AP Latin : Simile and Metaphor

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Latin

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Example Questions

Example Question #3 : Semantic Devices

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 14?

Possible Answers:

Onomatopoeia

Metaphor

Enjambment

Simile

Correct answer:

Simile

Explanation:

The construnction of these last few lines can be a bit confusing. While it is true that "ut" is followed by a subjunctive verb (which normally indicates a subjunctive ut clause), reading closely shows that it makes no sense for there to be an ut clause in this area: there is no explanation of purpose and there is no cause and effect. In fact, what we have here is a cum temporal clause. "Cum" in the previous line does not have a direct object. That it is followed by a subjunctive verb ("faciant") indicates a temporal clause. 

There is a word missing from this sentence: "est." As usual, Latin authors often leave out this word, but we know that it must be present here because of the succession of accusative words. We do not have multiple direct objects here, but instead a set of appositives. The word "te" is being described as "totum nasum." The line translates as: When you will smell (it), they (the gods) will make you like/as your entire nose. What we have here is a simile. There are no other literary devices present.

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

 

Example Question #4 : Semantic Devices

Cui dono lepidum novum libellum
arida modo pumice expolitum?
Corneli, tibi: namque tu solebas
meas esse aliquid putare nugas.
Iam tum, cum ausus es unus Italorum      5
omne aevum tribus explicare cartis . . .
Doctis, Iuppiter, et laboriosis!
Quare habe tibi quidquid hoc libelli—
qualecumque, quod, o patrona virgo,
plus uno maneat perenne saeclo!             10

In line 2, there is an example of __________.

Possible Answers:

metonymy

ablative absolute

metaphor

synchysis

Correct answer:

metaphor

Explanation:

Line 2 has an example of metaphor. The author uses the word "expolitum" to describe that he has polished his book, but it is accompanied by the word "pumice"—pumice stone. That is not, however, how an author would normally polish a book. When an author uses the word for polish, it would typically refer to reworking some lines in his or her work. The use of "pumice" indicates that the author is editing his book akin to taking care of his skin/body, a common use for pumice throughout the ages. 

(Passage adapted from "Catullus 1," ln.1-10)

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