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 ?
Wall continues to upend traditional narratives about women's labor in her second chapter, in which she examines a subgenre of recipe books, the conceit, in order to argue that knowing how to make conceits was an important cognitive skill facilitated by recipe books.
Whether the particular narrative about motherhood has women conscripted into service by capitalism or feminism, what's missing is a coolheaded free market analysis, which would regard women as actors in an arena of choices, without the conceit of top-down management.
In addition to its explorations of city life, the Characters offers so many exercises in sprezzatura and the "conceited," epigrammatic style associated with the "school" of Donne.
Another Reformation conceit we may want to put away is that things are getting better.
These small conceits, which only an anthologist can smile about, make it hard for us to truly retire.
The film is not contaminated by televisual constraints or conceits. The NFB people gave me de facto editorial control.
But as in the evening-length Baseball, also presented (together with a mixed bill, which I didn't see) during this New York season, Pendleton waters down often-brilliant theatrical conceits by presenting them in a relentless, yet chopped-up, emanation of ingenuity.
Conceits often were so far-fetched as to become absurd, degenerating into strained ornamentation.
"This young gallant, of more wit than wealth, and yet of more wealth than wisdom, seeing himself inferior to none in pleasant conceits, thought himself superior uo all in honest conditions.
Even before his conversion, his religious poems reflected a straining, passionate mysticism and a love of lush, sensuous imagery and ornate conceits, in the manner of the Marinist Italian poetry of the 16th and early 17th centuries.
To quote one passage: "It's a book written by images, about images, to be read by other images." In other words, rather than having any meaningful ties to subjective identity--which gave foundation to avant-garde artistic and literary conceits in the past--now we are following the cues and customs, merely performing subversive roles in a continuing quest for the ever-rotating "New." At one point Reena meets designer Karl Lagerfeld, who, in Q & A format, delivers just such suspension: "I have no preconceived ideas or principles....
Randolph contends that the same conceits of love and affection that framed the rhetoric of participatory politics of the oligarchy also "became a central myth of Medici authority" (77).