Conceit is a synonym for thought and is equivalent to concept, idea, and conception. Readers will be also to read conceit def. and its kinds.
This term originated in 1600. It is still being used as a synonym for thought and is equivalent to concept, idea, and conception. It might be denoted as a fanciful supposition, an ingenious act of deception, or a witty or clever remark or idea.
As a literary term, this word denotes the figurative devices like, ‘simile’, ‘hyperbole’, and ‘oxymoron’ and is intended to surprise and delight by its wit. The reader can get intellectual pleasure from the conceit.
It mostly relates to Metaphysical poets. The conceits were mostly used by the Italian Renaissance poets in love poetry, like Tudor, Jacobean, Caroline, Moliere, and Racine poets.
Kinds of Conceit:
i. Sonneteering Conceit
ii. Jealousy Conceit
iii. Inventory of blazen Conceit
iv. Carpe diem Conceit
It is a common conceit. It tends to be decorative, and the writers of love sonnets had a large number of conventional conceits which they could make use of and many of which are of the Petrarchan type. A classic example is Sir Thomas Wyatt’s version of Petrarch’s sonnet:
“I find no peace and all my war is done;
I fear and hope, I burne and freeze like ice.”
In a jealous conceit, a lover wished that he was an ornament, piece of cloth, or the creature of his mistress so that he might be much nearer to her. In “Romeo and Juliet”, Romeo’s lines when he first sees Juliet:
“See! How she leans her check upon her hand:
O! that I was a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that check.”
Inventory of blazen conceit:
It comprises a catalog of a mistress’s charms and perfections, as in Sir Philip Sidney’s ninth sonnet in the “Astrophil and Stella” sequence:
Queen Virtue’s Court, which some call Stella’s face,
Prepared by Nature’s choicest furniture,
Hath his front built of alabaster pure;
Gold is the covering of that stately place.
The door by which sometimes comes forth her grace
Red porphir is, which lock of pearl makes sure,
Whose porches rich – which name of cheeks endure-
Marble, mixt red and white, do interlace.
Carpe Diem Conceit:
It appeals to the mistress not to delay loving because beauty fades and time is a devourer, Herrick made this famous in:
“Gather ye Rose-buds, while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
It also gives an assurance that though beauty may fade and die, the poet’s verses will be immortal.
This term was used in the 17th century by metaphysical school of poetry. It sets up an comparison between one spiritual quality of an entity and an object of physical world.. Sometimes it controls the arrangement of the whole poem.
Hyperbole Vs. Conceit
In conceit, the hyperbole expresses the view that the loved one has a powerful effect on the natural order. Constable expresses such a conceit in “Diana”,
“My lady’s presence makes the roses red,
Because to see her lips they blush for shame;
The lilies’ leaves for envy pale became,
And her white hands in them this envy bred;
The marigold abroad the leaves did spread,
Because the sun’s and her power is the same.
It was commonly used in the 16th and 17th centuries. It displays the language and images of heraldry. An example of this type of conceit finds in “The Thistle and the Rose”.
It depends upon the meanings of names. For example, Ralegh’s poem “The Ocean’s Love to Cynthia” is a kind of double conceit. Ralegh compliments Queen Elizabeth by saying that she has the same influence upon him as the moon has upon the tides. Cynthia was a name frequently used to denote the Queen as a moon-goddess and ‘water’ was the Queen’s pet name for Sir Walter Ralegh.
What is Concetti Predicabilit?
This conceit was much used to embellish the sermon in the 17th century. It used to be learned, witty, allusive, and paradoxical, as in this instance from Crashaw’s Steps to the Temple:
“All we have is God’s, and yet
Caesar challenges a debt,
Nor hath God a thinner share,
Whatever Caesar’s payments are;
All is God’s; and yet ‘tis true,
All we have is Caesars too;
All is Caesars: and what odds,
So long as Caesar’s self is God’s?
John Cleveland gives his name. The following lines come from his “To the State of Love, or, The Senses Festival:
“My sight took pay, but (thank my charms)
I now impale her in my arms,
(Loves’ Compasses) confining you,
Good Angels, to a circle too.
Is not the universe strait-laced
When I can clasp it in the waist?
My amorous folds about thee hurled,
With Drake I girdle in the world.
I hoop the firmament and make
Here the poet has condensed a series of related and interlocking emblems while elaborating one of those microcosm arguments dear to poets and readers of the period.
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