AP Latin : Semantic Devices

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Latin

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Metonymy

Hinc via Tartarei quae fert Acherontis ad undas.              
turbidus hic caeno vastaque voragine gurges
aestuat atque omnem Cocyto eructat harenam.
Portitor has horrendus aquas et flumina servat
terribili squalore Charon, cui plurima mento                  5
canities inculta iacet, stant lumina flamma,              
sordidus ex umeris nodo dependet amictus.
Ipse ratem conto subigit velisque ministrat
et ferruginea subvectat corpora cumba,
iam senior, sed cruda deo viridisque senectus.              10
Huc omnis turba ad ripas effusa ruebat,               
matres atque viri defunctaque corpora vita
magnanimum heroum, pueri innuptaeque puellae,
impositique rogis iuvenes ante ora parentum . . .

The use of "ora" in line 14 is an example of __________.

Possible Answers:

anastrophe

personification

metonymy

apostrophe

Correct answer:

metonymy

Explanation:

The word "ora" is being used to refer to the faces of the parents in this sentence. This substitution of an attribute or part of something to refer to the whole is called "metonymy."

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 6.295-308)

Example Question #2 : Metonymy

saepe pater dixit: 'generum mihi, filia, debes,'
saepe pater dixit: 'debes mihi, nata, nepotes';
illa velut crimen taedas exosa iugales
pulchra verecundo suffuderat ora rubore
inque patris blandis haerens cervice lacertis                       5
'da mihi perpetua, genitor carissime,' dixit
'virginitate frui! dedit hoc pater ante Dianae.'
ille quidem obsequitur, sed te decor iste quod optas
esse vetat, votoque tuo tua forma repugnat:
Phoebus amat visaeque cupit conubia Daphnes,                 10
quodque cupit, sperat, suaque illum oracula fallunt,
utque leves stipulae demptis adolentur aristis,
ut facibus saepes ardent, quas forte viator
vel nimis admovit vel iam sub luce reliquit,
sic deus in flammas abiit, sic pectore toto                          15
uritur et sterilem sperando nutrit amorem.

The use of "ora" (line 4) is an example of __________.

Possible Answers:

Metaphor

Pleonasm

Metonymy

Synchesis

Correct answer:

Metonymy

Explanation:

"Ora," literally translated as mouth, is being used here to refer to the entire face of the girl in this passage. This use of a part of something in order to refer to the whole is an example of metonymy.

(Adapted from Metamorphoses by Ovid, 1.481-496)

Example Question #3 : Metonymy

Tertia post illam successit aenea proles,               
saevior ingeniis et ad horrida promptior arma,
non scelerata tamen; de duro est ultima ferro.
protinus inrupit venae peioris in aevum
omne nefas: fugere pudor verumque fidesque;             5
in quorum subiere locum fraudesque dolusque               
insidiaeque et vis et amor sceleratus habendi.
vela dabant ventis nec adhuc bene noverat illos
navita, quaeque prius steterant in montibus altis,
fluctibus ignotis insultavere carinae,                              10
communemque prius ceu lumina solis et auras               
cautus humum longo signavit limite mensor.
nec tantum segetes alimentaque debita dives
poscebatur humus, sed itum est in viscera terrae,
quasque recondiderat Stygiisque admoverat umbris,       15
effodiuntur opes, inritamenta malorum.               

The word "vela" in line 8 is an example of __________.

Possible Answers:

personification

tmesis

synchesis

metonymy

Correct answer:

metonymy

Explanation:

The word "vela" literally means "hides," but translates here as sails. This is because the sails of a ship would be made from hides. This is a common example of metonymy, in which you use a part of something (in this case, the material which the object is made from) to refer to the whole object.

(Passage adapted from Ovid's Metamorphoses, 1.125-141)

Example Question #4 : Metonymy

(1) Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur. (2) Hi omnes lingua, institutis, legibus inter se differunt. Gallos ab Aquitanis Garumna flumen, a Belgis Matrona et Sequana dividit. (3) Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae, propterea quod a cultu atque humanitate provinciae longissime absunt, minimeque ad eos mercatores saepe commeant atque ea quae ad effeminandos animos pertinent important, (4) proximique sunt Germanis, qui trans Rhenum incolunt, quibuscum continenter bellum gerunt. Qua de causa Helvetii quoque reliquos Gallos virtute praecedunt, quod fere cotidianis proeliis cum Germanis contendunt, cum aut suis finibus eos prohibent aut ipsi in eorum finibus bellum gerunt. (5) Eorum una pars, quam Gallos obtinere dictum est, initium capit a flumine Rhodano, continetur Garumna flumine, Oceano, finibus Belgarum, attingit etiam ab Sequanis et Helvetiis flumen Rhenum, vergit ad septentriones. (6) Belgae ab extremis Galliae finibus oriuntur, pertinent ad inferiorem partem fluminis Rheni, spectant in septentrionem et orientem solem. (7) Aquitania a Garumna flumine ad Pyrenaeos montes et eam partem Oceani quae est ad Hispaniam pertinet; spectat inter occasum solis et septentriones.

