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Definition & Examples of Syngnome

Syngnome is a form of speech which prevails when the orator or speaker being a sufferer of many and great injuries, or of some form of injustice, shows mercy or clemency, and pronounces pardon and forgiveness to his adversary, who was the mastermind of all his tragedies.

A notable example for this figure will be:

An example of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of calvary, offering his last prayer for his enemies, saying:

  1. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

    — Luc.3.34.

  2. Another of Steven the Martyr at his death, who cried with a loud voice, saying:

  3. “Lord lay not this sin to their charge.”

    — 2.Cor.2.10.


PeachamOpens in new window in his Garden of Eloquence, termed this trope as “doth aptly serve to commend the clemency, charity and mercy of the speaker,” but adds a cautionary clause, that “foolish pity, undoeth many a city” (98). Hence, It should be used with care and utmost wisdom to take heed, so that forgiveness is not given, where punishment or correction ought to be dispensed, for such leniency and aptness to forgive, is the manifest supporting of impunity.

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