Subjectio

An Introduction to Subjectio

Subjectio (derives from Latin, literally “appended support” ), is a figure of speechOpens in new window which consists when the questioner suggests the answer to his or her own question.

This Figure is known to be a Latin term for AnthypophoraOpens in new window. Nevertheless, in the quest to differentiate the Subjectio from HypophoraOpens in new window, I would emphasize the word suggests to distinguish between these two (the latter is definitive and assertive in its answer rather than being suggestive as the former).

Example of Subjectio

To give an example of this figure, I paraphrase Brett Zimmerman, ‘subjectio, by its tone, can imply more diffidence, but it can as well implies insolence:

  • “Why was Frederick W. Thomas insulted with a place as the author of one song, among the miscellaneous writers, after his having been written to, and ‘his biography and best articles’ solicited? Was it not because he did not obey your dictatorial and impertinent request to write for you the biography of Mrs. Welby?”’
Further Readings:
Silver Rhetoricae, Figures | SubjectioOpens in new window
Brett Zimmerman, Edgar Allan Poe: Rhetoric and Style | Subjectio (94)Opens in new window