Metaphorical Epithets and Their Stylistic Functions



This article is devoted to the study of stylistic functions of metaphorical epithets in a poetic text. Many works are devoted to metaphor, which apparently occupies the main place among the linguistic means of expressing images. However, the question of the stylistic functions of metaphorical epithets is still not fully clarified. One of the laws of language development is manifested in the metaphorization of words, but the metaphorical meaning of a word is manifested only in context, thanks to the movement of the word into a new lexical environment. According to the established scientific tradition, it is customary to distinguish between general-language and individual-author metaphorization, while the functions of general-language and individual-author (poetic) metaphors are different: through general-language metaphorization, first of all, the expansion of the meaning of a word is achieved; in a poetic text, a metaphor gives a condensed characteristic of a particular subject, often claiming to penetrate into its essence, and it is aimed at revealing his individuality. The quality of metaphorical formations is also influenced by the genre in which the literary work is created. Depending on the genre and style of the work, there are not only techniques, but also means of metaphorization. Artistic methods also impose a certain seal on metaphorization. Analysis of metaphorical epithets in the light of the stated general provisions on metaphor and the essence of metaphorization based on the poems of A.S. Pushkin "The Caucasian Prisoner", M.Y. Lermontov "Mtsyri", I.S. Nikitin "Kulak" and N.A. Nekrasov's "Frost, Red Nose" showed that metaphorical epithets can be created by qualitative and relative adjectives. At the same time, common-language metaphorical epithets most often represent stable expressions of a living spoken language and thus indicate the nationality of the language, emphasize the national specifics of the works. In the creation of individual metaphorical epithets, the innovation of poets in the field of metaphorical creativity is clearly manifested, and a significant increase in the proportion of evaluative metaphorical epithets in the poems of Nikitin and Nekrasov, compared with the poems of Pushkin and Lermontov, is an undeniable consequence of their social orientation.

General Information

Keywords: metaphor, epithet, stylistic functions, metaphorical meaning, general language metaphorization, individual author's metaphorization

Journal rubric: World Literature. Textology

Article type: scientific article


Received: 14.06.2022


For citation: Murashkina O.V., Dedova О.M., Kornev V.A. Metaphorical Epithets and Their Stylistic Functions [Elektronnyi resurs]. Âzyk i tekst = Language and Text, 2022. Vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 22–35. DOI: 10.17759/langt.2022090203. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Olga V. Murashkina, PhD in Philology, Associate Professor of the Department of Language Training of Public Administration Personnel, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Оlga M. Dedova, PhD in Philology, Associate Professor, Head of the Department of the Russian Language, Voronezh state medical University. N. N. Burdenko, Voronezh, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Vladimir A. Kornev, PhD in Philology, Docent, Associate Professor, Senior Lecturer of the Russian Language Department, Voronezh State Medical University. N. N. Burdenko, Voronezh, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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