Bathos (280 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • Editors
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Share on Facebook Tweet Report an Error

Context

Bathos comes from the Greek for deep (as in bathyscape, bathymetric) and in the arts refers to an abrupt descent from the exalted to the banal, either in style or content. At best this is deliberate, as in satires where the figure is most often found. For example, in Canto III, ll.1-8, I of The Rape of the Lock, Alexander Pope builds a grand image of Hampton Court — one of the major palaces of the British monarch and situated on the Thames to the west of London— only to bring it crashing down to the domestic and everyday:

Close by those meads, for ever crowned with flowrs,
Where Thames with pride surveys his rising towrs,
There stands a structure of majestic frame,
Which from the neighbring …

We have have no profile for this entry. If you are a qualified scholar and you wish to write for The Literary Encyclopedia, please click here to contact us.



Citation:
Editors. "Bathos". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=99, accessed 26 September 2017.]

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here.