Examples of repetition and definition: literary aids (2023)

recurrence definition

Repetition consists of repeating a word, phrase, or sentence and is common in both poetry and poetry.Prose. It is a rhetorical technique to add emphasis, unity and/or power. Because of this definition of repetition, it is a common technique used by public speakers. Throughout human history there have been examples of repetition as it is a good way to remember a story, specific lines from a story, or a story in song form. As such, repetition is an integral part of oral storytelling and is found in legends, folk tales, and religious texts.

Different types of repetition.

There are unique terms for many different types of repetition, most of which are of Greek origin.

  • He killed: Repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several consecutive lines. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech is a famous example because he repeats "I have a dream" at the beginning of several lines.
  • Mesodiplosis: Repetition of a word in the middle of each line of the sentence. For example: “we are perplexed, but not desperate; persecuted, but not forsaken; slaughtered, but not destroyed."
  • Epistrophe: repetition of a word at the end of each line or clause. For example: "What is behind us and what is in front of us is tiny compared to what is within us." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • Symposium: A combination of anaphora and epistrophe, symploce is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of a line and the repetition of another phrase at the end of the line. For example, Simplice appears in the following statement by Bill Clinton: “When it comes to hate, let's stand up and raise our voices. When there's talk of violence, let's stand up and speak out."
  • Antanaklasie: From the Greek for "to sit back", it's the repetition of the same word but with different denominations or connotations, often as a kind of play on words. For example: “Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who would want to live in an institution?” (Groucho Marx)
  • Antiestase: More extreme than antanaclasia is the repetition of words in opposite directions. For example: "We must indeed all be hanged together, or we shall surely all be hanged separately." (Benjamin Franklin)
  • Negative-Positive-Restatement: Repetition of an idea first negatively and then positively. An example is the famous JFK quote "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
  • epizeuxisPaliology here: Repeating the same word or phrase with no intervening words. For example, the first three words of the popular song "Row, row, row your boat".
  • Diakope: Similar to Epizeuxis, it is the repetition of a word or phrase with only a word or two between the repeated words. "Diacope" comes from the Greek and means "to cut in two". The famous line from Shakespeare's version of the St. Crispin's Day speech inHeinrich Vis an example: "We are few, we are few happy, we are a band of brothers."
  • doubling: Repetition of a word at different points along a line or paragraph. Elie Weisel used this technique in hisThe dangers of indifference:: “I have deep and enduring gratitude to the American people. Gratitude is a word I treasure. Gratitude is what makes people human.”
  • Anadiplosaor gradation: Repeat the last word of one line as the first word of the next. For example the saying “When the going gets tough, the tough keep going.”
  • Epanalepsis: Repeat the first word or words of a line at the end of that line too. For example: "Nothing can come from nothing." (Lucretius)
  • Diaphorese: Repetition of a name to indicate the person and then the meaning of the name. EITHERhousehold word"Boys will be boys" is an example of diaphora.
  • epimon: Repeating an interrogative sentence to emphasize or insist on a point. From the Greek for "delay". An example of Epimonen is Sojourner Truth's speech at the 1851 Women's Congress, where she repeated therhetorical question"And I'm not a woman?" repeated.
  • Polyptoton: Repetition of words with the same root but different forms. For example: "In gluttonous eating, the food suffocates the eater." (William Shakespeare,Richard II)

poetic forms that use repetition

The following poetic forms involve the repetition necessary to their structure:

  • Vilanela: A nineteen-line poem in which two lines are repeated four times in a specific pattern. See this boilerplate example below (Example #3).
  • Sextin: Complex poem of thirty-nine lines divided into six stanzas of six lines each and a conclusionversewith three lines. Each line ends with one of six words, and those six words rotate in order. The last stanza contains all six words (only three of them functioning as the last words of the lines). Therefore, each word is repeated at least seven times throughout the poem.
  • trillizo: An eight-line poem in which the first, fourth, and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and eighth. Therefore, the first two lines and the last two lines are identical couplets.
  • Ghazal: Starting at 6ºCentury Arabicback, a ghazal consists of five or more couplets in which the last word of each is writtenfew Freshis the same.

Examples of repetition of literature

example 1

But now Anders can still buy time. Time for the shadows to lengthen on the grass, time for the tethered dog to bark at the flyball, time for the child in the right meadow to slap his sweaty glove and softly sing:They are, they are, they are.

