Figure Name schematismus
Source Silva Rhetoricae (; Peacham 1593
Earliest Source None
Synonyms scemaismus
Etymology None
Type Chroma
Linguistic Domain Semantic

1. Concealing a meaning by using figurative language, either out of necessity or for humor's sake. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. Scemaismus, when the Orator propoundeth his meaning by a circuite of speech, wherin he would have ye understoode by a certaine suspicion which he doth not speake, and that for 3. special causes.

a) For safetie sake: As when it is undecent to be speake directly and openly.

b) For modestie and good manners sake: As when it is undecent to be spoken plainly.

c) For delectation sake and grace of the hearer, as when it may bring greater delight under the figurative shadow, then by the plaine report and open shew. (Peacham)


2. a) If some good man for the love of justice and pittie of his countrey should take upon him to reprehend a tirant, and to remove him from his crueltie, to an equitie and mildnesse of government, he should venture upon a verie dangerous enterprise, more likelie to loose his life, then obtaine his purpose, as often experience hath prooved: Except the manner and forme of his handling the cause be with the greater wisedome premeditated, and the more circumspectly delivered. For Kinges and tirants which are mightie, are not wont, or can hardly heare their faultes and wickednesse, which they commit with patient mindes, but rather kindled with displeasure: goe not so soon in hand, to amend their errors, as to revenge his advertisement: And therfore he that shoudl take this dangerous enterprise in hand must doo it with a cunning shadow of speech, and not in the sight of the Sunne, I meane not openly and plainlie: for the naked truth doth often offend in a naked tale. (Peacham)

2. c) To delight the hearer by the grace of shadowed speech is very usuall among pleasant wittes and apt conceites: and therefore I judge it needlesse to exemplifie this part. Concerning the use and caution of this figure there is alreadie sufficiently said.

Kind Of
Part Of
Related Figures figures of obscuring
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Ashley Rose Kelly
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes LD moved to semantic
Reviewed No