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Thursday, September 2, 2021

Bathos and Pathos – Literary Terms

short notes on bathos, short notes on Pathos, Literary Terms Bathos and Pathos 

Bathos and Pathos – Literary Terms

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Excessive sentimentality or ludicrousness. Bathos is produced by an unsuccessful attempt to elicit pity or sorrow from the reader. Bathos also results when elevated language and style are used inappropriately in treating a commonplace subject. These lines from William Wordsworth's poem "Simon Lee" provides an example of writing that attempts to wring tears from the reader but unintentionally produces laughter instead:

Few months of life has he in store As he to you will tell, For still, the more he works, the more Do his weak ankles swell.

Used intentionally for humorous or satiric effect, the juxtaposition of the elevated with the trivial is an ANTICLIMAX, as in this COUPLET from Alexander Pope's Rape of the Lock:

Not louder shrieks to pitying Heaven are cast, When husbands or when lapdogs breathe their last.

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The quality in a work of art or LITERATURE that arouses

feelings of sympathy, pity, or sorrow in the viewer or reader. Although pathos and TRAGEDY both evoke such feelings, a distinction is commonly made between the pathetic and the tragic. The suffering experienced by the weak, the passive, and the innocent is pathetic, while the suffering inflicted upon the strong, the aggressive, and the heroic (who are often in part responsible for their own suffering) is tragic. In these senses, Antigone's fate is tragic, Desdemona's pathetic.

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