(Video) The pleasure of poetic pattern - David Silverstein

("Bullet in the Brain" by Tobias Wolff)

This excerpt from Wolff's Bullet to the Brain contains the last two lines of the story. The repeat types represented here are Anadiplosa, Anaphora and Epizeuxis. EITHERHeldThroughout the story, he's been pondering a grammatical error he heard as a child, and now, in the final moments of his life, the phrase keeps repeating itself in his head. The effect in the story is to mimic the protagonist's thought pattern when his brain starts to shut down.

Example #2

I met rivers:
I know rivers as old as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul became deep like the rivers.

("Black Speaks of Rivers" by Langston Hughes)

Hughes uses different types of repetition here, including anaphora and conduplicatio. The effect of repetition in this poem is to make the poem sound like it's coming from a narrator.

Example #3

Don't go sweet into this good night
Age must burn and rage at the end of the day;
Anger, anger against the dying of the light.

Though in the end the wise know the darkness is true
Because your words didn't split lightning, they
Don't tread carefully on this good night.

(Video) Poetic Devices or Literary Devices (Part 01 of 04)| Rhyme, Repetition, Anaphora, Epiphora, Refrain

Good men, the last wave, crying, how brilliant
Your fragile deeds could have danced in a green bay
Anger, anger against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught the sun in flight and sang,
And learn, too late, they wailed on their way,
Don't tread carefully on this good night.

Serious men near death who see with blinding eyes
Blind eyes can shine like meteorites and be happy,
Anger, anger against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad peak,
Curse me, bless me now with your heavy tears, I beg you.
Don't tread carefully on this good night.
Anger, anger against the dying of the light.

("Don't be nice on this good night" by Dylan Thomas)

Dylan Thomas' poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" is one of the most famous villains ever written. The repeated lines "Do not go gently into this good night" and "Rage, rage against the dying of the light" build in intensity throughout the poem to the power of the final couplet.

Example #4

As danger rises and falls
As it sinks or swells in the rage of the bells,
the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells –
Let's not cry or cry!

("The Bells" by Edgar Allan Poe)

(Video) Poetic Devices: Alliteration - Examples & Meaning

This famous Edgar Allen Poe poem contains many different repetition examples, including epizeuxis, conduplicatio, and polyptoton. The word "bells" occurs 62 times throughout the poem, often without intervening words (epizeuxis). This particular type of repetition helps the poem sound like bells ringing.

Test your knowledge on repetition

1. Which definition of repetition best fits the term anaphora?
A.A word or phrase repeated at the beginning of multiple lines.
B.A repeated word in the middle of each line or clause.
C.A word repeated at the end of each line or clause.

Answer to question #1show
(Video) Plato’s Allegory of the Cave - Alex Gendler

2. Consider the following line from "The Bells":

As danger rises and falls, -
By shipwreck or by swelling in the wrath of the bells

This is an example of what definition of repetition?

A. epizeuxis

Answer to question #2show

3. Rewatch Dylan Thomas' villain Don't Go Kindly To That Good Night. Using this poem as a guide, which of the following structures is correct for the villanelle form? (Note: uppercase letters are used to indicate repeated lines and lowercase letters to express rhymes.)

A.A b C / d e F / g h I / j k L / m n O / p q R S
B.A1 b A2 / a b A1 / a b A2 / a b A1 / a b A2 / a b A1 A2
C.A1 b C1 / d e A2 / f g C2 / h ich A3 / j k C3 / l m A4 C4

(Video) Ed's Heinz Ad

Answer to question #3show


What are some literary examples of repetition? ›

For example, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare used repetition when he said: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Oh, woeful, oh woeful, woeful, woeful day!

What is repetition examples and definition? ›

Repetition is when a single word or phrase is used multiple times in short succession for effect. It can help emphasise a point. For example, 'I have to practice my times tables over so I can learn them' vs 'I have to practice my times tables over and over and over again so I can learn them.

What are 2 examples of repetition? ›

Alliteration - Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds, often at the beginning of a word. For example, 'The slimy snake slowly slithered away. ' Rhyme - Rhyme is the repetition of sound using rhythmic patterns to create a musical effect.

What is repetition in literature? ›

Repetition refers to the use of the same word or phrase multiple times and is a fundamental poetic technique.

What are the 4 types of repetition? ›

7 Types of Repetition
  • Anaphora. ...
  • Epistrophe. ...
  • Symploce. ...
  • Antanaclasis. ...
  • Antistasis. ...
  • Negative-positive restatement. ...
  • Epizeuxis, a.k.a. “palilogia.” This is the simple repetition of a single word or phrase in immediate succession.
Aug 31, 2022

What is the best definition of repetition? ›

noun. the act of repeating, or doing, saying, or writing something again; repeated action, performance, production, or presentation. repeated utterance; reiteration. something made by or resulting from repeating.

