bathos


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

bathos

Lit a sudden ludicrous descent from exalted to ordinary matters or style in speech or writing
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Rarely sliding into bathos, at times grim and often lighthearted, these aphorisms, parables, and riddles are not, however, literary snacks to be consumed hastily.
In European languages figures of speech are generally classified in five major categories: (1) figures of resemblance or relationship (e.g., simile, metaphor, kenning, conceit, parallelism, personification, metonymy, synecdoche, and euphemism); (2) figures of emphasis or understatement (e.g., hyperbole, litotes, rhetorical question, antithesis, climax, bathos, paradox, oxymoron, and irony); (3) figures of sound (e.g., alliteration, repetition, anaphora, and onomatopoeia); (4) verbal games and gymnastics (e.g., pun and anagram); and (5) errors (e.g., malapropism, periphrasis, and spoonerism).
Bathos may result from an inappropriately dignified treatment of the commonplace, the use of elevated language and imagery to describe trivial subject matter, or greatly exaggerated pathos (emotion provoked by genuine suffering).
He writes cogently on those works we should still wish to regard as classics, however narrow the view we may be taking of them; on the lesser authors, his argumentation slips easily into lightweight assertiveness, and very often into mere bathos. It may be that he sells his contemporary authors short, but it is not easy to see why a critic of obvious competence should be so much less impressive in talking of, say, Kundera than in elucidating Swift.
The Hagens' ways of dealing with his life and death are varied and poignant, and Parker's adroit handling of what could so easily have been bathos is stunning.
Ultimately, such moments produce a sensation of bathos far removed from the economy of the original.
At times Virolet's tragedy edges toward bathos. Captured by the pirate, he faces death ridiculously: "You cannot teach me to die.
The reply, were it not the outcome of nearly 200 pages of confused and confusing commentary, might be forgiven as mere bathos: 'It is a play, of course' (p.
99-172) sets Hasenclever's mystical dramas very interestingly within the traditions of the Baroque Theatrum Mundi, medieval mystery plays and the Dance of Death; shows how elements from these traditions compete with the more classical, Schillerian aspects of Hasenclever's works; and argues that these traditions affected the plays' structure and staging in significant ways - only to peter out in the banalities and bathos of the Conferencier of Mord.
whether the bathos is created by Harvey, rather than the writers with
While this in itself is not great insight, the subtle revelation of multiple layers of tension surrounding bride and groom gives the drama its surprising and satisfying range of tones--joy, sadness, pathos and bathos. This perceptive study of the rigors of ritual is also aided by the assured and authoritative performances of the entire cast, particularly in the complex portrait of Sam rendered by the radiant Catherine McGregor.
It's been well over a year since Hedwig and the Angry Inch opened off Broadway, knocking the socks off New York theatergoers with a much-needed jolt of twisted bathos and wigged-out histrionics.