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Bathos   Listen
Bathos

noun
1.
Triteness or triviality of style.
2.
Insincere pathos.  Synonym: mawkishness.
3.
A change from a serious subject to a disappointing one.  Synonym: anticlimax.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Bathos" Quotes from Famous Books



... disappointingly all right," she assured him hastily, stung by a keen sense that her catastrophe had fallen headlong from impending tragedy to bathos. "Please bestow all your sympathy on ...
— The Great Amulet • Maud Diver

... gave him the chance, he was safe to slide in some of his vulgar bathos after any heroic sentiment or personal opinion I may have uttered. This, naturally, would rouse my temper, never very pacific; and made me so cross, that I was often on the verge of quarrelling with ...
— She and I, Volume 1 • John Conroy Hutcheson

... ordinary laws of grammar. The second sentence of his first prose work contains about four hundred words, and is broken in the course of them like a wounded snake. In his very highest flights he will suddenly drop to grotesque and bathos; and there is no more difficult task (haud inexpertus loquor) than the selection from Milton of any passage of length which shall not contain faults of which a modern schoolboy or gutter-journalist would be ashamed. Nor ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... understand them. You all think that it is the right thing for me to preach about 'faith.' I daresay some of you have never tried to apprehend what it means. And I daresay there are a great many of you to whom the utterance of the word suggests that I am plunging into the bathos and commonplaces of the pulpit. Perhaps, if you would try to understand it, you would find it was a bigger thing than you fancied. What is faith? I will give you another expression that has not so many theological ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ephesians; Epistles of St. Peter and St. John • Alexander Maclaren

... BATHOS and pathos are closely allied in sound as well as in sense. Mr. FECHTER evidently regards them as completely identical; and in his acting, as in his pronunciation, uniformly prefers the former to the latter. He has recently exemplified this by his personation ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 7, May 14, 1870 • Various

... I received the message, that I was going to be buried under a bathos of thanks, or else have my gift declined with the expectation that I would gush over the disinterestedness of the refusal. Since I couldn't well avoid seeing him, I was quite prepared to snub him, or to take back the money without a word. But he wasn't a bit that ...
— The Honorable Peter Stirling and What People Thought of Him • Paul Leicester Ford

... hall, containing a brief chronicle of the progress of painting from Cimabue to—Carlo Dolce! There may be a still deeper descent; but that is bathos sufficient for any ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... year Swift paid a long visit to Pope at Twickenham. These two influences may be traced in most of Pope's remaining works. In 1726, "Gulliver's Travels" saw the light, and in 1727 were issued those joint volumes of "Miscellanies" which contained the "Treatise on the Bathos," a prose satire, to be supplanted in brief space by the terrible "Dunciad." In this last, Pope entered upon a campaign against the smaller fry of the pen with a vigor, a deadly earnestness, and a determination to wound, unparalleled ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 7 of 8 • Charles F. (Charles Francis) Horne

... heavy head; and one feather is not sufficient to enable my genius to take wing. If the public knew what dull work it is to write a novel, they would not be surprised at finding them dull reading. Ex nihilo nihil fit. Barnstaple, I am at the very bathos of stupidity. ...
— Olla Podrida • Frederick Marryat

... started from chivalry and arrived at metaphysics; every knight he held must be a logician, and ultimate bravery is courage of the mind. One thinks of his coming to this conclusion with knit brows and balancing intentness above whole gulfs of bathos—very much as he had once walked the ...
— The Research Magnificent • H. G. Wells

... of the name Pan, the god "Pankration" (the) Pantacles, unknown "Parsley and the rue" Pathos and bathos Patrocles, a rich miser Pauson, ruined —poverty of Peace, mother of Plutus Peacock and hoopoe Pebble, the, how held Pelargicon, the Pellen, a town Peplus, the Perfumes, on dead bodies Perseus, legend of Persian (the), cloak Phanae, land of informers Pharnaces and bribery Pharsalus, a ...
— The Eleven Comedies - Vol. I • Aristophanes et al

