Figure Name deesis
Source Silva Rhetoricae (; Macbeth (1876) ("oath," "adjuration"); De Mille (1882) ("adjuration"); Bullinger (1898) ("deasis; or, adjuration")
Earliest Source None
Synonyms deasis, obsecratio, obtestacio, obtestacion, adjuration, oath
Etymology None
Type Chroma
Linguistic Domain

1. An adjuration or calling to witness; or, the vehement expression of desire put in terms of "for someone's sake" or "for God's sake." (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. Oath, or Adjuration, deserves a separate place, as many another object besides the Deity may be sworn by. (Macbeth)

3. 6th. Adjuration-oath. Under this head may also be included all forms of oath and adjuration. These are associated with strong emotion, and are not uncommon in poetry and oratory. The most famous example is the Oath of Demosthenes by those who fought at Marathon, quoted elsewhere. (De Mille)

4. An Expression of Feeling by Oath or Asseveration... The figure is used when the speaker or writer calls God or heaven to witness to the truth of what is said, or to the facts which he states. (Bullinger, 912)


1. For God's sake hold your tongue and let me love... (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. "For, by the sacred radiance of the sun,
The mysteries of Hecate and the night;
By all the operations of the orbs
From whom we do exist and cease to be,
Here I disclaim all my paternal care!"
- Shakespeare, "King Lear." (Macbeth)

4. For examples, see Deut. 4:26; 30:19. 2 Sam 20:20. Job. 27:5. Isa. 14:24; 62:8. Jer. 22:5; 27:5. Ezek. 5:11; 33:11; 34:8. Acts. 20:26, (Bullinger, 912)

Kind Of
Part Of
Related Figures figures of pathos
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Ioanna Malton
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes Please be sure to paste entire definition. Also, please be sure not to include open quotation marks if you're not going to close them. We have no been including topics of invention.
Reviewed No