Conceit is a figure of speech in which two vastly different objects are likened together with the help of similes or metaphors. Conceit develops a comparison which is exceedingly unlikely but is, nonetheless, intellectually imaginative. A comparison turns into a conceit when the writer tries to make us admit a similarity between two things of whose unlikeness we are strongly conscious. For this reason, conceits are often surprising. He finds her weeping and says:.
Still-Life Painting in Northern Europe, 1600–1800
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Go beyond allegory and alliteration in your poetry. Try using metaphors in a new and exciting way by creating a conceit. Commonly used in 14th to 17th century literature, this literary device uses drastic comparison to make powerful metaphors. Find out how famous writers like John Donne and William Shakespeare used conceit to really bring their writing to life. Much like a builder with a hammer, writers use different tools to set the tone or mood of a piece. A conceit is one such device.
In modern literary criticism , more common with genre fiction , conceit often means an extended rhetorical device , summed up in a short phrase, that refers to a situation which either does not exist, or exists rarely, but is needed for the plot. The word conceit was originally coined in the context of poetry , deriving from the root concept, conceive. It has subsequently been extended to other forms of literature, the performing arts , painting , photography , and even architecture.