the opposite of hyperbole. It is a kind of irony that deliberately represents something as being much less than it really is. For example, Macbeth, having been nearly hysterical after killing Duncan, tells Lenox, “’Twas a rough night.”

Irish Nocturne
C. S. Lewis

Now the grey mist comes creeping up
From the waste ocean’s weedy strand
And fills the valley, as a cup
If filled of evil drink in a wizard’s hand;
And the trees fade out of sight,
Like dreary ghosts unhealthily,
Into the damp, pale night,
Till you almost think that a clearer eye could see
Some shape come up of a demon seeking apart
His meat, as Grendel sought in Harte
The thanes that sat by the wintry log—
Grendel or the shadowy mass
Of Balor, or the man with the face of clay,
The grey, grey walker who used to pass
Over the rock-arch nightly to his prey.
But here at the dumb, slow stream where the willows hang,
With never a wind to blow the mists apart,
Bitter and bitter it is for thee. O my heart,
Looking upon this land, where poets sang,
Thus with the dreary shroud
Unwholesome, over it spread,
And knowing the fog and the cloud
In her people’s heart and head
Even as it lies for ever upon her coasts
Making them dim and dreamy lest her sons should ever arise
And remember all their boasts;
For I know that the colourless skies
And the blurred horizons breed
Lonely desire and many words and brooding and never a deed.

“Irish Nocturne,” by C.S. Lewis, depicts an ominous atmosphere that holds the reader in a constant state of suspicion. The setting is heavily described with dark color and quiet adjectives. One such device that heavily contributes to Lewis’ style is the use of understatements. The line, “With never a wind to blow the mists apart,” is an obvious fictitious statement. However, the blatantly unexaggerated term helps make the setting seem even more unreal and eerie.

Link: Thunder Abatement

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell."

~C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis

        Lewis was an author, a scholar of English literature and a famous Christian apologist. The son of a lawyer, Lewis grew up in Ireland at a time when northern Ireland was not torn by the bitter strife which would eventually come to characterize its religious situation. Early on he developed a love for reading and learning. He rejected Christianity at an early age, deciding that Christian myths were inferior to others in the world and that the Christian god, if it existed, must be a sadist. 
        After a year of study at University College in Oxford, C.S. Lewis volunteered for the trenches of France. At first Lewis enjoyed the close camaraderie of the army, but his idealistic beliefs would be shattered by the death and suffering he witnessed. World War I undermined the progressive ideals of many throughout Europe. 
         Upon his return he received top grades and was elected to an important teaching post at Magdalen College, also at Oxford. He remained at Oxford until 1955, when he accepted a teaching post at Cambridge. C.S. Lewis would later say that he was an atheist during his early years at Oxford, but began to move towards an evangelical flavor of Anglicanism due to his friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien. 
         His fame as an author came on two fronts. One was his fictional works, the most popular of which are the Chronicles of Narnia, seven books for young people which incorporate Christian themes and doctrines allegorically. The second front of his fame came from books openly written in defense of traditional Christianity. These include the popular The Screwtape Letters, a collection of letters of advice from a demon to his nephew, and the famous book Mere Christianity which began as a series of radio talks in 1941. 
         The sort of Christianity promoted by Lewis was unreservedly orthodox. He believed that too many church leaders had watered down traditional Christianity in order to accommodate it to the modern, scientific age. Instead practical tips and platitudes, Lewis emphasized orthodox Christian conceptions of sin, redemption, hell, atonement, resurrection, and miracles.
         C.S. Lewis doesn't talk down to his audience (his audience of believers — he’s quite nasty to nonbelievers). Instead, he writes for the average person rather than for philosophers and theologians. He was himself a trained academic, but eschewed jargon and complicated arguments in favor a simplified, unadorned prose that was consciously designed to appeal to the average person. 
         Because of all this, Lewis’ works have become standard reading for Christians in the United States. It also helps that, although an Anglican, Lewis didn’t focus much on church doctrine. His emphasis on a basic sort of Christianity allowed his appeal to spread to adherents of many denominations. 
          He was quite open about his goal being to get people to accept Christianity without caring about what denomination they entered, but this is problematic. The name of his most famous apologetic work, Mere Christianity, is a misnomer: there is no such thing as "mere" Christianity. Every denomination has doctrines which it insists are vital but which others insist aren’t — or are even false. 
          One of the consequences of his simple style is that his arguments have extensive flaws in their logic and reasoning. His writings may serve as an introduction to Christian doctrines, but anyone who relies extensively upon them will be ill-served in any serious discussion about Christian theology or religious philosophy.