Flattery (also called adulation or blandishment) is the act of giving excessive compliments, generally for the purpose of ingratiating oneself with the subject. Flattery often, but not always, connotes insincerity.
Historically, flattery has been used as a standard form of discourse when addressing a king or queen. In the
Renaissance, it was a common practice among writers to flatter the reigning monarch, as Edmund Spenserflattered Queen Elizabeth Iin " The Faerie Queene" and William Shakespeareflattered King James I in " Macbeth".
Flattery is also used in
pick-up lines used to attempt to initiate romantic courtship.
Most associations with flattery, however, are negative. Flatterers are sometimes described by pejorative phrases, such as "suck-up", "ass-kisser", or "brown-noser". Negative descriptions of flattery range at least as far back in history as
The Bible. In the Divine Comedy, Dante depicts flatterers wading in human excrement, stating that their words were the equivalent of excrement, in the 8th Circle of Hell.
An insincere flatterer is a
stock characterin many literary works. Examples include Wormtongue from J. R. R. Tolkien's " The Lord of the Rings", Goneriland Reganfrom " King Lear", and Iagofrom " Othello".
"To flatter" is also used to refer to artwork or clothing that makes the subject or wearer appear more attractive, as in:
:* The King was pleased with the portrait, as it was very flattering of his girth.:* I think I'll wear the green dress because it flatters my legs.
Shakespeare's sonnets#Dedication to Mr. W.H.
The Faerie Queene
Cape Flattery, disambiguation page,
* [http://www.pickuplinesgalore.com A Large collection of Flattering Pickup Lines]
* [http://www.giga-usa.com/gigaweb1/quotes2/qutopflatteryx001.htm Quotes about flattery]
* [http://www.laughinglarry.com/chat-up-lines/menu.html Pick Up Lines / Chat Up Lines]
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