Definition of Trope (literature)
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Trope (literature) Definition from Encyclopedia Dictionaries & Glossaries
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A literary trope is the use of figurative language -- via word, phrase, or even an image -- for artistic effect such as using a figure of speech. The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés in creative works. The term trope derives from the Greek (tropos), "turn, direction, way", derived from the verb τρέπειν (trepein), "to turn, to direct, to alter, to change". Tropes and their classification were an important field in classical rhetoric, and was taken up again in modern criticism, especially deconstruction. Tropological criticism (not to be confused with Tropological reading, a type of biblical exegesis) is the historical study of tropes, which aims to "define the dominant tropes of an epoch" and to "find those tropes in literary and non-literary texts", an interdisciplinary investigation of whom Michel Foucault was an "important exemplar".
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