Rhetorical Devices: Epanalepsis

This post is part of a series on rhetoric and rhetorical devices. For other posts in the series, please click this link.

Device: Epanalepsis

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.


  • In some respects, epanalepsis is blend of anaphora and epistrophe.
  • 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 enoughenough 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)


About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
This entry was posted in Rhetoric and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Rhetorical Devices: Epanalepsis

  1. Pingback: Rhetorical Devices: Commoratio | Manner of Speaking

  2. Pingback: Rhetorical Devices: Diacope | Manner of Speaking

  3. My friend, you do a fantastic job with the rhetorical devices. This is something that sounds too Greek to too many. Only think about project 4 in the CC manual. Few people know “how to say it”. I’m thinking about creating a small card series on rhetorical devices. Like the ones we used at school to learn new vocabulary. Keep up the great work!

    • John Zimmer says:

      Thanks, Flo. Much appreciated. I think that the best way to approach rhetoric is to take it one device at a time and show examples. Once people see rhetoric in action, it becomes much less vague and intimidating, and people begin to see it for the wonderful public speaking tool that it is.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.