from those sweet lips of hers were on your account,
and I hate to see you next her". (p.80)
According to these examples, we can say that Epithet is a word or word combination which in its attributive use discloses the individual emotionally coloured attitude of the writer to the object he describes. It is a form of subjective evaluation. It is a description brief and compact which singles out the things described.
e.g. "Lips that have lost the note of joy, eyes that are
blinded by tears, chill hands and icy heart". (p. 60)
"If we have enough of them, they will forgive us
everything, even our gigantic intellects". (p. 142)
"And now tell me, what makes you leave you brilliant
Vienna for our gloomy London". (p.180)
Epithet has remained over the centuries the most widely used stylistic device, which is understandable- it offers the ample opportunities of qualifying every object from the author's partial andsubjective viewpoint, which is indispensable in creative prose, Here we can see masterly touches in rich and vivid epithets. Wilde's language is plain and understandable, it is wonderful and interesting. Wilde resorts to the use of colourful epithets, which sometimes help him to show the difference between pretence and reality. As we know Wilde was the leader of the "aesthetic movement". He was brilliant in literature and tried to be brilliant in life. He used abundance of epithets in his speech. In fact, everybody uses epithets in his speech; without them our speech is dry, awfully plain and not interesting.
Wilde's epithets give a brilliant colour and wonderful witticism to his plays. With the help of epithets Wilde's heroes are more interesting, their speech is more emotive; they involve the reader in their reality, in their life.
e.g. "I am not in a mood to-night for silver twilights, or rose-pink dawns."(p.190)
"Those straw-coloured women have dreadful tempers."
"Cecily, ever since I first looked upon your wonderful and
incomparable beauty, I have dared to love you wildly,
passionately, devotedly, hopelessly."(p.319)
As we can see, epithets make the speech more colourful,
vivid and interesting. Wilde uses a great amount of epithets
in his plays. His epithets are based on different sources, such
as nature, art, history, literature, mythology, everyday life, man,
And all of them are wonderful. They reflect Wilde's opinions
and viewpoints about different things. They give emphasis and
rhythm to the text. That is why Wilde may be also called a
master of colourful and vivid epithets.
One of the most frequently used, well-known and elaborated among the stylistic devices is metaphor. The metaphoric use of the word begins to affect the dictionary meaning, adding to it fresh connotations of meaning or shades of meaning.
According to Prof. Sosnovskaya V.B., metaphor, a most widely used trop, is based upon analogy, upon a traceable similarity. But in the metaphor, contrary to the simile, there is no formal element to indicate comparison. The difference, though, is not merely structural. The absence of a formal indication of comparison in the metaphor makes the analogy it is based on more subtle to perceive.17
According to Prof. Kukharenko V.A., metaphor is based on the transference of names. This transference is based on the associated likeness between two objects.18
According to Prof. Galperin I.R., metaphor means transference of some quality from one object to another. A metaphor becomes a stylistic device when two different phenomena (things, events, ideas, actions) are simultaneously brought to mind by the imposition of some or all of the inherent properties of one object on the other which by nature is deprived of these properties.19
Such an imposition generally results when the creator of the metaphor finds in the two corresponding objects certain features, which to his eye have something in common.
I completely agree with these definitions. I also think that metaphors reveal the attitude of the writer to the object, action or concept and express his views. They may also reflect the literary school which he belongs and the epoch in which he lives.
As an illustration of Wilde's skill in using every nuance of the language to serve some special stylistic purpose, we must mention his use of metaphors.
e.g. "We live in an age of ideals."(p.293)
"She has all the fragrance and freedom of a
"The God of this century is wealth."(p.206)
"But to suffer for one's own faults,-ah!-there is the
sting of life."(p.36).
Oscar Wilde was a man of art; and even these wonderful metaphors prove it. As we can see, his metaphors give a certain charm and musical perception through the plain language combinations.
A metaphor can exist only within a context. A separate word isolated from the context has its general meaning. Metaphor plays an important role in the development of language. Words acquire new meanings by transference.
e.g. "Lord Illingworth: That silly Puritan girl making a scene merely
because I wanted to kiss her. What harm is there in a kiss?
Mrs.Arbuthnot: A kiss may ruin a human life. I know that too
The metaphorical effect of this sentence is based on the personal feelings of Mrs.Arbuthnot. Her sad experience of life sounds in this phrase. When she was young, she had a great love. But her passion had left her and "her life was ruined." That is why this metaphor has a true effective power when it is pronounced by Mrs.Arbuthnot.
e.g. "I am a ship without a rudder in a night without a star."(p.242)
The speaker of this phrase Sir Robert Chiltern gets lost, he does not know what to do in such situation. He says that he is a "ship without a rudder", i.e. he does not know where he must go and what to do for better future.
Oscar Wilde is always concerned with society. His fine metaphors play an important role in portraying his heroes, their feelings and thoughts.
e.g. "I had a wild hope that I might disarm destiny."(p.209)
"I keep science for life."(p.281)
"Ideals are dangerous things. Realities are better. They wound, but they are better."(p.85)
"The fire cannot purify her. The waters cannot quench her anguish."(p.150)
"Gwendolen is devoted to bread and butter."(p.283)
Thus, we can see the unlimited power of the artist in showing his imagination. The emotional colouring is made by an ample use of bright metaphors. Metaphor takes one of the most honourable places in Wilde's art. The main purpose of the author is to affect the reader emotionally through the images. The charm of O.Wilde's plays is due to the mixture of poetic metaphors