Figures of Speech Anti-Climax

Figures of Speech Anti-Climax

An anticlimax in literature refers to a disappointing turn of events or a sudden shift in the narrative that is less intense, important, or special than what precedes it. It is a literary device used intentionally by writers to create a sense of deflation or a letdown in the reader’s expectations.

Functions of Anti-climax:

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  1. Surprise and Subversion: Anti-climaxes defy conventional expectations. It surprizes readers by delivering outcomes that are less intense or dramatic than anticipated.
  2. Humour and Irony: Anti-climaxes use unexpected turns to create humour or ironic situations. It challenges the seriousness built up in the narrative.
  3. Anti-tragedy: In tragic works, anti-climaxes can provide relief by preventing the anticipated destructive ending. It offers a more quiet resolution that challenges traditional tragic turns.


ইউটিউবে ভিডিও লেকচার দেখুনঃ

1. “Here thou, great Anna, whom three realms obey, 

Dost sometimes counsel take, and sometimes tea…..” (The Rape of the Lock, Alexander Pope]

Ans: In the extract, Pope is drawing the attention of the readers to the falseness. Anna is the Queen of England, who holds meetings and also indulges in afternoon tea customs. The ludicrous effect is created by using the anti-climax.

2. “In a moment, the whole company was on their feet. That somebody was assassinated by somebody vindicating a difference of opinion was the likeliest occurrence. Everybody looked to see somebody fall, but only saw a man and a woman standing staring at each other; the man with all the outward aspect of a Frenchman and a thorough Republican; the woman, evidently English……” [A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens]

Ans: In this excerpt, everybody is expecting that somebody has been killed or someone has fallen dead. However, there is only a man and woman standing there, staring at each other. This is a disappointing anti-climax.

Previous Years Questions and Solutions

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NTRCA Exam-2017

1. The soldiers fight for glory and a dollar a day.

Ans: This is an instance of anti-climax or bathos. When the ideas are presented in a descending order, it is called anti-climax. The soldiers fight for (a) glory, and for (b) a dollar a day. Undoubtedly, ‘glory’ is more important than a dollar’. However, the speaker arranges the ideas in a descending order of importance. There is a sudden fall from the lofty to the mean. So, it is an example of anti-climax, and its function is to produce ludicrous or comic effect.

NTRCA Exam-2017, 2018

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1. Puffs, powders, patches bibles, billet doux. (The Rape of the Lock)

Ans. This is an instance of anti-climax or bathos. When the ideas are presented in a descending order, it is called anti-climax. Here, the speaker mentions a number of different articles, like puffs, powders, patches, Bibles and billet-doux (love letters). Here, we also find satirical anti-climax. The juxtaposition of the Bible and the billet-doux (love letters) achieves the effect of anti-climax or bathos. 

Riya Akter
Riya Akter
Hey, This is Riya Akter Setu, B.A (Hons) & M.A in English from National University.


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