The epithet is based on the interplay of emotive and logical meaning in an attributive word, phrase or even sentence, used to characterize an object and pointing out to the reader some of the properties or features of the object with the aim of giving an individual perception and evaluation of these features or properties.
Classification of Epithets
From the point of view of their compositional structure epithets may be divided into:
1) simple (adjectives, nouns, participles): e.g. He looked at them in animal panic.
2) compound: e.g. apple - faced man;
3) sentence and phrase epithets: e.g. It is his do - it - yourself attitude.
4) reversed epithets - composed of 2 nouns linked by an ofphrase: e.g. "a shadow of a smile";
Semantically according to I. Galperin.
1) associated with the noun following it, pointing to a feature which is essential to the objects they describe: dark forest; careful attention.
2) unassociated with the noun, epithets that add a feature which is unexpected and which strikes the reader: smiling sun, voiceless sounds.