Chiasmus

Entertainment / Literature / Chiasmus: (from Greek, 'cross' or 'x') A literary scheme in which the author introduces words or concepts in a particular order, then later repeats those terms or similar ones in reversed or backwards order. It involves taking parallelism and deliberately turning it inside out, creating a 'crisscross' pattern. For example, consider the chiasmus that follows: By day the frolic, and the dance by night. If we draw the words as a chart, the words form an 'x' (hence the word's Greek etymology, from chi meaning 'x'): The sequence is typically a b b a or a b c c b a. 'I lead the life I love, I love the life I lead.' 'Naked I rose from the earth, to the grave I fall clothed.' Biblical examples in the Greek can be found in Philippians 1:15-17 and Colossians 3:11, though the artistry is often lost in English translation. Chiasmus often overlaps with antimetabole.

Scheme

Life Style / Poetry / Scheme: Figure of speech that varies the order and sound of words. Examples include alliteration, assonance, chiasmus, and rhyme. MORE

Chiasm

Entertainment / Literature / Chiasm: A specific example of chiasmus, see below. MORE

Antimetabole

Entertainment / Literature / Antimetabole: (Greek, 'turning about') A rhetorical scheme involving repetition in reverse order: One should eat to live, not live to eat. Or, 'You like it, it likes you.' The witches in that Scottish play chant, ' MORE

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