Apostrophe: The rhetorical device apostrophe is used when writers separate themselves from the main reality of the story to speak about an abstract notion or someone who is not presently in the scene. In some instances, especially in shakespeare, the author utilizes the interjection “O” when employing this device.  This literary device is usually in the form of an exclamation. The person that is speaking is not talking to an inanimate object or abstract idea rather, they are expressing their personal feelings at the time or to show the importance of the thing being addressed.

Ex: “ANTONY: O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,

That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!

Thou art the ruins of the noblest man

That ever livèd in the tide of times.”

-Julius Caesar William Shakespeare

Shakespeare uses this this device as a means of speaking to the inanimate object, the earth and expressing his feelings. Shakespear uses the word O in this passage as well.  


"Apostrophe Examples and Definition." Literary Devices. N.p., 30 Oct. 2015. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.

"Apostrophe (rhetorical Device)." Apostrophe (rhetorical Device) - Memidex Dictionary/thesaurus. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.

Hyle Daley Follow. "Figurative Language - Apostrophe." LinkedIn SlideShare. N.p., 22 Nov. 2009. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.

A., Daniella. "Ap Lang Rhetorical Device - AP English Language with Hall at Adrian Wilcox High School." StudyBlue. N.p., 27 Feb. 2013. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.