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[46] But in the figurative form of irony the speaker disguises his entire meaning, the disguise being apparent rather than confessed. For in the trope the conflict is purely verbal, while in the figure the meaning, and sometimes the whole aspect of our case, conflicts with the language and the tone of voice adopted; nay, a man's whole life may be coloured with irony, as was the case with Socrates, who was called an ironist because he assumed the role of an ignorant man lost in wonder at the wisdom of others. Thus, as continued metaphor develops into allegory, so a sustained series of tropes develops into this figure.

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load focus Introduction (Harold Edgeworth Butler, 1922)
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