Figure Name paradigma
Source Silva Rhetoricae (; Bede 618; Peacham (1577) U2v; Putt. (1589) 252 ("paradigma," "resemblance by example"); Day 1599 100; Peacham 1593
Earliest Source None
Synonyms example, resemblance by example, exemplum
Etymology Gk. "a showing side by side"
Type Chroma
Linguistic Domain Semantic

1. An argument from example whose purpose is to exhort or dissuade. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. Paradigma is the same which the Latines called Exemplum, and we in English an example, and in Rhetoricke it is called the rehearsall of a deede or saying past and applying of it to our purpose, whereof there be two kindes, the one true which is taken from Chronicles & Histories of credit, and it is of great force to moove, perswade, and enflame men with the love of vertue, and also most mightie to deterre and disswade them from vice: It is also used not onely to confirme matters, but even to augment, enrich, bewtifie, and garnish them with much comelinesse. (Peacham)


2. Examples which are usually applied in these respects, be either like, unlike, or contrarie, and therefore they are used commonly in a comparative forme, and being aptly compared, and fitly applied, they present to the view and contemplation of our minde, the true of lively Image of time past, for by them it is that we know and see what was done long before our birth, not onely at home, but also in countries far distant from us, for by histories and memorials of deedes done and saying uttered, which are the fountaines from whence we take our examples: we behold ancient deedes and sayings of antiquitie, not as past but as present, Princes, Patriarchs, Prophets, tirants wise men and fooles, holie and wicked, not as dead, but as living, ruling, teaching, doing or speaking, everie one following the inclination of his will, either directed by godly wisedome, or seduced by ignorance, and malice.

These are they whom wee diligently looke uppon with the eies of our mindes, and also deepely considering both what they were, what they did, what they received, and what they suffered: if they were Kinges how they ruled and governed, if Patriarches how they lived, if wisemen what they said, if fooles, what they committed, if godly what they reaped, and also if wicked, how and in what manner they were punished, whereby wee do plainly appeareth, that there is a most just justice in GOD, by whose wisedome, love, favour and mercie good men are protected, advanced, and made happie: and contrariwise, the evill and wicked by his judgement and power are justly punished.

These and other such like frutes we reape by the benefit of examples, and therefore their use in doctrine is to be greatly commended, so be it, that they be aptly applyed and truely expressed, for they instruct plainly, move mightily, & perswade effectually. Finallie, their use is generall, for they are in their natures and severall properties apt to enrich, garnish, confirme and amplifie any matter or cause be it never so great, so grave, or so excellent. Thus much for the use and commendation of examples. (Peacham)

Kind Of
Part Of
Related Figures icon, parabola, paradigma
Notes Bede calls it a kind of homoeosis. Sources: Bede 618; Peacham (1577) U2v; Putt. (1589) 252 ("paradigma," "resemblance by example"); Day 1599 100
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Ashley Rose Kelly
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes Please include ALL synonyms listed in SR for consistency. Indicate "type". List the related figures in SR. (I've corrected these problems in this entry, but please follow the instructions in the help file in future). - ark
Reviewed No