What is Apoplanesis?

Apoplanesis (derives from Greek, meaning “a leading astray”) is a figure of digression, a kind of aversion or turning away, and which consists when the speaker promises to address the issue at hand but soon evading it by digressing off the subject.

Apoplanesis, typically denotes a sort of stratagem, wherein the speaker leads astray the mind of his hearer, from the matter or question in hand, which make much against him or being too difficult to answer. He rather promises to address the issue in another instance, but quickly evading it by digressing from the matter.

A Classic Example:

  1. You all have been asking about my stance on this war, and I will answer. In fact all these questions you have been asking have been good, to the point, and really give me an opportunity to address the pressing issues facing our great nation.
Important Hint! 

The apoplanesis with its rhetorical prowess is suitable in two contexts: the one is where the Orator make an evasion or escape from a difficult objection, or when the cause of the Orator is weak, and not able to abide the uttermost trial. The second context where the apoplanesis may be invoked, is a sorrowful situation, where the Orator tries to assuage sorrow by leading the mind of the mourner from the matter of grief to rather pacific matters.

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