by Adam Huddleston


This week’s literary term is: meiosis. In the field of biology, it refers to the division of one cell into gamete (sex) cells. In literature, it is defined as the use of understatement to make a specific point or highlight a situation.

For example, when the character Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet is mortally wounded, he states “ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch…” This understatement contrasts with the severity of his injury. Meiosis is often used to give an ironic effect.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to incorporate this into your written works. Happy writing!

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