Stylistic Devices - Anaphora

What is anaphora?

Anaphora is a stylistic device that consists of repeating a sequence of words at the beginnings of neighboring clauses to give them emphasis. This rhetorical device is contrasted with epiphora, also called epistrophe, which consists of repeating words at the end of clauses.

Examples of anaphora

Some examples of the literary works that use anaphora are listed below:

In time the savage bull sustains the yoke,
In time all haggard hawks will stoop to lure,
In time small wedges cleave the hardest oak,
In time
the flint is pierced with softest shower.

Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy, I, vi. 3

Mad world! Mad kings! Mad composition!

William Shakespeare, King John, II,

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

William Blake, "The Tyger"

Strike as I struck the foe!
Strike as I would
Have struck those tyrants!
Strike deep as my curse!
Strike!—and but once!

Byron, Marino Faliero

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, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way...

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

More figures of speech