Hendiadys  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Hendiadys is a figure of speech used for emphasis — "The substitution of a conjunction for a subordination". The basic idea is to use two words linked by a conjunction to express a single complex idea.

English names for hendiadys include two for one and figure of twinnes.

Use and effect

The typical result of a hendiadys is to transform a noun-plus-adjective into two nouns joined by a conjunction. For example, "sound and fury" (from act V, scene 5 of Macbeth) seems to offer a more striking image than "furious sound". In this example, as typically, the subordinate idea originally present in the adjective is transformed into a noun in and of itself. Another example is Dieu et mon droit, present in the coat of arms of the United Kingdom. In fact, hendiadys is most effective in English when the adjective and noun form of the word are identical. Thus "the cold wind went down the hall" becomes "the cold and the wind went down the hall".

When hendiadys fails in its effects, it can sound merely redundant. For example, cum amicitia atque pace, "with friendship and peace" is often translated instead as "with peaceful friendship". Fowler says that try and ... for try to ... is a "true example" of hendiadys.

In classical and biblical literature

Hendiadys is often used in Latin poetry; many examples occur in Virgil's Aeneid.

In Template:Bibleverse, the Hebrew says "ger v'toshav", literally translated as "the alien and the resident", but the phrase means a "resident alien".

In Template:Bibleverse, the Hebrew says "ibbad v'shibar", literally translated as "ruined and broken", but the phrase means "totally destroyed".

Template:Bibleverse has "in need and hungry" which Richard Young considers hendiadys for "very hungry" but Wayne Leman suggests is instead an example of "semantic intensification due to Hebraic synonymous parallelism". "The kingdom, the power and the glory" (from the Lord's Prayer) extends the principle, transforming the idea of a "glorious, powerful kingdom" into a sequence of three nouns joined by a conjunction.

In Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" it occurs at 4.1.36: SHYLOCK: ...to have the due and forfeit of my bond.

See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hendiadys" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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