conceit(redirected from conceiting)
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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 poets, 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.
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(the lesser) boastful and insolent; drowns due to vanity. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 14]
fleshly poet; “aesthetically” enchants the ladies. [Br. Lit.: Patience]
thinks he is a wonderful person. [Br. Lit.: Sketches by Boz]
Dalgetty, Rittmaster Dugald
pompous, self-satisfied clergyman who proposes to Elizabeth Bennet. [Br. Lit.: Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice]
Dedlock, Sir Leicester
self-aggrandizing, pedantic soldier-of-fortune. [Br. Lit.: Legend of Montrose]
Dogberry and Verges
contemplates his own greatness. [Br. Lit.: Bleak House]
ignorant and bloated constables. [Br. Lit.: Much Ado About Nothing]
idyllic poet of no imperfections. [Br. Lit.: Patience]
Homer, Little Jack
inflated self-image parallels bloated body. [Br. Lit.: Henry VIII]
pats his back with “What a good boy am I!” [Nurs. Rhyme: Mother Goose, 90]
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]
self-important coxcomb full of hollow, ostentatious valor. [Br. Lit.: Henry V]
Montespan, Marquis de
Olivia’s grave, self-important steward; “an affectioned ass.” [Br. Lit.: Twelfth Night]
regards exile and wife’s concubinage as honor. [Br. Opera: The Duchess of la Valliere, Brewer Hand-book, 721]
flower of conceit. [Plant Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 170; Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 171–172]
symbol of vanity and pride. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 176]
scorpion stung him to death for his boasting. [Rom. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 971]
too clever prince; arrogance renders him unpopular. [Children’s Lit.: Prince Prigio]
had a “consciousness of immeasurable superiority” over others. [Br. Lit.: Pickwick Papers]
boasted he could subdue women with eyes. [Br. Lit.: Barnaby Rudge]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Literary an elaborate image or far-fetched comparison, esp as used by the English Metaphysical poets
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005