Epistrophe Examples


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.

Examples of Epistrophe:

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.

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Literary Terms Examples