Wit | Meaning | Definition
Wit | Meaning | Definition
A ‘Wit’ is a clever, skillful or artful thought-confounding verbal expression of an idea produced by the use of pun, oxymoron, paradox, quibble and so on which is contrived to excite our sense of both surprise and delight. It often renders humorous or comic effects. For example:
(i) The only way to double your money is to fold it and put it in your hip pocket. -Abe Martin (an American comedian)
(ii) The paths of glory lead but to the grave -Thomas Gray
Wit may be divided into two types: (a) Brief Wit and (b) Elaborate or Metaphysical Wit
The Brief Wit is made within a sentence to express a single idea. The above quoted two expressions serve as examples of brief wit.
The Elaborate or Metaphysical Wit is scholastic and intellectual and characterized by the novelty of ideas. The Metaphysical poets, especially John Donne’s poem entitled The Canonization is entirely built on paradox. In this poem, we have wit as the poet says that two lovers are canonized saints. 0 0 0.
N. B. The article originally belongs to the book entitled ‘ The Laws of Literature‘ by Menonim Menonimus
FAQs on Wit as a Literary Devise
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) on wit as a literary device:
Q: What is wit in literature?
A: Wit is a literary device that involves using clever, humorous, or unexpected remarks or observations in a way that reveals a deeper truth or insight.
Q: How is wit different from humor?
A: While humor can be used purely for entertainment or to make people laugh, wit often has a more serious or intellectual purpose. It can be used to challenge social norms or power structures, to critique a particular idea or belief, or to expose hypocrisy or folly.
Q: What are some examples of wit in literature?
A: Some classic examples of wit in literature include Oscar Wilde’s plays and novels, such as “The Importance of Being Earnest,” Jane Austen’s novels, particularly “Pride and Prejudice,” and Shakespeare’s plays, such as “Hamlet” and “Much Ado About Nothing.”
Q: Can wit be used in any genre of literature?
A: Yes, wit can be used in any genre of literature, from poetry to drama to prose. It is particularly effective in satire, where it can be used to expose and criticize social or political issues.
Q: How can writers incorporate wit into their work?
A: Writers can incorporate wit into their work by paying close attention to language, using irony, satire, and wordplay to create unexpected and clever twists. They can also use characterization to create witty characters who use their intelligence and humor to engage with the world around them. ***.
Books on Literary Criticism by M. Menonimus:
- World Short Story Criticism
- World Poetry Criticism
- World Drama Criticism
- World Novel Criticism
- World Essay Criticism
- Indian English Poetry Criticism
- Indian English Poets and Poetry Chief Features
- Emily Dickinson’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
- Walt Whitman’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
- Critical Essays on English Poetry
- Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: Return of the Spirit-An Analytical Study
- Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf’-An Analytical Study
- Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories
- A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period (500 AD-622 AD)
- A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Early Islamic Period (622 AD-661 AD) …