Epiphora, also known as “epistrophe,” is a stylistic tool wherein a phrase or a phrase is repeated at the ends of successive clauses. Examples of epiphora are no longer best discovered in literary pieces, but debates and persuasive writings are also rich with epiphora examples.
Epiphora and Anaphora
Epiphora is an actual counterpart of another parent of speech, anaphora. An anaphora is repetition of the first part of successive sentences, while in an epiphora repetition occurs within the last part of successive clauses and sentences. For instance, “Every day, each night, in every way, I am getting better and higher” is an example of anaphora, because the word “every” is repeated in the successive clauses.
The sentence, “I am an American, he is an American, and anybody here is an American,” reveals epiphora, because the repetition is in the last a part of the successive clauses. Despite being one of a kind of their structures, each anaphora and epiphora have the same feature of laying emphasis on a selected point.
Examples of Epiphora in Literature
Example #1: The Tempest (By William Shakespeare)
“Hourly joys be nevertheless upon you! Juno sings her advantages on you … Scarcity and want shall shun you, Ceres’ blessing so is on you.”
Here, Shakespeare wants to carry the significance of “you” through the usage of epiphora.
Example #2: Romeo and Juliet (By William Shakespeare)
“Fie, fie, thou shamest thy shape, thy love, thy wit,
Which, like a userer, abound’st in all,
And uses none in that authentic feel indeed
Which ought to bedeck thy shape, thy love, thy wit.”
Again, Shakespeare is at his first-class in the usage of epiphora, because the phrase “thy shape, thy love, thy wit” comes twice within four lines. It puts plenty emphasis on three of Romeo’s attributes. Friar Laurence is at his best whilst he speaks this dialogue.
Example #3: Merchant of Venice (By William Shakespeare)
If you did recognise to whom I gave the ring,
If you did understand for whom I gave the ring
And would conceive for what I gave the ring
And how unwillingly I left the ring,
When nought might be accepted but the ring,
You might abate the strength of your displeasure.”
“If you had recognized the distinctive feature of the ring,
Or 1/2 her worthiness that gave the ring,
Or your own honor to contain the ring,
You could no longer then have parted with the ring.”
Shakespeare performed with the phrase “the ring” in his well-known play The Merchant of Venice. He makes both of his characters use the same word time and again of their dialogues.
Example #4: King Henry VI (By William Shakespeare)
“Then, considering that this earth provides no pleasure to me
But to command, to check, to o’erbear such
As are of higher person than myself,
I’ll make my heaven to dream upon the crown;
And, whiles I live, to account this world but hell,
Until my mis-shap’d trunk that bears this head
Be spherical impaled with an excellent crown.
And yet I understand not a way to get the crown,
For many lives stand among me and home.”
Shakespeare performs with the phrase “crown,” to emphasize his point here that it's far crucial for the speaker.
Example #5: Merchant of Venice (By William Shakespeare)
“I’m a Pepper, he’s a Pepper, she’s a Pepper, we’re a Pepper. Wouldn’t you want to be a Pepper, too? Dr. Pepper.”
This is an advertising and marketing jingle for the Dr. Pepper gentle drink. The word “a Pepper” has been repeated in all the phrases, to emphasise the point for clients that they need to join the Dr. Pepper bandwagon.
Function of Epiphora
Epiphora, or epistrophe, is a literary device that serves the feature of furnishing an artistic effect to passages, in both poetry and prose. It lays emphasis on a specific idea, in addition to giving a completely unique rhythm to the text, which consequently turns into a pleasurable revel in for the readers. That is the reason that it's far without difficulty understood and memorized, and simpler to comprehend. As a rhetorical or stylistic device, epiphora is introduced into movement to enchantment to the feelings of the target audience in order to steer them.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw