Quote: “I’m a myth. I’m Beowulf, I’m Grendel.” Karl Rove
Figure of Speech: antonomasia (an-to-no-MAY-sia), the namer. From the Greek, meaning “name swap.”
Hey, wait a minute. Didn’t we devote our last entry to that witty cetacean of a man? And wasn’t the antonomasia the last entry’s figure?
Yes and yes, but we couldn’t resist. After years spent labeling political opponents, the unemployed Mr. Rove now spends his time labeling himself. Could we ask for more literate self-deprecation than comparisons to old heroes and monsters?
Figarists take note. Rove is using more than funny figures; he’s employing a clever ethical strategy. (That’s ethical as in “rhetorical ethos” for you neofigs. It’s the image you present to your audience.) Got a lousy image? Are people calling you an evil genius out to destroy our republic? Don’t just dismiss the hyperbole; set a backfire with hyperbole of your own. And don’t just call yourself a Beowulf. Poke fun at yourself — especially if, like Turd Blossom, you happen to look like you belong in Where the Wild Things Are.
With monsters like that, who needs politicians?
Snappy Answer: “And we’re a pitchfork-carrying mob.”
For more on labeling, see page 110 of Figaro’s book.
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