9 Epistrophe Examples That'll Stylize Your Writing! (+ Definition) (2023)

Do you know of any epistrophe examples?

You probably know more than you think…

“I’ma Pepper, he’sa Pepper, she’sa Pepper, we’rea Pepper.

Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too?”

The repetition ofa pepperin this commercial jingle is an epistrophe.

In this post, you’ll discover what an epistrophe is, see some examples, and learn how you can use this style of rhythmic repetition to capture the attention of your readers.

Let’s jump in!

9 Epistrophe Examples That'll Stylize Your Writing! (+ Definition) (1)

What is the Definition of Epistrophe?

Epistrophe (ih-pis-truh-fee)is a Greek word (epi +strophe), which means “turning upon.” Other words for epistrophe areepiphora andantistrophe.

Ever heard of it?

It’s a literary deviceyou can use to add emphasis to a word or phrase by repeating it at the end of two or more consecutive phrases or sentences, such as Lincoln’s:

“of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

Let’s look at another example:

Last week,I ate my favorite cookies.

Yesterday,I ate my favorite cookies.

And today,I ate my favorite cookies.

But epistrophe isn’t your only choice when it comes to literary repetition.

How is Epistrophe Different From Other Literary Repetition?

Repetition comprises a variety of literary devices you can use to add emphasis to your writing.

And remember: repetition packs a mega punch of memory power.

For example, is that Dr. Pepper jingle still repeating in your mind?

I’ma Pepper, he’sa Pepper, she’sa Pepper, we’rea Pepper

Many of us are familiar withthe literary terms, rhyming,alliteration,assonance, andconsonance, which use repetitive sounds to create a rhythmic flow that is pleasing to listeners and readers.

Epistrophe goes beyond rhyming by repeating the same word(s) at the end of successive phrases or sentences.

Let’s take a quick look at a similar technique called anaphora.

Epistrophe vs. Anaphora

Anaphora is another rhetorical device that uses repetition but at thebeginningof each phrase or sentence rather than at the end.

You is smart.

(Video) Writing Challenge: Use Anaphora, Epistrophe, and Anadiplosis in a Paragraph!

You is kind.

You isimportant.”

The Help, Kathryn Stockett

You could avoid the successive clauses and say, “You are kind, smart, and important.”

But it would lack the deeper emotional impact of anaphora.

Anaphora + Epistrophe = Symploce

InSymploce, you use the repeated word, clause, or phrase at both the beginning and the end of your phrases, like in this ancient Hebrew blessing:

“The Lordbless you and keepyou.

The Lordmake His face to shine uponyou,and be gracious toyou.

The Lordlift up His countenance uponyou, and give you peace.”

— Numbers 6:24-26

Now, let’s look at a few more examples of epistrophe.

Epistrophe Examples From Famous Speeches

Wouldn’t you love to have a technique that drives home the main points of your speech and makes them super easy to remember?

Political figures, or their speech writers, use epistrophe strategically to give listeners pleasant-sounding, rhyming repetition to help them remember their main points.

How many of these have you heard?

Gettysburg Address

“… and that government ofthe people, bythe people, and forthe peopleshall not perish from the earth.”

As Abraham Lincoln gave his famous speech to dedicate the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in 1863, he used repetition of “the people” to inspire his listeners and declare the American ideal of a government that is managed by us, the people.

Wittenberg College Speech

“For no government is better than the men who compose it, and I wantthe best, and we needthe best, and we deservethe best.”

John F. Kennedy used epistrophe to great effect by emphasizing that “the best” is what we want, need, and deserve.

We Shall Overcome

“There is no Negroproblem.

There is no Southernproblem.

There is no Northernproblem.

There is onlyan Americanproblem.”

When Lyndon B. Johnson addressed Congress in 1965, he used the dual repetition of “there is no” (anaphora) and “problem”(epistrophe) to emphasize his stunning conclusion with the contrasting words “There is only

Epistrophe Examples From Classic Literature

From the Bible to Walt Whitman toThe Grapes of Wrath, classic literature abounds in epistrophe.

This type of repetition gives us many of our favorite quotes from the books we read and the poetry we love.

Do you recognize any of these?

1 Corinthians 13:11

“When I was a child, I spokelike a child,

(Video) repetition

I thoughtlike a child,

I reasonedlike a child.

When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”

The well-quoted “Love Chapter” of the Bible uses the repetition of “like a child” to build a striking contrast between doing things the way a child would, and acting with maturity.

