Tricolon is a rhetorical time period that includes 3 parallel clauses, terms, or phrases, which manifest to return in brief succession without any interruption. The origin of this rhetorical tool is traced to the Greek phrase tricolon, meaning “phase of a sentence.” These three parallel words, terms, or clauses have almost the identical length, even though this condition is not strictly followed.
It additionally refers to a set of 3 traces, paragraphs, chapters, or stanzas. For instance, William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar uses it in his well-known speech in ascending order as, “Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, [and] I conquered.“) The motive of tricolon is to provide a greater feel of roundness, completeness, and wholeness, while the third part brings in a stunning impact within the sentence.
Popular Examples of Tricolon in Presidential Speeches
Example #1: Barack Obama speaks in Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela, December, 10, 2013
“After this tremendous liberator is laid to rest, and while we've got again to our cities and villages and rejoined our every day routines, let us search for his strength. Let us look for his largeness of spirit somewhere inner of ourselves. And while the night grows dark, while injustice weighs heavy on our hearts, whilst our best-laid plans appear beyond our reach, let us think of Madiba and the phrases that introduced him comfort within the four walls of his cell …”
Example #2: President Dwight Eisenhower, “The Chance for Peace.” Speech delivered to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April, 1953
“Every gun this is made, each warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, within the final feel, a theft from individuals who hunger and are not fed, people who are cold and aren't clothed. This international in arms isn't spending cash alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”
The strains above, highlighted in bold, gift examples of tricolon. First is presented by means of the incumbent President Obama in his 2013 speech, whilst the second became given by President Eisenhower in his speech introduced in 1953.
Examples of Tricolon in Literature
Example #1: The Wizard in The Wizard of Oz (By L. Frank Baum)
“You are speakme to a person who has laughed inside the face of death, sneered at doom, and chuckled at catastrophe.”
The use of 3 terms makes the speaker – or the author – appear knowledgeable, simple, and catchy. It combines clauses to create a effective impression, emphasizing the point in a memorable and pithy way.
Example #2: Pirates of Caribbean (by using Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio)
“I virtually feel instead appropriate approximately this. I think we’ve all arrived at a very unique place, eh? Spiritually, ecumenically, grammatically.”
Here the ultimate 3 words gift using tricolon. This serves as a effective rhetorical tool, additionally developing a little humor. The first two clauses make the readers assume they may be getting into one direction, whilst the third element introduces a shocking twist in it.
Example #3: The Naked Civil Servant (via Quentin Crisp)
“If you describe things as higher than they are, you are taken into consideration to be a romantic; in case you describe things as worse than they're, you will be called a realist; and in case you describe matters precisely as they are, you will be idea of as a satirist.”
The use of tricolon has made this situation interesting, funnier, satisfying, and memorable via emphasizing the strains.
Example #4: Call for the Dead (by means of John le Carré)
“They favored his diffidence while he apologized for the corporation he kept, his insincerity whilst he defended the vagaries of his subordinates, his flexibilities whilst formulating new commitments.”
This is another tremendous instance of tricolon. The use of 3 identical systems makes it rhythmic and appealing, at the same time as also making it more likely the readers will recall the given facts.
Function of Tricolon
Tricolon is not most effective observed in poetry, novels, and quick stories, but additionally in oral storytelling, advertising and marketing, films, and photography. In writing, it helps readers absorb the idea, and don't forget it extra effectively. Sometimes, writers use tricolon for growing a humorous impact. In comedy, it is known as a “comic triple,” in which it creates a surprising impact for the audience. Besides, many public records slogans and advertising and marketing campaigns use it to create a memorable and captivating display of data. However, the most useful issue of this literary tool is its effectiveness in making the idea memorable.
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