Epithet Examples

Epithet

Epithet is the literary term for the application of a word or phrase to someone that describes that person's attributes or qualities. Often, this word or phrase, used to describe the person, becomes synonymous with the person and can be used as part of his/her name or in place of his/her name.

Examples of Epithet:

Catherine the Great

Richard the Lion-Heart

The Great Emancipator (Abraham Lincoln)

The Piano Man(Billy Joel)

Examples of Epithets in Literature:

1. Epithets were often used in Greek Mythology to describe the gods or heroes:

a. Grey-eyed Athena

b. White-armed Hera

c. Swift-footed Achilles

2. Shakespeare also made use of epithets in his plays:

a. Star-crossed lovers-describes Romeo and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet

b. "Turn, hell-hound, turn."-Macduff to Macbeth in Macbeth

c. Fair Ophelia in Hamlet

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