What are some famous examples of repetition in speeches? ›

Anaphora: The repetition of words at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences. For example, Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech contains anaphora: "So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

What is an example of repetition in speech? ›

Repetition of words

Anaphora—repeat a word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or sentences. “I have a dream that my four little children will [...] I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia [...] I have a dream today!"

What are the three types of repetition? ›

Poets love to use alliteration, anaphora and epistrophe — each a different form of repetition — in their poems. (Did you notice these literary devices in the previous three sentences?) Below are three brief lessons that explore three types of repetition: alliteration, anaphora and epistrophe.

What are types of repetition? ›

What are the types of repetition? Writers typically employ ten types of repetition: Epizeuxis, Anaphora, Mesodiplosis, Epistrophe, Symploce, Antanclasis, Antistasis, Negative-Positive Restatement, Diacope, and Gradatio.

What is an example of repetition in poetry? ›

anaphora: the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of a line of poetry to create rhythm or emphasis. chiasmus: when a phrase is repeated backward. An example is: what is foul is fair and fair is foul.

What is a good sentence for repetition? ›

The repetition of the process brought the same results. Constant repetition makes it easier to learn how to spell a word. The small town with its repetition of nice homes made it a good place to live.

What is an example of repetition structure? ›

Examples of such repetition include continual checking of user data entries until an acceptable entry, such as a valid password, is made; counting and accumulating running totals; and recurring acceptance of input data and recalculation of output values that only stop upon entry of a designated value.

What is an example of repetition in movies? ›

Famous Repetition Examples in Cinema:

“You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me?” - Taxi Driver (1976) “Wax on. Wax off.” - Karate Kid (1984)

What is another word for repetition in literature? ›

What is another word for repetition?
7 more rows

How is repetition used in Romeo and Juliet? ›

The repetition of "f" is used to illustrate Juliet's desperate desire for Romeo to come to her. It also demonstrates that alliteration isn't just a repeated letter but sound with the inclusion of "Phoebus." This theme continues into the third line.

Which is the best example of a rhetorical device repetition? ›

Anaphora is the repetition of certain words or phrases at the beginning of sentences to increase the power of a sentiment. Perhaps the best-known example of anaphora is Martin Luther King Jr.'s repetition of the phrase "I have a dream."

What are the 10 examples of anaphora? ›

Examples of Anaphora
  • #“Go big or go home.”
  • #“Be bold. Be brief. Be gone.”
  • #“Get busy living or get busy dying.”
  • #“Give me liberty or give me death.”
  • #“You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.”
  • #“Stay safe. Stay well. Stay happy.”
  • #“So many places, so little time.”
  • #“I wish I may; I wish I might.”
Nov 11, 2021

What is an repetition in Romeo and Juliet? ›

The repetition of "f" is used to illustrate Juliet's desperate desire for Romeo to come to her. It also demonstrates that alliteration isn't just a repeated letter but sound with the inclusion of "Phoebus." This theme continues into the third line.

What is repetition example in poetry? ›

Repetition is an important poetic technique that sees writers reuse words, phrases, images, or structures multiple times within a poem. E.g. An example of repetition is: "The old man walked down the street, down the street, down the street".

What are anaphora 5 examples? ›

Anaphora in Literature and Film

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

What is difference between anaphora and repetition? ›

Repetition can mean repetitive words, ideas, or phrases, while anaphora specifically means the repetition of the first part of successive clauses. Therefore, anaphora is a specific kind of repetition.

What is an example of anaphora repetition? ›

Here's a quick and simple definition: Anaphora is a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences. For example, Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech contains anaphora: "So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

How is repetition used in The Great Gatsby? ›

In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, repetition is used to emphasise the size of Tom Buchanan's apartment, which he visits with the woman he is having an affair with: 'The apartment was on the top floor—a small living-room, a small dining-room, a small bedroom, and a bath. '

What is an example of repetition in Shakespeare? ›

Anaphora (an-af'-o-ra) is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences. “O, cursèd be the hand that made these holes; / Cursèd the heart that had the heart to do it; / Cursèd the blood that let this blood from hence.” Richard III, 1.2.

What is repetition Macbeth? ›

Repetition is the use of the same, or similar, words throughout a text. Example. Words like 'done', 'won', 'lost', 'fair', 'foul' are repeated in Macbeth. Effect. By repeating these words throughout they are given increasing significance in the play.


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