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Pathetic Definition, Pathetic Fallacy

Pathetic Fallacy
Pathetic Fallacy

Distorted emotions give rise to literature, painting, art and other creative forms of art as well. This was the thought after the romantics had the revolutionary literary movement in the past and from this sort of perception we chalk out the definition of Pathetic Fallacy.

Origin of the word “Pathetic” 

The term Pathetic Fallacy was chalked out by John Ruskin in the Victorian era. This simply meant expressing human emotion through inanimate objects.

Esotericism of the word Pathetic Fallacy

This is basically a literary device that is instrumental in portraying human emotions through Inanimate objects of nature. Somewhere it is about the intermingling of nature and emotions, the internal nature and the external nature and this specific literary device became really popular and widely in vogue among the contemporary painters and artists.

Pathetic Fallacy made its place in the literary world in form of poetry, in the form of novels, prose, and artwork, paintings and so on and so forth. Hence, the usage being widespread people might often confuse this term with personification but these are overlapping genres and overlapping literary devices.

The Basic Crossroad

To provide an inanimate object with human emotions on a piece of literature be it written or visual art is all about the literary device usage, Pathetic Fallacy. This does not mirror a complete personification process of an object and here lies the main crossroad.

Pathetic Fallacy is all about and only about human emotions and nothing more but personification, on the other hand, is about providing an object with human attributes.

Use of Pathetic Fallacy in Literature

The morbidity of Duncan’s murder in Macbeth is an example of Pathetic Fallacy. Another example can be cited when we move back to the romantic poetry genre that is William Wordsworth. He describes the clouds as lonely to mirror his own loneliness – “I wonder as a lonely cloud “.

Also, Keats did this a number of times in his odes such as, “ Ode to the melancholy“, “an ode to the Nightingale“, “ ode to a Grecian Urn “ and so on and so forth.

This has been an integral part of the literary domain so that poets could express themselves through nature and other inanimate objects as well. This is one of the most famous modes of an indirect way of poetic expression through prose and poetry.

Why this Indirect Method

This indirect method of using Pathetic Fallacy as a literary device is widely in vogue since people believe in abstract emotions and also it is easier for the authors and poets to make the laymen believe in them through inanimate emotions and abstract emotions.

To Summarise

Our emotions can be reflected through nature and upon nature and hence, its enmeshed effect is called Pathetic Fallacy. We can see an array of paintings too that does not contain any human figure but has that imagery of human emotion through the sketch of nature and other inanimate objects being painted on the canvas.

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