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Figure of Speech

Epistrophe Examples

It is annoying when someone tends to repeat a thing constantly, be it a truth, habits, scolding, advice or lectures. If you give it a thought, you will know that it is not meant to make you feel annoyed, but to emphasize a point or an important view, which the speaker wants to convey. In case of English, epistrophe is used as a means to draw your focus to the actual meaning of it. Epistrophe is a rhetorical terms for the repetition of a word or a phrase used at the end of a clause or a sentence. Epistrophe also has other names like epiphora or antistrophe. When observed keenly, the use of ephistrophe examples create a particular pattern and gives rise to an ease of familiarity. The pattern sounds rhyming and often preferred by poets and lyricists to spice up their works. It is certain that the repeated words capture your attention and make you think of it in every way – logically and illogically. The rhetorical function of an epistrophe is to provide a striking emphasis to a thought or the passage. These simple words when repeated make it easy for even a schoolchild to learn it by heart. Explore epistrophe examples for a clearer understanding of the subject.

Epistrophe Examples In Literature

  • … this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. – Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Addres – Romans 8:31(Bible)
  • I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream
  • …If God is for us, who can be against us? – Deuteronomy 32:10(Bible)
  • In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye – 1 Corinthians 13:11 (KJV)(Bible)
  • When I was a child, I spoke as a child; I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
  • “The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divides us has come.”– Nelson Mandela,
  • “The minister who has been called by God, ordained by God, appointed by God, and anointed by God, is assumed guilty until proven innocent.”– Ravi Zacharias
  • “Caesar has his province: there are laws which govern property, maritime law, fiscal law, theological law — which determines the lengths of robes and so forth.” – Timothy Leary, LSD: Methods of Control
  • Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. – 2 Cor. xi. 22
  • The time is now, the need is now, we must act, now!
  • “Where now? Who now? When now?” – Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable
  • “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” – Bill Clinton
  • Are we downhearted? – No we are not! Are we defeated? – No we are not! Are we depressed? – No we are not!
  • We are born to sorrow, pass our time in sorrow, end our days insorrow.
  • “I’ll have my bond!
  • In a desert land he found him; And in the waste howling wilderness, about, he led him; He instructedhim; As the apple of His eye He kept him. (Bible)
  • “Perhaps this is the most important thing for me to take back from beach-living: simply the memory that each cycle of the tide is valid, each cycle of the wave is valid,each cycle of a relationship is valid.” Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Epistrophe Examples In Poems

  • “Hourly joys be still upon you!
  • Juno sings her blessings upon you.” – The Tempest by William Shakespeare
  • The moth and the fish eggs are in their place,
  • The bright suns I see and the dark suns I cannot see are in their place,
  • The palpable is in its place and the impalpable is in its place. – Whitman’s Song of Myself
  • Bassanio: Sweet Portia, 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 And how unwillingly I left the ring, When nought would be accepted but the ring, You would abate the strength of your displeasure. Portia: If you had known the virtue of the ring, Or half her worthiness that gave the ring, Or your own honor to contain the ring, You would not then have parted with the ring. – William Shakespeare
  • “There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem.” – Lyndon B. Johnson in “We Shall Overcome”
  • She is a woman, therefore may be woo’d; She is a woman, therefore may be won; She isLavinia, therefore must be lov’d. – Shakespeare
  • “Johnny Johnny, Yes Papa Eating sugar, No papa, Telling Lies, No papa, Open your mouth, Hahaha”

Epistrophe Examples In Songs

  • Black Eyed Peas “Meet Me Half Way”
  • Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip: “Thous Shalt Always Kill”
  • The Ketchup Song – Las Ketchup
  • Nickelback – Far Away
  • Tonight I Wanna Cry – Keith Urban
  • Tears – Rush
  • So Sick Of Love Songs – Neyo
  • Single Ladies – Beyonce
  • The Other Side Of The Door – Taylor Swift
  • Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word – Elton John
  • Bad Day – Carmel

The word epistrophe is derived from the Greek word etymology, which means ‘turning about’. It is like hammering the word in your head where it stays in your mind whenever you think of that line in the poem or even in a song. A classic example of this is the swearing oath in court – “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”.

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