Stylistic Devices - Hypophora

What is hypophora?

Hypophora is a figure of speech in which the speaker raises a question and then answers it. Hypophora is different from rhetorical questions. In a rhetorical question the answer is not provided by the writer. In hypophora, however, the writer poses the question and answers it immediately after. Hypophora is also called anthypophora or antipophora.


Here are some examples of hypophora:

  • "You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all the strength.." — Winston Churchill, 4 June 1940.
  • "Thirty-one cakes, dampened with whiskey, bask on window sills and shelves. Who are they for? Friends. Not necessarily neighbor friends: indeed, the larger share is intended for persons we've met maybe once, perhaps not at all. People who've struck our fancy. Like President Roosevelt. . . ." — Truman Capote, "A Christmas Memory." Mademoiselle, December 1956)
  • "There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, ‘When will you be satisfied?’ We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality." — Martin Luther King, Jr., 28 August 1963.

More figures of speech