Hendiadys is a figure of speech in which a complex idea is expressed by two nouns connected together by the conjunction ‘and’. One of them gets the force of an adjective, and a complex idea, which might have been expressed by a noun, qualified by an adjective, is conveyed.
The word hendiadys has come from Greek ‘hen dia duoin’, meaning ‘one thing by two’. This figure relates to the expression of one thing, idea, or fact by two words, joined by ‘and’.
Feature of Hendiadys:
The essential features of this figure are :
(i) There are two nouns.
(ii) These two nouns are connected by ‘and’.
(iii) One of the nouns gets the force of an adjective.
(iv) A complex idea, which might have been expressed by a noun, qualified by an adjective, is stated.
(i) The hall was full of melody and misses.
This is a hendiadys. Here, two nouns, ‘melody’ and ‘misses’, are connected by ‘and’. The first noun ‘melody’ acts as an adjective and a complex idea ‘melodious misses’ is expressed.
(ii) She is dressed in gold and ornaments.
This is also an instance of Hendiadys. In this case, the two nouns ‘gold’ and ‘ornaments’ are connected by ‘and’. The first noun ‘gold’ assumes the force of an adjective to express the complex ideas-golden ornaments
(iii) Perfume and flowers fell in showers.
This is Hendiadys. Here ‘perfume’ and ‘flowers’ are two nouns, connected by ‘and’. The noun ‘perfume’ assumes the force of an adjective to express a complex idea, ‘perfumed flowers’.
(iv) We pour wine from goblets and gold.
Here two nouns, ‘goblets’ and ‘gold’, are joined by ‘and. One of the nouns ‘gold’ acts as an adjective, and a complex idea ‘golden goblets’ is expressed.
(v) He drew audience and attention.
Here the two nouns are ‘audience’ and ‘attention’. And the noun ‘audience’ acts as an objective and the complex idea ‘attentive audience’ is expressed.
(iv) Life and sufferings.
This is also an instance of Hendiadys. The idea of ‘suffering life’ is expressed by joining the two nouns joined, where the noun ‘life’ acts as an adjective.