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An ‘ornament’ of the sense or sound of a word. In classical Indian literary theory alaṃkāra refers specifically to the skilful use of poetic figures of speech, based on image-building and suggestion, including metaphor, simile, and punning. Sanskrit critics subjected this to an extensive and subtle analysis, producing a catalogue of around one hundred stock tropes, which both reflected and encouraged the creation of an exceptionally ornate and complicated poetry.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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