Anaphora

Entertainment / Literature / Anaphora: (Greek, 'carried again,' also called epanaphora) The intentional repetition of beginning clauses in order to create an artistic effect. For instance, Churchill declared, 'We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on the end. We shall fight in France. We shall fight on the seas and oceans. We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island, whatever the cost shall be.' The repetition of 'We shall. . .' creates a rhetorical effect of solidarity and determination. A well-known example is the Beatitudes in the Bible, where nine statements in a row begin with 'Blessed are.' (Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.') Anaphora is the opposite of epistrophe, in which the poet or rhetorician repeats the concluding phrase over and over for effects. Often the two can be combined effectively as well. For instance, Saint Paul writes to the church at Corinth, 'Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they the ministers of Christ? I am more.' Here, artful use of anaphora and epistrophe combined help Paul make his point more emphatically. Both anaphora and epistrophe are examples of rhetorical schemes. They serve to lend weight and emphasis.

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