IloveIndia

Figures of Speech IloveIndia








Epithets are most commonly used to describe things and people. Go through the epithets examples given below to understand how to use this literary device.

Epithet Examples

Epithet is a figure of speech that is quite commonly used, but is considered to be poor writing choice, as most often it doesn't relate to the action at hand. They were more prevalent in epic poems and writings, where proper names and nouns were bolstered with an adjective for a more dramatic and descriptive effect. The epithet is used to denote a certain characteristic in a person or a thing, which the reader can identify with. Epithets were widely used in earlier times to help the reader visualize the characters and bring color and vividness to the narrative. Nowadays, good writings rely on good description rather than on epithets. Epithets were also used as descriptive titles in earlier times like Charles the Bald or Charles the Fat to distinguish the bearers. They were also used as a mark of respect as in Alexander the Great. In contemporary usage, epithets generally carry a negative connotation as in racial epithets. The examples given below will give you an idea on how epithets are used.

Examples Of Epithet

In Sentences
  • Sitting by his side, I watched the peaceful dawn.
  • My careful steps reached the attic.
  • Her stifled laughter made everybody nervous.
  • In the face of such a tragedy, his laughing happiness seemed queer.
  • I had reached a delicate corner.
  • The idle road stretched for miles.
  • All I can say is that he had an honest end.
  • It was a sweet beginning to a tragic end.
  • Her depressing ways ruined her mother's health.
In Literature
  • "I've come,
    As you surmise, with comrades on a ship,
    Sailing across the wine-dark sea to men
    Whose style of speech is very different..." - The Odyssey by Homer
  • "God! he said quietly. Isn't the sea what Algy calls it: a great sweet mother? The snot-green sea. The scrotum-tightening sea. Epi oinopa ponton. Ah, Dedalus, the Greeks! I must teach you. You must read them in the original. Thalatta! Thalatta! She is our great sweet mother. Come and look." - In 'Ulysses' by James Joyce
  • "The earth is crying-sweet,
    And scattering-bright the air,
    Eddying, dizzying, closing round,
    With soft and drunken laughter..." - In 'Beauty and Beauty' by Rupert Brooke
  • "My restless blood now lies a-quiver,
    Knowing that always, exquisitely,
    This April twilight on the river
    Stirs anguish in the heart of me." - In Blue Evening by Rupert Brooke
  • "Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold
    A sheep-hook, or have learn'd aught else the least
    That to the faithful herdman's art belongs!" - In Lycidas by John Milton
  • "Here of a Sunday morning
    My love and I would lie,
    And see the coloured counties,
    And hear the larks so high
    About us in the sky." - In 'Bredon Hill' by A.E. Housman
Shakespearean Epithets
  • Thou mad mustachio purple-hued maltworms!
  • Thou puking knotty-pated lout!
  • Thou beslubbering swag-bellied ratsbane!
  • Thou roguish tickle-brained fustilarian!
Derogatory Epithets
  • You sniveling son of a wallowing wart hog.
  • You snot-faced, low life, double-dealing, lying lump of cow manure.
  • You two-faced, two-timing satchel-butted lazy lying twerp.
  • You pusillanimous lily-livered yellow dog coward.
Common Homeric Epithets

