Aspect of literary study that emphasizes the analysis of various elements of style (such as metaphor and diction). The ancients saw style as the proper adornment of thought. In this view, which prevailed throughout the Renaissance, devices of style can be catalogued and ideas can be framed with the help of model sentences and prescribed types of figures suited to the mode of discourse. In more recent theories, the relationship of style and the individual writer's unique vision of reality is emphasized.
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