Epistrophe is the repetition of words at the end of a clause or sentence. Authors use techniques like epistrophe to add rhythm and emphasis to their writing. When a word is repeated at the end of a clause or sentence, it brings attention to the word as important in the text.
May God bless you. May God keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you.
Face the dawn, fear the dawn, own the dawn.
Examples in Literature:
Brutus' speech in Julius Caesar includes examples of epistrophe:
There is tears for his love, joy for his fortune, honor for his valor, and death for his ambition. Who is here so base that would be a bondman? If any, speak-for him have I offended. Who is here so so rude that would not be a Roman? If any, speak-for him have I offended. Who is here so vile that would not love his country? If any, speak-for him have I offended.
1 Corinthians 13 also includes examples of epistrophe:
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
Many speeches use epistrophe, as Abraham Lincoln does in the "Gettysburg Address":
"government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Lyndon B. Johnson also used epistrophe in this speech:
There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem. And we are met here tonight as Americans-not as Democrats or Republicans-we are met here as Americans to solve that problem.
Literary Terms Examples