Epithets For Men And Women In Homer
  • Swift-footed, godlike, shepherd of the people, son of Peleus, and leader of men for Achilles.
  • Wide-ruling, lord of men, godlike, and glorious son of Atreus for Agamemnon.
  • Proud, royal son of Telamon, huge, glorious, and loved of Zeus for Aias.
  • Leader of the Trojans, lord of men, great-hearted, son of Anchises, and counselor of the Trojans for Aineias.
  • Daughter of great-hearted Eetion white-armed for Andromache.
  • Priam's son, and godlike for Alexandros/Paris.
  • Nestor's splendid son for Antilochus.
  • Lovely-haired for Ariadne.
  • Godlike great hearted, Tydeus' son, great spearman, strong, the horse-tamer, master of the war cry for Diomedes.
  • Tamer of horses, huge, shepherd of the people, Priam's son of the glinting helmet, and glorious for Hector.
  • Long-dressed, lovely-haired, Argive, daughter of a noble house, and daughter of Zeus who holds the aegis for Helen.
  • Renowned for Idomeneus.
  • Horse-breaker for Kastor.
  • Master of the war-cry, glorious, excellent, fair-haired, warrior, red-haired, and son of Atreus for Menelaus.
  • Godlike, Gerenian horseman, huge, and son of Neleus Pylos-born King sweet spoken for Nestor.
  • Zeus' equal in his mind's resource, son of Laertes, resourceful, nimble-witted, famous spearman, godlike, sacker of cities, much-enduring, gallant, stalwart, loved of Zeus, famed, hardy, royal, and great glory of the Achaians for Odysseus.
  • Lykaeon's splendid son for Pandaros.
  • Brave son of Menoitius, horseman, great-hearted, hero, poor, his kindness, and gentle for Patroklos.
  • Wise, queen, flawless, richly-dowered, prudent, Ikarius' daughter, and constant for Penelope.
  • Boxer for Polydeukes.
  • Leader of the Lycians, lord, and godlike for Sarpedon.
  • Loose-tongued for Thersites.
  • Theban, and Prince for Teiresias.
Epithets For Gods And Goddesses
  • Lord of the dead, and mighty for Aidoneus.
  • Smiling goddess, Kypris, golden, and daughter of Zeus for Aphrodite.
  • Son of Zeus, loved of Zeus, god of the silver bow, the unshorn, rouser of armies, and the lord who shoots from afar for Apollo.
  • Curse of men, brazen, monstrous, sacker of cities, of the glinting helmet, and raging for Ares.
  • The archer-goddess and of the golden distaff for Artemis.
  • The bright-eyed, Atrytone, daughter of Zeus who holds the aegis, and Tritogeneia for Athene.
  • Tender, fresh, rosy-fingered, in her yellow robe, and early-born for Dawn.
  • The famous craftsman, great, and the famous lame god for Hephaistos.
  • Ox-eyed queen, white-armed, of the golden throne queenly goddess, daughter of the great Kronos, and of Argos for Hera.
  • Messenger, son of Zeus, Giant-killer, kindly, greatest of gods in his mind's subtlety, and the strong one for Hermes.
  • Swift-footed, storm-swift, and swift for Iris.
  • Daughter of Zeus, dread, and August for Persephone.
  • Earth-shaker, dark-haired god powerful lord, and encircler of the earth for Poseidon.
  • Lovely-haired, and silver-footed for Thetis.
  • Son of Kronos, wide-seeing, the father, the cloud-gatherer, who holds the aegis, father of gods and men, master of the bright lightening, and the father of men and gods for Zeus.
Epic poems most notably that of Homer, depended a lot on epithets to bring out certain characteristics in people, places and things. Even now, it is more suitable to use epithets in poems to convey vivid imagery in fewer words.



blt1Adjunction Examples
blt1Allegory Examples
blt1Alliteration Examples
blt1Allusion Examples
blt1Anadiplosis Examples
blt1Analogy Examples
blt1Anaphora Examples
blt1Anastrophe Examples
blt1Antecedent Examples
blt1Anticlimax Examples
blt1Antimetabole Examples
blt1Antithesis Examples
blt1Antonomasia Examples
blt1Apostrophes Examples
blt1Appositive Examples
blt1Assonance Examples
blt1Asyndeton Examples
blt1Chiasmus Examples
blt1Climax Examples
blt1Consonance Examples
blt1Double Negative Examples
blt1Enthymeme Examples
blt1Epistrophe Examples
blt1Epithet Examples
blt1Euphemism Examples
blt1False Analogy Examples
blt1Funny Metaphors Examples
blt1Hyperbole Examples
blt1Idiom Examples
blt1Imagery Examples
blt1Irony Examples
blt1Jargon Examples
blt1Examples Of Litotes
blt1Metaphor Examples
blt1Metonymy Examples
blt1Onomatopoeia Examples
blt1Oxymoron Examples
blt1Palindrome Examples
blt1Paralipsis Examples
blt1Parallelism Examples
blt1Parenthesis Examples
blt1Personification Examples
blt1Polysyndeton Examples
blt1Pun Examples
blt1Rhetorical Questions Examples
blt1Simile Examples
blt1Stereotypes Examples
blt1Symbolism Examples
blt1Synecdoche Examples
blt1Tautology Examples
blt1Understatement Examples
blt1Verbal Irony Examples
blt1Zeugma Examples
blt1Abstract Nouns Examples
blt1Commonly Misspelled Words
blt1Types Of Verbs
blt1Usage Of Semicolon
blt1Demonstrative Adjectives
blt1Comma Splice Examples
blt1Usage Of Colon
blt1Apostrophe Usage
blt1Helping Verbs
blt1List of Prepositions
blt1Parts Of Speech
blt1What Are Prepositions
blt1What Is A Noun
blt1Whom Vs Who
blt1Types Of Adjectives
blt1Types Of Sentences
blt1Types Of Tenses
blt1What Are Adjectives
blt1What Are Adverbs
blt1What Is A Predicate
blt1What Is A Pronoun
blt1Ensure Vs Insure
blt1Empathy Vs Sympathy
blt1Degrees of Comparison
blt1Dangling Modifiers
blt1Compliment Vs Complement
blt1Common Homophones List
blt1Common Grammatical Errors
blt1Colon Vs Semicolon
blt1Affect Vs Effect
blt1Linking Verbs
blt1Prepositional Phrases List
blt1Types of Clauses
blt1Use Of Articles In English
blt1When To Use A Comma
blt1When To Use A Hyphen
blt1Passive Voice & Active Voice
blt1Subject Verb Agreement



More from iloveindia.com