The word fere in part 4 is an example of _______________.

Possible Answers:

metonymy

litotes

personification

enjambment

Correct answer:

metonymy

Explanation:

The word fere is being used instead of the word sword. This is an example of "metonymy" - when a word is substituted for another in a text. "Enjambment" occurs when a sentence is continued beyond a line without pause (in poetry). "Personification" is giving human traits to non-human things. "Litotes" is using a negative word to express something positive (e.g "He was not unmuscular." Meaning, he was very muscular). The correct choice is " metonymy."

Passage adapted from De Bello Gallico by Caesar, I. 1-7

Example Question #5 : Metonymy

Arma gravi numero violentaque bella parabam
edere, materia conveniente modis.
par erat inferior versus—risisse Cupido
dicitur atque unum surripuisse pedem.
'Quis tibi, saeve puer, dedit hoc in carmina iuris?
Pieridum vates, non tua turba sumus.
quid, si praeripiat flavae Venus arma Minervae,
ventilet accensas flava Minerva faces?
quis probet in silvis Cererem regnare iugosis,
lege pharetratae Virginis arva coli?
crinibus insignem quis acuta cuspide Phoebum
instruat, Aoniam Marte movente lyram?
sunt tibi magna, puer, nimiumque potentia regna;
cur opus adfectas, ambitiose, novum?
an, quod ubique, tuum est? tua sunt Heliconia tempe?

The underlined word "Cererem" in line 9 is an example of __________.

Possible Answers:

Personification

Anaphora

Hyperbaton

Metonymy

Correct answer:

Metonymy

Explanation:

The word "Cererem" is an example of metonymy. "Ceres" is commonly used to refer to/in place of the word for grain or food. Note: personification is giving human characteristics to non-human things, hyperbaton is the inversion of the usual word order, and anaphora is the repetition of a word for emphasis.

(Passage adapted from Amores by Ovid, I.1–15)

Example Question #1 : 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:

Simile

Enjambment

Metaphor

Onomatopoeia

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 #1 : Simile And Metaphor

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:

synchysis

ablative absolute

metonymy

metaphor

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)

Example Question #601 : Ap Latin Language

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:

Personification

Metaphor

Apostrophe

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)

Example Question #4 : Semantic Devices

Miser Catulle, desinas ineptire,
et quod vides perisse perditum ducas.
fulsere quondam candidi tibi soles,
cum ventitabas quo puella ducebat
amata nobis quantum amabitur nulla.                         5
ibi illa multa cum iocosa fiebant,
quae tu volebas nec puella nolebat,
fulsere vere candidi tibi soles.
nunc iam illa non vult: tu quoque impotens noli,
nec quae fugit sectare, nec miser vive,                       10
sed obstinata mente perfer, obdura.
vale puella, iam Catullus obdurat,
nec te requiret nec rogabit invitam.
at tu dolebis, cum rogaberis nulla.
scelesta, vae te, quae tibi manet vita?                         15
quis nunc te adibit? cui videberis bella?
quem nunc amabis? cuius esse diceris?
quem basiabis? cui labella mordebis?
at tu, Catulle, destinatus obdura.

In the last lines of this poem (lines 15-19), the author makes use of __________.

Possible Answers:

simile

chiasmus

rhetorical questions

hyperbole

Correct answer:

rhetorical questions

Explanation:

The last few lines mainly consist of rhetorical questions that the girlfriend will now supposedly ask due to the breakup. They are not meant to be answered specifically; the implication is that the girl will now have no one to do these things.

(Passage adapted from "Catullus 8," ln.1-19)

Example Question #5 : 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

"O patrona virgo" (line 9) is an example of which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Aposiopesis

Apostrophe

Alliteration

Anaphora

Correct answer:

Apostrophe

Explanation:

"O patrona virgo" is an example of apostropheaddressing a person who is not present.

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

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