Stylistic Spotlight: Anaphora

Anaphora occurs when successive sentences deliberately begin with the same word or phrase.  This type of repetition lends an artistic element to the work and creates an emotional impact for the reader.  Anaphora is often seen being used in prose, poetry, and even famous speeches.  One example of this stylistic device can be found in this well-known quote from the opening of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities:

“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.”

Implementing anaphora can help any writing piece to read more rhythmically.  Anaphora draws the reader in, and the repeated words help emphasize the meaning, mood, and importance of a passage.  Other devices that work well with anaphora include climax and parallel structure.  For more information on figures of speech that can spruce up your writing, subscribe to the SWN blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s