An epithet is an adjective (or phrase containing an adjective) or adverb which modifies (describes) a noun. For instance, in "dreamless sleep", dreamless is the epithet.
In a transferred epithet (also known as hypallage; literally "echange") the adjective or adverb is transferred from the noun it logically belongs with, to another one which fits it grammatically but not logically. So in "dreamless night" , dreamless is a transferred epithet. The exact meaning of the sentence is "night when I (or whoever) slept without dreaming," since a night can't actually dream anyway.
We use transferred epithets all the time. Another example could be "I had a terrible day." "Terrible" is a transferred epithet, because it wasn't the day that was terrible, only the things that happened to me on that day. A more poetic example would be "a long and weary road" - long can apply logically to the road, but not weary – so weary is a transferred epithet.
"Cruel bars" as a transferred epithet:
This refers to prison bars or the bars of a cage and to the fact that someone has been put into prison or into the cage unfairly. The bars themselves are not cruel, but they serve the purposes of the cruel person who uses the cage to imprison someone or something (such as a bird or an animal). The cruelty is transferred from the person who uses the cage or prison to the cage or prison itself and to the bars of the cage or prison.
There are hundreds of examples in common use in everyday language. Here are some:
Foolish idea: It is not the idea itself that is foolish, but the person who comes up with it.
She rubbed here sleepy eyes: Her eye are not sleepy; she is.
Successful attempt: The attempt was not itself successful, but the person who made it.
Curious stares: The stares are not curious, but the people who are staring.
Knowing smile: The smile itself does not know, it is the person who smiles that knows.
Silly question: The question itself is not silly; the person asking it is.
He spent many sleepless nights: The nights did not lack sleep; he did.
Giddy height: The height is not giddy; the person who is at that height is.
Brilliant performance: The performance is not brilliant; the performer is.
Unhappy marriage: The marriage itself in not unhappy; the married couple is.
Wistful glance: The glance itself is not wistful; it is the person who is glancing.
Worried look: The look is not worried; the person doing the looking is.
Cruel joke: The joke itself is not cruel; the person responsible for the joke is.
Smart move: The move is not smart; the person who made the move is.
And so on ...
They are completely different. Transferred epithets are explained beautifully above, but personification is when an object is portrayed as a person. Take the sun for example:
The sun shone brightly > It shone brightly.
But personified, this would read:
She/he shone brightly.
Here the sun is given a gender, making it human-like
The use of the the term 'terribly transient feet' in Shirley Toulson's 'A Photograph' is a reference to the fragility and brief nature of human existence.
In this case, 'terribly' is used in the sense of 'exciting terror, awe, or great fear'.
The poet (Toulson) is describing a photograph of her mother as a child on holiday. Toulson recalls her mother (now deceased) gazing nostalgically at the same photo.
Toulson feels an overwhelming sense of awe as she attempts to comprehend the truth that the smiling girl, shining with youth and potential was destined to change and eventually cease to exist- just as she and every other member of the human race will.
The transience of humanity is high lighted by the constant and ancient presence of
'the sea, which appears to have changed less'
An epithet is an adjective or adverb which modifies a noun.
'howling ship' - as it is principally the wind which is known to howl when coming into contact with a fast moving object, the ship itself travelling through the wind is described as howling as when coming into contact with the wind it makes said sound.
Please explain the transferred epithet for "terribly transient feet". This is from a poem "A photograph" by shirley
Explain 'cruel bars 'as transferred epithet
Explain 'cruel bars' as transferred epithet
Epithet means an adjective. Eg; fatal shore-a shore cannot be killed nor there is a death to it .such description
Thanks for the help. Well, I didn't knew the answer, so how can I able to answer this question?
Population causes , effects remedial actions
Explain the epithet "howling ship". With reference to the wind please.
I am still confused with transfered epithet and personification
How is "silken flanks" in T.S. Eliot's "Journey of the Magi" an example of a transferred epithet?
Or "grunting weight" in Elizabeth Bishop's "The Fish"?
It is figure of speech in which the relation in verse of sentence is mutually interchange.
For example The Plough man homeward pods his weary way.
The man sat in his condemned cell.
'condemned' is the transferred epithet because it is the man who is condemned, not the cell.