AP Latin : Asyndeton and Polysyndeton

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Latin

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Asyndeton And Polysyndeton

Cenabis bene, mi Fabulle, apud me
paucis, si tibi di favent, diebus,
si tecum attuleris bonam atque magnam
cenam, non sine candida puella
et vino et sale et omnibus cachinnis.                  5
haec si, inquam, attuleris, venuste noster,
cenabis bene; nam tui Catulli
plenus sacculus est aranearum.
sed contra accipies meros amores
seu quid suavius elegantiusve est:                     10
nam unguentum dabo, quod meae puellae
donarunt Veneres Cupidinesque,
quod tu cum olfacies, deos rogabis,
totum ut te faciant, Fabulle, nasum.

What literary device is present in line 5?

Possible Answers:

Tmesis

Metonymy

Simile

Polysyndeton

Correct answer:

Polysyndeton

Explanation:

In line 5, the author uses the conjunction "et" many times in order to indicate just how many things must be at the party/feast. This is an example of polysyndeton. There is no association of phrases using like or as (simile), no use of a part of something to describe the whole [metonymy (e.g. "nice set of wheels" = "nice car"), and no separation of a word into two or more parts (tmesis).

(Passage adapted from "Catullus 13," ln.1-14)

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