conceit


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conceit,

in literature, fanciful or unusual image in which apparently dissimilar things are shown to have a relationship. The Elizabethan poets were fond of Petrarchan conceits, which were conventional comparisons, imitated from the love songs of Petrarch, in which the beloved was compared to a flower, a garden, or the like. The device was also used by the metaphysical poetsmetaphysical poets,
name given to a group of English lyric poets of the 17th cent. The term was first used by Samuel Johnson (1744). The hallmark of their poetry is the metaphysical conceit (a figure of speech that employs unusual and paradoxical images), a reliance on
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, who fashioned conceits that were witty, complex, intellectual, and often startling, e.g., John Donne's comparison of two souls with two bullets in "The Dissolution." Samuel Johnson disapproved of such strained metaphors, declaring that in the conceit "the most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together." Such modern poets as Emily Dickinson and T. S. Eliot have used conceits.

Conceit

Ajax
(the lesser) boastful and insolent; drowns due to vanity. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 14]
Bunthorne, Reginald
fleshly poet; “aesthetically” enchants the ladies. [Br. Lit.: Patience]
Butler, Theodosius
thinks he is a wonderful person. [Br. Lit.: Sketches by Boz]
Collins, Mr.
pompous, self-satisfied clergyman who proposes to Elizabeth Bennet. [Br. Lit.: Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice]
Dalgetty, Rittmaster Dugald
self-aggrandizing, pedantic soldier-of-fortune. [Br. Lit.: Legend of Montrose]
Dedlock, Sir Leicester
contemplates his own greatness. [Br. Lit.: Bleak House]
Dogberry and Verges
ignorant and bloated constables. [Br. Lit.: Much Ado About Nothing]
Grosvenor, Archibald
idyllic poet of no imperfections. [Br. Lit.: Patience]
Henry VIII
inflated self-image parallels bloated body. [Br. Lit.: Henry VIII]
Homer, Little Jack
pats his back with “What a good boy am I!” [Nurs. Rhyme: Mother Goose, 90]
Keefe, Jack
baseball pitcher is a chronic braggart and self-excuser suffering from an exaggerated sense of importance. [Am. Lit.: Lardner You Know Me Al in Magill III, 1159]
Lewis
self-important coxcomb full of hollow, ostentatious valor. [Br. Lit.: Henry V]
Malvolio
Olivia’s grave, self-important steward; “an affectioned ass.” [Br. Lit.: Twelfth Night]
Montespan, Marquis de
regards exile and wife’s concubinage as honor. [Br. Opera: The Duchess of la Valliere, Brewer Hand-book, 721]
narcissus
flower of conceit. [Plant Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 170; Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 171–172]
nettle
symbol of vanity and pride. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 176]
Orion
scorpion stung him to death for his boasting. [Rom. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 971]
Prigio, Prince
too clever prince; arrogance renders him unpopular. [Children’s Lit.: Prince Prigio]
Slurk, Mr.
had a “consciousness of immeasurable superiority” over others. [Br. Lit.: Pickwick Papers]
Tappertit, Simon
boasted he could subdue women with eyes. [Br. Lit.: Barnaby Rudge]

conceit

Literary an elaborate image or far-fetched comparison, esp as used by the English Metaphysical poets
References in periodicals archive ?
Men's reaction to women's self-liberation is, sadly, what Bukenya equates to 'caveman conceit' that vilifies the women's movement and repulses their efforts to reach out to men as partners rather than antagonists.
The ideas in The Fatal Conceit build on Hayek's economics of knowledge, developed in the 1930s and 1940s.
Wall begins her study in the 1570s, with the first recipe book marketed to housewives and women: John Partridge's Treasurie of Commodious Conceits. Over the next century and a half, England became the most active site in Europe for cookbook publication and circulation.
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This was the conceit that inspired the psihuska, or psychiatric gulag, where "delusional" people who rebelled against the benevolent Soviet state were forcibly "cured" of their "anti-social" attitudes.
Sunshine Has Rain begins by laying the groundwork in describing Channa as an overachiever and someone who has it all, basically to the point of conceit. Her world is turned upside down in such a short period of time, dispelling any illusions she has about who her friends and enemies are.
This reinvent-the-wheel attitude is a conceit common to all great social and political movements.