Friday, December 17, 2010

The Friday Figure

I have been derelict in my duty, not posting a Friday Figure in a few weeks.  But here is this week's Friday Figure, from Matthew's gospel.
Matt. 7:2 ἐν ᾧ γὰρ κρίματι κρίνετε κριθήσεσθε, καὶ ἐν ᾧ μέτρῳ μετρεῖτε μετρηθήσεται ὑμῖν.
en ho gar krimati krinete krithesesthe, kai en ho metro metreite metrethesetai humin
for with the judgment you judge, you will be judged, and with the measure you measure out it will be measured to you. 
 This verse has two examples of the figure paronomasia, which the Rhetorica ad Herennium defines as:
"The figure in which by modification of sound or a change in letters, there is a close resemblance between verb or noun, so that similar words mean dissimilar things" (Ps-Cicero, Rhet. Her, 4.21.29-4.23.32). 
I have tried to translate this verse to keep some of the figure.  In this case, the words that are similar are the three words dealing with judgment and the three words dealing with measurement.  In English, even trying to keep the figure does not quite replicate the Greek language.  In the Greek, all three words that are similar come in direct succession with no intervening words.  This makes for a nice ornamental effect that is unfortunately impossible to reproduce in translation. 

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