Stylistic Devices: Understatement
What is Understatement?
Understatement is a figure of speech used by writers or speakers to deliberately make a situation seem less important or serious than it really is.
Examples of understatement
- “It stings a bit” – a soldier describing the pain he feels after he has just lost his leg.
- “It has rained a little more than the average” – describing a flooded area.
- “It was an interesting experience.” – describing a difficult unbearable experience.
- “The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.”
(Andrew Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress”)
Understatement Figure of Speech
List of Figures of Speech in the English Language – Literary Devices
|Anaphora||Epiphora (or epistrophe)||Tautology|
|Anticlimax||Hypophora||Zeugma and syllepsis|
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