Figures of Speech - Chiasmus

What is chiasmus?

Chiasmus is a figure of speech in which words, grammatical constructions, or concepts are repeated in reverse order, in the same or a modified form. In other words, the clauses display inverted parallelism.


These are examples of chiasmus:

  • He knowingly led and we followed blindly
  • Swift as an arrow flying, fleeing¬†like a hare afraid
  • 'Bad men live that they may eat and drink,
    whereas good men eat and drink that they may live.'
    Socrates (fifth century B.C.)

More figures of speech