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  Euphuism is an exaggeratedly fancy English style. It was invented by John Lyly for his novel Euphues (1578), and involves the use of abstruse classical allusion and figures of speech of every kind, particularly similes, extravagant metaphors, alliteration and assonance. Lyly\'s books were enormously popular and his style was widely imitated. Indeed, even Shakespeare (who sends it up in the utterances of Fluellen and Pistol in Henry V and the Sir-Topas swanking of Feste in Twelfth Night) was not immune to it. In later English literature, the most successful uses of it are Sir Thomas Urquhart\'s magnificently engorged, 17th-century translation of Rabelais, and the 19th-century, poetical extravagance of Swinburne and his imitators (such as James Elroy Flecker). It also underlies the dandified utterance of Restoration comedy, and is most satisfyingly mocked by Sheridan (for example in Mrs Malaprop\'s assaults on the language in The Rivals) and by Joyce (in the parodies of romantic literature in Ulysses). KMcL  



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