... dialogue, usually a weak point with this writer, is here for better managed than usual, having her customary piquancy, with less of disfigurement from flippancy and bad puns. The plot shows none of those alarming pieces of incongruity and bathos which have marred some of her stories. And one may fancy that it is not far to seek for the originals of Azarian, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 84, October, 1864 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... the soul-and partook intensely of that soul's nature. Nor is it difficult to perceive the tendency of this abandon-to elevate immeasurably all the energies of mind-but, again, so to mingle the greatest possible fire, force, delicacy, and all good things, with the lowest possible bathos, baldness, and imbecility, as to render it not a matter of doubt that the average results of mind in such a school will be found inferior to those results in one (ceteris ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 5 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... oration had led to an even tamer execution. As Gordon walked down the library steps he was painfully aware of having been the principal character in a scene of sustained bathos. The body that represented Fernhurst football had scarcely risen to the dignity of ...
— The Loom of Youth • Alec Waugh

... of this tale), who "traded abroad, and was took into Turkey as a slave," and there gained the affections of his master's daughter, after the most approved old-ballad fashion; though, alas! it was not to her love that he owed his liberty, but (dreadful bathos!) to his skill in "cooking fowls, &c. &c. in the English taste;" which, on a certain occasion, when some English merchants came to dine with his master, "so pleased the company, that they offered to redeem him, which was accepted; ...
— Notes & Queries, No. 27. Saturday, May 4, 1850 • Various

... in feeling to notice the bathos of his speech, he put his hands in his pockets, and began strolling up and down a beat of his own, a few yards from the track Trenholme had made, and on the other ...
— What Necessity Knows • Lily Dougall

... mystically gruesome kind, removed however from being commonplace ghost-stories by a certain dignity of conception. It is to be admitted that but for this dignity two at least would fall into some peril of bathos. Take the first, The Regeneration of Lord Ernie, in which a young tutor, bear-leading a spiritless scion of nobility through Europe, brings his bored charge to a strange mountain village where the inhabitants worship the forces of fire and wind. If you ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, December 2, 1914 • Various

... and hopeless a lover as Dante. Or a vulgar and violent pork-butcher remembers his own youth before the curtain goes down. The first thing that Bernard Shaw did when he stepped before the footlights was to reverse this process. He resolved to build a play not on pathos, but on bathos. The officer should be heroic first and then everyone should laugh at him; the curtain should go up on a man remembering his youth, and he should only reveal himself as a violent pork-butcher when someone interrupted ...
— George Bernard Shaw • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... and a Night. The book, mutilated in Europe to a collection of fairy tales, and miscalled the Arabian Nights, is unique as a study of anthropology. It is a marvellous picture of Oriental life; its shiftings are those of the kaleidoscope. Its alternation of pathos and bathos—of the boldest poetry (the diction of Job) with the baldest prose (the Egyptian of to-day) and finally, its contrast of the highest and purest morality with the orgies of Apuleius and Petronius Arbiter, take away the reader's breath. I determined to render ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... a reply. "Oh! tol, lol!" And that in anything but a melodious voice. "Oh! tol, lol!" What a bathos! The beautiful Maria, whom in my imagination I had clothed with all the attributes of sentiment and delicacy, whom I had conjured up as a beau ideal of perfection, replies in a hoarse voice with, "Oh! tol, lol!" Down ...
— Olla Podrida • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... ministered to by the comradeship of boys, he retains his sense of fun, fights on in good humor, detects and saves himself on the verge of pious caricature and solemn bathos; knows how to meet important committees on microscopic reforms as well as self-appointed theological inquisitors and all the insistent cranks that waylay a busy pastor. Life cannot grow stale; and by letting the boys lead him forth by the streams of living water and into the whispering ...
— The Minister and the Boy • Allan Hoben