Song of Myself

“The moth and the fish eggs arein their place,

The bright suns I see and the dark suns I cannot see arein their place,

The palpable is in its place and the impalpable isin its place.”

Walt Whitman illustrates a few things that are “in their place” to indicate thatall thingsare in their place.

The Grapes of Wrath

“Wherever you can look – wherever there’s a fight, so hungry people can eat,I’ll be there.

Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy,I’ll be there.”

John Steinbeck used epistrophe to emphasize “I’ll be there” in this famous example.

Epistrophe Examples From Pop Culture

We all use repetition to emphasize our key thoughts. Yet, many of us don’t realize the variety of ways we can use it to improve our writing.

Epistrophe is especially effective in song lyrics, movie scripts, and commercial jingles.

Here are a few examples that show you how it works…

Lithium

9 Epistrophe Examples That'll Stylize Your Writing! (+ Definition) (2)

“I like it,I’m not gonna crack

I miss you,I’m not gonna crack

I love you,I’m not gonna crack

I killed you,I’m not gonna crack

Nirvana’s songwriter, Kurt Cobain, wrote a perfect description of manic depression in his song “Lithium,” including a bridge that uses repetition to make a series of impassioned declarations, ending with “I’m not gonna crack.”

The Breakfast Club

9 Epistrophe Examples That'll Stylize Your Writing! (+ Definition) (3)

(Video) AP Lang Exam Format | What is on the AP Lang Exam? | Coach Hall Writes

“Don’t you ever talk aboutmy friends!

You don’t know any ofmy friends.

You don’t look at any ofmy friends.

And you certainly wouldn’t condescend to speak to any ofmy friends.”

In this 1985 American coming-of-age movie, the character John Bender uses repetition of “my friends” to express his deep anger about how others judge his friends.

Dr. Pepper Jingle

9 Epistrophe Examples That'll Stylize Your Writing! (+ Definition) (4)

And who could forget this classic commercial jingle for Dr. Pepper?

“I’m aPepper, he’s aPepper, she’s aPepper, we’re aPepper.

Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too?”

You just sang that, right?

Reasons to Use Epistrophe in Your Writing

The function of epistrophe is to add emphasis to an idea, a thought, or a passage.

It is especially effective when the repeated idea is one that concerns your readers.

Or when it strikes a stark contrast to the last line or next thought. (See above examples:We Will Overcome, 1 Corinthians 13:11)

It is a powerful tool in storytelling or persuasive writing that can lift your writing up to a higher level.

Writers use epistrophe to:

  • Add emphasis
  • Deepen emotional impact
  • Create a sense of rhythm and pacing
  • Evoke moods and emotions
  • Make their words more memorable

Are you ready to try it?

Let’s take a look at how to put epistrophe into action.

How To Use Epistrophe in Writing

You’ll need to choose a key point you want to boost into a moment of emotional impact. A climax or a turning point.

You can’t emphasize everything. So, remember to use repetition sparingly.

You don’t want to turn a great motivational story into a sing-songy mess.

(Video) Antanaclasis

So, let’s get to it!

You could describe some delicious food like this:

“The steak, potatoes, vegetables, and dessert were all delicious.”

Or…

You can use epistrophe to make the food imagerysuper powerful and memorable.

“The steak wasdelicious.

The potatoes weredelicious.

The vegetables weredelicious.

And I almost stopped breathing when I saw the killer dessert.”

Here’s another example of a simple sentence:

“It’s time to heal the wounds and bridge the chasms that divide us.”

Nelson Mandela used epistrophe to say it like this:

“The time for the healing of the woundshas come.

The moment to bridge the chasms that divide ushas come.”

And that’s the power of epistrophe!

Other Resources on Epistrophe For Further Study

If you’re interested in diving deeper into epistrophe, check out the resources linked below:

What are Your Favorite Epistrophe Examples?

Now that you’ve seen some epic examples of epistrophe, which is your favorite?

Are you aPepper?

Do you thinklike a child?

Are yougonna crack?

Now that you knowhow to add repetition to your writing,give epistrophe a try.

Now that you knowyour writing can have a deeper emotional impact that engages your readers,give epistrophe a try!

Now that you knowhow to emphasize your key ideas, and make your words more memorable,give epistrophe a try!

After all, you’re aPepper. You don’t thinklike a child. And you’re notgonna crack.

FAQs

What is an example of epistrophe in writing? ›

Epistrophe is a rhetorical device where the repetition of a word appears at the end of successive clauses or sentences. Writers use this rhetorical technique of repeating a word or phrase in order to place emphasis on the repeated phrase. Example of an Epistrophe: I can't believe I was robbed.

