Hold in centempt

“…he could be just as cutting to gushing devotees, who were unaware that he held in contempt the very flattery he demanded.”

I’m having difficulty understanding the black part. Can someone help explain? Thank you.

It does sound a bit contradictory. He wanted to be complimented, but at the same time he despised exaggerated or servile praise. At least this is how I understand it. Maybe someone else has a different interpretation.

Hi cooliegirly,

As usual Conchita has explained the sentence precisely. I could add a little. You said:

and you referred to:

Contempt is a word having the idea of complete disregard for someone/something or having a very low opinion of someone or something. The expression hold in cotempt ij your sentence therefore means he has a very low opinion of the excessive/insincere praise that he is receiving from his devoted followers. The addition of very suggests the exact or putting it another way exactly/precisely the falttery that he really wanted.

You might know that the opposite of hold in contempt is hold in high regard

One final comment: if you are in a court of law and you don’t follow the rules of the court, the judge can punish you for showing contempt of court.