Stylistic Devices – Epiphora (Epistrophe) What is epiphora? Epiphora (also called epistrophe) is a rhetorical device that consists of repeating a sequence of words at the end of neighboring clauses to give them emphasis. This stylistic device is contrasted with anaphora which consists of repeating words at the beginning of clauses. Examples of anaphora Some examples of epiphora…

Stylistic Devices – Epigram What is an epigram? An epigram refers to a concise, witty, memorable, and sometimes surprising or satirical statement. The origin of the word epigram is Greek, from epigraphein (epi- + graphein to write) Examples Some examples of epigram are listed below: The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” (Tacitus) “I am not young enough to…

Figures of Speech – Euphemism What is Euphemism? Euphemism is used to express a mild, indirect, or vague term to substitute for a harsh, blunt, or offensive term. Euphemism is often contrasted with dysphemism. Some euphemisms intend to amuse, while others intend to give positive appearances to negative events or even mislead entirely. Examples: These are examples…

Stylistic Devices – Ellipsis What is ellipsis? Ellipsis (or elliptical construction ) is the omission of a word or words. It refers to constructions in which words are left out of a sentence but the sentence can still be understood. Ellipsis helps us avoid a lot of redundancy. In fact there is a lot of redundancy in language…

Figures of Speech – Dysphemism What is Dysphemism? Dysphemism is the use of a harsh, more offensive word instead of one considered less harsh. Dysphemism is often contrasted with euphemism. Dysphemisms are generally used to shock or offend. Examples: These are examples of dysphemism: Snail mail for postal mail, Cancer stick in reference to a cigarette. Egghead for genius. Worm…

Figures of Speech – Chiasmus What is chiasmus? Chiasmus is a figure of speech in which words, grammatical constructions, or concepts are repeated in reverse order, in the same or a modified form. In other words, the clauses display inverted parallelism. Examples: These are examples of chiasmus: He knowingly led and we followed blindly Swift as an arrow flying, fleeing like a hare afraid ‘Bad men…

Stylistic Devices – Cataphora Cataphora Cataphora refers to a figure of speech where an earlier expression refers to or describes a forward expression. Cataphora is the opposite of anaphora, a reference forward as opposed to backward in the discourse. Examples of cataphora These are some examples: If you want them, there are cookies in the kitchen. (them is…

Figures of Speech – Assonance Assonance Assonance is a figure of speech that is found more often in verse than in prose. It refers to the repetition of vowel sounds to create internal rhyming within phrases or sentences. Examples of Assonance These are some examples: “the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain” – The Raven By…

Figures of Speech – Apostrophe with Examples | English Literature What is apostrophe? Apostrophe is an exclamatory rhetorical figure of speech, when a speaker or writer breaks off and directs speech to an imaginary person or abstract quality or idea. Examples Some examples of apostrophe are listed below: 1. “O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,…

Figures of Speech – Antithesis What is antithesis? Antithesis is a figure of speech which refers to the juxtaposition of opposing or contrasting ideas. It involves the bringing out of a contrast in the ideas by an obvious contrast in the words, clauses, or sentences, within a parallel grammatical structure. Examples: These are examples of antithesis:…

Stylistic Devices – Antiphrasis What is antiphrasis? Antiphrasis is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is used to mean the opposite of its normal meaning to create ironic humorous effect. From the Greek : anti “opposite” and phrasis, “diction”. The adjective form is antiphrastic. Examples of antiphrasis He’s only a child of 50 years old. She’s so beautiful. She…

Stylistic Devices – Climax Climax (figure of speech) Climax refers to a figure of speech in which words, phrases, or clauses are arranged in order of increasing importance. Examples of climax These are some examples: 1. Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good; A shining gloss that vadeth suddenly; A flower that dies when first…

Figures of Speech – Anticlimax Anticlimax (figure of speech) Anticlimax refers to a figure of speech in which statements gradually descend in order of importance. Unlike climax, anticlimax is the arrangement of a series of words, phrases, or clauses in order of decreasing importance. Examples of anticlimax These are some examples of anticlimax: 1. She is a…

Figures of Speech – Puns What are puns? A pun, also called paronomasia, involves a word play which suggests two or more meanings, by exploiting multiple meanings of words, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect. Puns are constructions used in jokes and idioms whose usage and meaning are entirely local to a particular…

Stylistic Devices – Antanaclasis What is antanaclasis? Antanaclasis is a rhetorical device in which a word is repeated and whose meaning changes in the second instance. Antanaclasis is a common type of pun. Examples of antanaclasis Some examples of the use of antanaclasis are listed below: 1. Put out the light, then put out the light. – Shakespeare…