Epizeuxis is derived from the Greek word epizeugnumi, which means “fastening together.” It is defined as a rhetorical tool wherein the phrases or terms are repeated in short succession, one after another, for emphasis. It is likewise called “diacope.”
Difference Between Epistrophe, Anaphora and Epizeuxis
These three literary devices have a prime difference, in that epistrophe is the repetition of the words at the stop of successive sentences, such as “Where now? Who now? When now…” (The Unnamable, via Samuel Beckett). Whereas, anaphora is the reverse of epistrophe; it's miles a repetition of the phrases and terms at the start of successive sentences. The following is an instance of anaphora:
“This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings
This land of such expensive souls, this expensive pricey land,
(Richard II, with the aid of William Shakespeare)
The third term epizeuxis is much less refined than epistrophe and anaphora. But, it makes a completely strong impact. Epizeuxis is the repetition of phrases in succession within a identical sentence, such as “The horror, the horror,” in Heart of Darkness by way of Joseph Conrad.
Examples of Epizeuxis in Literature
Example #1: Cymbeline (By William Shakespeare)
“Hark, hark! The lark at heaven’s gate sings,
And Phoebus gins arise,
His steeds to water at the ones springs
On chaliced vegetation that lies;
And winking Mary-buds begin
To open their golden eyes:
With the whole lot that quite is,
My girl sweet, arise:
This is taken into consideration an ideal instance of epizeuxis. Shakespeare has used words, like “hark” and “arise,” intentionally for you to emphasize his point.
Example #2: King Lear (By William Shakespeare)
“And my poor idiot is hanged! No, no, no life!
Why have to a dog, a horse, a rat have life,
And thou no breath at all? Thou’lt come no more,
Never, never, never, in no way!”
Shakespeare has fantastically used this tool on this paragraph. In the first line, he has emphasized “no,” repeating it three times. Similarly, he has repeated “in no way” 4 instances in brief succession with out using any other word.
Example #3: The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (By Tom Wolfe)
“Phil Spector tamps his frontal lobes and closes his eyes and holds his breath. As lengthy as he holds his breath, it will no longer rain, there could be no raindrops, no schizoid water wobbling, sideways, immediately back, it will likely be an even, even, even, even, even, even, even world…”
In the above extract, the word “even” is repeated at the give up. This repetition makes this text fantastic for the readers. Also, it brings an emotional effect in the text.
Example #4: The Spam (By Monty Python)
“Waitress: Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Bloody Vikings. You can’t have egg, bacon, Spam and sausage with out the Spam.
Mrs. Bun: I don’t like Spam!
Mr. Bun: Shh expensive, don’t motive a fuss. I’ll have your Spam. I love it. I’m having Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, baked beans, Spam, Spam, Spam and Spam …”
The writer has repeatedly used the phrases “shut up” and “Spam.” Although, the repeated words are used here to emphasise a point, they're giving a comic impact too.
Example #5: Coda (By Dorothy Parker)
“There’s little in taking or giving,
There’s little in water or wine;
This living, this living, this living
Was by no means a task of mine.”
In this excerpt, the poet uses “this living” time and again for emphasis. These words provide melody and emphasis on a specific way of living. Also, it creates an artistic effect in the poem.
Example #6: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (By Samuel Coleridge)
“Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a extensive, extensive sea.”
Here, the repetition of words “alone,” “all,” and “wide” is creating a rhythmic effect. These phrases draw the eye of the readers closer to the supernatural incident, which has killed group members of the ship, and has left the mariner all alone.
Function of Epizeuxis
The major function of epizeuxis is to create an appeal to the feelings of readers — to hit them with a bang. It is hired to inspire, encourage, and inspire the audience. Epizeuxis examples are discovered in literary writings as well as political speeches. As a literary tool, it furnishes freshness to the texts, and gives artistic effect to a piece. Apart from adding rhythm to the texts, epizeuxis makes the analyzing of the literary text fulfilling and memorable. Also, it helps in drawing the focus to a specific thought, idea, or emotion through repetition.
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