What is the purpose of epistrophe in writing? ›

The repetition of words at the end of successive phrases, clauses, or sentences leaves a strong impression on readers. Epistrophe is used both in fiction and nonfiction. It can add emphasis to an idea (as it did in Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech), make a poem more memorable, help unify a work of fiction, and more.

What part of the sentence does epistrophe repeat? ›

Epistrophe is the repetition of one or more words at the end of a phrase, clause, verse, or sentence. This type of rhetorical device is also referred to as "epiphora." The reverse of an epistrophe is an anaphora, which is the repetition of words at the beginning of a phrase, clause, verse, or sentence.

What is an example of a epiphora in literature? ›

by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. In this case, Lincoln repeats “the people” at the end of three successive clauses.

What are anaphora 5 examples? ›

Anaphora in Literature and Film

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

What is another word for epistrophe? ›

Epistrophe (Greek: ἐπιστροφή, "return") is the repetition of the same word or words at the end of successive phrases, clauses or sentences. It is also known as epiphora and occasionally as antistrophe. It is a figure of speech and the counterpart of anaphora.

What part of speech is an epistrophe? ›

What is epistrophe? Here's a quick and simple definition: Epistrophe is a figure of speech in which one or more words repeat at the end of successive phrases, clauses, or sentences.

Why do writers use epiphora? ›

Anaphora is deliberate repetition. It serves a purpose – to evoke emotion, drive emphasis, or nudge readers towards their own emotional imagining. If multiple uses of a word or phrase aren't serving artistry, recast the sentence.

What is a epistrophe sentence? ›

The repetition of words in Lincoln's address and Cobain's song are examples of a literary device called “epistrophe.” Derived from the ancient Greek word meaning “turning back upon,” epistrophe is the repetition of phrases or words in a set of clauses, sentences, or poetic lines.

What is the effect of epistrophe in the sentences? ›

Epistrophe is a rhetorical device that allows writers to easily emphasize key ideas by repeating words or phrases at the end of a series of sentences or clauses. Epistrophe serves the purpose of creating emphasis and creating rhythm. In this way, epistrophe helps to make words more memorable and artistic.

What is a epiphora definition? ›

: a watering of the eyes due to excessive secretion of tears or to obstruction of the lacrimal passages.

What is anaphora and epiphora? ›

In rhetoric, an anaphora (Greek: ἀναφορά, "carrying back") is a rhetorical device that consists of repeating a sequence of words at the beginnings of neighboring clauses, thereby lending them emphasis. In contrast, an epistrophe (or epiphora) is repeating words at the clauses' ends.

What is epiphora tearing? ›

Epiphora, or excessive tearing, is defined as the overflow of tears from one or both eyes. Epiphora can occur continuously (be present all the time), or it can occur intermittently (be present only sometimes). Epiphora is subdivided into two main categories: overproduction of tears or inadequate drainage of tears.

What are 5 examples of antithesis? ›

Some Common Examples of Antithesis

Keep your mouth closed and your eyes open. Speech is silver, but silence is gold. Keep your friends close; keep your enemies closer. Money is the root of all evil: poverty is the fruit of all goodness.

Which word is an example of anaphora? ›

A well-known example of this may be found in the speech given by Winston Churchill to the House of Commons on June 4th, 1940: "We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air…" The anaphora may be contrasted with the epistrophe, ...

Is I Have a Dream an example of anaphora? ›

One of the most famous anaphora examples comes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s “I Have a Dream” speech. King uses the anaphoral phrase, “I have a dream,” to start eight consecutive sentences: I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi … will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

What is anaphora quizlet? ›

Anaphora. repetition of a word or phrase as the beginning of successive clauses. Ex: We shal fight on beaches, we shall fights in cars, we shall fight in fields. Asyndeton. leaving out conjunctions between words, phrases, clauses.

How do you use anaphora in a sentence? ›

Anaphora in a Sentence

1. The poem was a great example of anaphora as it started each line with the same three words. 2. In order to vary sentence variety, my teacher told me to stop using an anaphora at the start of each paragraph.

How do you use epiphora in a sentence? ›

The quotation below is an example of epiphora. "If you did know to whom I gave the ring, If you did know for whom I gave the ring, And would conceive for what I gave the ring..."

What is the difference between repetition and epistrophe? ›

Anaphora and epistrophe both implement artistic use of repetition in sentences, clauses, or phrases; however, anaphora places the repetition at the beginning of the sentence, clause, or phrase, while epistrophe positions the repetition at the end of one.

