AP Latin : Hyperbole

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Latin

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Hyperbole

Ni te plus oculis meis amarem,
iucundissime Calve, munere isto
odissem te odio Vatiniano:
nam quid feci ego quidve sum locutus,
cur me tot male perderes poetis?                         5
isti di mala multa dent clienti,
qui tantum tibi misit impiorum.
quod si, ut suspicor, hoc novum ac repertum
munus dat tibi Sulla litterator,
non est mi male, sed bene ac beate,                    10
quod non dispereunt tui labores.
di magni, horribilem et sacrum libellum!
quem tu scilicet ad tuum Catullum
misti, continuo ut die periret,
Saturnalibus, optimo dierum!                               15
non non hoc tibi, false, sic abibit.
nam si luxerit ad librariorum
curram scrinia, Caesios, Aquinos,
Suffenum, omnia colligam venena.
ac te his suppliciis remunerabor.                          20
vos hinc interea valete abite
illuc, unde malum pedem attulistis,
saecli incommoda, pessimi poetae.

What literary device is present in line 5?

Possible Answers:

Apostrophe

Metaphor

Personification

Hyperbole

Correct answer:

Hyperbole

Explanation:

Line 5 translates as Why do you ruin me badly with so many poets? Since poets are not normally a thing that causes physical harm or otherwise, we can assume that the author is intensifying the language in order to emphasize just how much he hates the poems. This is an example of hyperbole.

(Passage adapted from "Catullus 14," ln.1-23)

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