... odd little touch of bathos about it, and an outsider might perhaps have smiled at the way in which the British workman and his wife had chosen to manifest their faith in the man who had been in their eyes wrongfully accused; but nobody present in the little assembly saw the humorous side of it at all, not ...
— Brooke's Daughter - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... his mesmeric experience and decide whether the outrageous compliment to E.B.B. or the experiment on M. Vandeleur [Valdemar] goes furthest to prove him mad. There is poetry in the man, though, now and then, seen between the great gaps of bathos.... 'Politian' will make you laugh—as the 'Raven' made me laugh, though with something in it which accounts for the hold it took upon people such as Mr. N.P. Willis and his peers—it was sent to me from four different quarters ...
— The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846 • Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett

... would have been highly delightful if Fanny and I had not been faint with hunger. The ladies each narrated the story of her marriage, our two Hebrews with the prettiest combination of sentiment and financial bathos. Abramina, specially, endeared herself with every word. She was as simple, natural, and engaging as a kid that should have been brought up to the business of a money-changer. One touch was so resplendently Hebraic that I cannot pass it ...
— The Silverado Squatters • Robert Louis Stevenson

... too little of what some of us have too much of- -criticism. His work met with too little resistance to call forth his powers. Too often his pathos sinks to bathos, and this not from want of skill, but from want of care. It is difficult to believe that the popular writer who allowed his sentimentality—or rather the public's sentimentality—to run away with him in such scenes as the death of Paul Dombey and Little Nell was the artist ...
— Idle Ideas in 1905 • Jerome K. Jerome

... was the sentimental act of a virtuoso in the art of pleasing women—who are so easily pleased. At the moment he had achieved forgetfulness of boudoir trickery and so retained almost all his usual assumption of dignity. Even Joan, with her quick eye for the ridiculous, failed to detect the bathos of his attitude, and merely thought that he was trying to ...
— Who Cares? • Cosmo Hamilton

... sequestrated, in spite of all the plans which I have devised for their safety. The great failing of Protestants, in general, is a tendency to spring suddenly to the pinnacle of exultation, and as suddenly to fall to the lowest bathos of dejection, forgetting that the brightest day as well as the most gloomy night must necessarily have a termination. How far more wise are the members of that object of my undying detestation, the Church of Rome; from mixing with whom I have acquired one principal point ...
— Letters of George Borrow - to the British and Foreign Bible Society • George Borrow

... too, here, the substance of this future intervention which, to the Psalmist's quiet faith, is present:—'My soul from death,' and after that he says, 'My feet from falling,' which looks very like an anticlimax and bathos. But yet, just because to deliver the feet from falling is so much smaller a thing than delivering a life from death, it comes here to be a climax and something greater. The storm passes over the man. What ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... pretend, indeed, to find in humanity what they deny to exist as Deity, but I should be incapable of the illogical exchange. It is to deny that the seed sprang from a root; it is to replace a grand and illimitable theism by a finite and vainglorious bathos. Of all the creeds that have debased mankind, the new creed that would centre itself in man seems to me the poorest and the most baseless of all. If humanity be but a vibrion, a conglomeration of gases, a mere mould holding chemicals, a mere bundle ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... renovaret: ut hinc tandem cognoscerent Judi, pactum Abrahamiticum etiam post latam legem ritualem adhuc viguisse, adeoque pro foedere habendum fuisse, cui unice salus ipsorum inniteretur. (Conf. Gal. iii. 17.) ... Quis hic cum Apostolo non exclamet, bathos ploutou kai sophias kai gnses Theou! (Rom. xi. 33.) Sed hc obiter, etsi haudquaquam frustra. Pergo."—From Bp. Bull's Harmonia Apostolica, cap. xi., sect. 3.—Works, ...
— Inspiration and Interpretation - Seven Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford • John Burgon

... passage are almost as numerous as the words; and those to which the doctrine leads are absolutely innumerable. That up and down, with verbs of motion, imply ascent and descent, as wisely and foolishly imply wisdom and folly, is not to be denied; but the grammatical bathos of coming "down [the ascent] from the hill" of science, should startle those whose faces are directed upward! Downward ascent is a movement worthy only of Kirkham, and his Irish rival, Joseph W. Wright. The brackets here ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... admiration—real admiration—because the gross bathos he had just uttered betrayed a weakness—vanity. Now I began to understand him; vanity must also lead him to undervalue men. True, with the faintest approach to eloquence he could no doubt hold the "Clubs" of Belleville spellbound; with self-effacing adroitness ...
— The Maids of Paradise • Robert W. (Robert William) Chambers

