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An anticlimax is a device used in poetry and other forms of writing in which the writer goes from a sophisticated and profound point onto a throwaway, insignificant remark instantaneously. Alexander Pope used many anticlimaxes in The Rape of the Lock. An example is: ' Here thou, great Anna, whom three realms obey //Dost sometimes counsel take, and sometimes tea. '[1]

It is important to distinguish the difference between a narrative anticlimax and the figure of speech. The narrative anticlimax consists of the overall plot of a story; the figure of speech takes place over a few words.


  1. [1] "anticlimax." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 23 Mar. 2012.