What is it called when sentences start with the same word? ›

Anaphora (an-NAF-ruh): Figure of repetition that occurs when the first word or set of words in one sentence, clause, or phrase is/are repeated at or very near the beginning of successive sentences, clauses, or phrases; repetition of the initial word(s) over successive phrases or clauses.

How do you describe a teary eye in writing? ›

Tears stream and streak, glint and glisten, flee and flow, prickle and trickle. They slip, slide, run, roll, seemingly unstoppable. Tears blur vision, soak hair, get wiped, get blinked. But some tears are unshed, unspent, unspilled, or unspecified.

How do you describe teary eyes in creative writing? ›

I felt cold tears start to stream down my face. A flood of tears gushed down her ashen cheeks. She swiped at her eyes but the tears came any way. He had wiped his eyes so much they were red and swollen.

What are some examples of Asyndeton? ›

What is Asyndeton? Asyndeton is a literary device that excludes conjunctions (and, or, but, for, nor, so, yet) to add emphasis. For example, Julius Caesar used asyndeton when he famously wrote, “Veni, Vidi, Vici” or “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

What are some examples of parallelism? ›

Parallel: She aspires to finish college and become an accountant. Not parallel: Lily likes eating M&Ms and to binge-watch series on Netflix. Parallel: Lily likes eating M&Ms and binge-watching series on Netflix. Parallel: Lily likes to eat M&Ms and to binge-watch series on Netflix.

What are some examples of imagery? ›

Literal imagery uses descriptive words that mean exactly what they say. For example: “The grass was green, and the flowers were red.” Figurative imagery uses descriptive language that means something different than or goes beyond the literal definition of the words, often through exaggeration, comparison, or symbolism.

Are there 3 types of tears? ›

We cry to protect our eyes, to wash out irritants and because, well, we are moved to tears. “There are three types of tears: basal tears, emotional tears and reflex tears,” explains David Silverstone, M.D., a professor of ophthalmology at the Yale School of Medicine.

Which is the best example of anaphora? ›

Anaphora is a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences. For example, Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech contains anaphora: "So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

What does epiphora look like? ›

The most common clinical signs associated with epiphora are dampness or wetness beneath the eyes, reddish-brown staining of the fur beneath the eyes, odor, skin irritation, and skin infection. Many owners report that their cat's face is constantly damp, and they may even see tears rolling off their pet's face.

Is epiphora due to dry eyes? ›

Epiphora is an eye disease that causes the patient to experience watery eyes. The condition is usually a result of excessive production of aqueous (watery) tears or improper function or blockage of the tear drainage.

What is difference between anaphora and epistrophe? ›

Anaphora and epistrophe both implement artistic use of repetition in sentences, clauses, or phrases; however, anaphora places the repetition at the beginning of the sentence, clause, or phrase, while epistrophe positions the repetition at the end of one. Both devices are incorporated into prose as well as poetry.

When a sentence starts and ends with the same word? ›

A sentence that begins and ends with the same word – such as “Nice to see you; to see you nice!”– is called an epanadiplosis, according to Haggard Hawks, one of Twitter's best word-mavens.

What are the 5 examples of caesura? ›

Examples of Caesura

Are you nobody, too? Then there's a pair of us || – don't tell! They'd banish || – you know! Stand in the desert …

What is the definition asyndeton? ›

(ˌ)ā-ˈsin- : omission of the conjunctions that ordinarily join coordinate words or clauses (as in "I came, I saw, I conquered")

What does asyndeton mean in writing? ›

asyndeton, the omission of the conjunctions that ordinarily join coordinate words or clauses, as in the phrase “I came, I saw, I conquered” or in Matthew Arnold's poem The Scholar Gipsy: Related Topics: literature ...(Show more)

What is anaphora epistrophe? ›

Anaphora is the repetition of words or phrases in a group of sentences, clauses, or poetic lines. It is sort of like epistrophe, which I discussed in a previous video, except that the repetition in anaphora occurs at the beginning of these structures while the repetition in epistrophe occurs at the end.

What is a good sentence for tear? ›

Her eyes filled with tears. I just broke down and wept with tears of joy. I didn't shed a single tear. He was in floods of tears on the phone.

What is the sentence of eye to eye? ›

If two people see eye to eye, they agree with each other: My sisters don't see eye to eye with me about the arrangements. agreeWe agree on most things. be in agreementThe whole family is in agreement with her.

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