... their high sweet finish enjoyed a vogue among collectors that lasted into the 20th century. In about 1860, however, he was driven from the market by the rise of a cheaper medium, chromolithography, which was responsible in the next few decades for a universal outpouring of popular bathos. This was picture printing in color ...
— John Baptist Jackson - 18th-Century Master of the Color Woodcut • Jacob Kainen

... enjoyed than by a music lover who is incapable of criticism from lack of musical knowledge: music being first and last an emotional art; and as our emotions are refined it requires compositions of a more and more elevated character to appeal to them. Thus, we range from the bathos and vulgarity of the music hall to the ...
— Operas Every Child Should Know - Descriptions of the Text and Music of Some of the Most Famous Masterpieces • Mary Schell Hoke Bacon

... blue-and-gold hero of romance now transformed into a plain Stock Exchange man, his air of banality enhanced by the last word in golf suitings. The humour of this scene, in which she made conventional conversation without any real effort to conceal her sense of the bathos of the situation, was very perfect. The relatively simple humour of the match-making mother—not so simple, all the same, as its spontaneity made it appear—had the distinction which one expects of Mr. MILNE; but this was far the funniest feature in ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 159, October 27, 1920 • Various

... rapture." But however fine an ear for rhythm Lewis may have had, his verse is for the most part execrable; and his jaunty, jiggling anapaests and pragmatic manner are ludicrously out of keeping with the horrors of his tale, increasing the air of bathos ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century • Henry A. Beers

... dealt with rather sensational finance (it always cheers me up when the hero makes half-a-million pounds in a single chapter!) better than those that had to do with Warde's domestic entanglements and the deterioration of his character. And the climax seemed inadequate to the point of bathos. But there is much in the tale to enjoy; and you might read it if only for a vivid word-picture of what Berlin used to be like before the beginning of the great debacle. This has now ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, November 11, 1914 • Various

... clear spirit that doth to heaven upraise, Let Sam to dive into what Byron calls The hell of waters. For the sake of praise, He wooed the bathos down great waterfalls; The dizzy precipice, which the eye appals Of travelers for pleasure, Samuel found Pleasant as are to women lighted halls, Crammed full of fools and fiddles; to the sound Of the eternal roar, he ...
— Masterpieces Of American Wit And Humor • Thomas L. Masson (Editor)

... O, the sublime bathos of thy prosaism—the muddy eddy of thy logic! Thou art the only man ...
— The Literary Remains Of Samuel Taylor Coleridge • Edited By Henry Nelson Coleridge

... myself that it indicated the only satisfactory termination to the brief drama of the night. I attempted to see the affair as a slightly ridiculous episode that had occupied exactly twelve hours and ended with an inevitable bathos. I pictured the return of a disgraced and penitent Brenda, and the temporary re-employment, as an antidote to gossip, of the defeated Banks. They would be parted, of course. She might be taken abroad, or to Scotland, and by the time she returned, he would have been sent back to the ...
— The Jervaise Comedy • J. D. Beresford

... this is, Mr. Stephens can make the force of bathos go a little further. The passage continues ("a pause" intervening, to allow breathing ime, after the splitting pace with which Love has been riding upon ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... too clearly foresee the hopeless bathos of the end. Poor child, her real, deep sorrows, expressed in such worn-out ill-fitting phrases, are as little touching as the beauty of a London shopgirl under the ready-made cast-off adornments of her ...
— Emily Bront • A. Mary F. (Agnes Mary Frances) Robinson

... bathos in the second couplet after the first. It would be difficult for a modern critic to accept that verdict altogether; nevertheless his objection to the first couplet as a description of physical vision is surely sound. And it is interesting to note that the objection has been ...
— Aspects of Literature • J. Middleton Murry



Words linked to "Bathos" :   expressive style, anticlimax, story, sentimentality, style, conclusion, close, end, ending, closing



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