead of the night. He tells his son that the moon and the stars have disappeared and the night is pitch black. ‘There’s husbandry in heaven, their candles are all out.’ – quotation from Banquo in the scene. That sets the setting and shows us that something truly criminal will happen all though the characters may not know it.


Metaphysics is not a language device, but something that is all around us and we may not know it. Metaphysics are things that may exist but we don’t know for sure. Things that we cannot prove or just haven’t proved is real yet. An example of metaphysics in Shakespeare’s Macbeth are the three witches. We don’t know if things like wizards or witches of even magic truly does exist. We’ve all heard stories an legends about it but they all could be false.

Dramatic Irony

Dramatic Irony is a language device usually used in plays but can be used in movies as well. It is when we the audience know something that is planned or going to happen to do with the plot but most of the other character or even none of them don’t know. An example is in Macbeth Act 1 Scene 4 Macbeth talks aside to the audience to become king he must kill Dunans sons as they’re next in line. We now know what Macbeth is planning but th other character won’t. ‘The Prince of Cymberland that is a step on which I must fall down, or else o’erleap, for in my way it lies.’- Quotaion by Macbeth in his speech aside.


A paradox is used in many things like writing, films, speech. It is when two opposite words are used in a line together. For example in Macbeth when the witches are talking about Macbeths future they say ‘ Fair is foul and foul is fair’. Fair and foul are two opposites but are used together for description.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. This is ideal, Aahnaf.

    Next we need to explore the paradoxical nature of predicting the future. Do you watch Doctor Who?



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