This post is part of a series on rhetoric and rhetorical devices. For other posts in the series, please click this link. For a comprehensive, step-by-step overview of how to write a speech outline, please see this post.
Origin: From the Greek ἐπανάληψις (epanalipsis), meaning “repetition” or “resumption”.
In plain English: Repeating the initial word or words of a sentence or clause at the end of that same sentence or clause.
- Repetition of the words draws attention to them.
- The speaker can use epanalepsis to emphasize a key point or concept.
- Repetition gives a rhythm and cadence to the sentence.
- Epanalepsis is similar to antimetabole; however, in the case of the latter, the order of the repeated words is reversed.
- For maximum effect, there should not be too many words between the repeated word(s) in an epanalepsis.
“A minimum wage that is not a livable wage can never be a minimum wage.”
— Ralph Nader
“In times like these, it is helpful to remember that there have always been times like these.”
— Paul Harvey
“The King is dead, long live the King!”
— Traditional Proclamation
“The time must come. It’s enough—enough to go to cemeteries, enough to weep for orphans—it’s enough. There must come a moment, a moment of bringing people together.”
— Elie Wiesel, Speech at Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 4 June 2009
“Romans, countrymen, and lovers, hear me for my cause, and be silent, that you may hear. Believe me for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour, that you may believe.”
— Brutus in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
“Don’t turn away from the truth. Don’t turn away from your conscience. Please don’t ignore the law; no, embrace that higher principle for which the law was meant to serve. Justice—that’s all I ask—justice.”
— Denzel Washington in The Hurricane (1999)