Stylistic Devices - Epiphora (Epistrophe)

What is epiphora?

Epiphora (also called epistrophe) is a rhetorical device that consists of repeating a sequence of words at the end of neighboring clauses to give them emphasis. This stylistic device is contrasted with anaphora which consists of repeating words at the beginning of clauses.

Examples of epiphora

Some examples of epiphora are listed below:

1. The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want a war. We do not now expect a war.

John F. Kennedy, “The Strategy for Peace,” June 1963

2. ... this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address


Sweet Portia,
If you did know to whom I gave the ring,
If you did know for whom I gave the ring
And would conceive for what I gave the ring
And how unwillingly I left the ring,
When nought would be accepted but the ring,
You would abate the strength of your displeasure.

PORTIA: If you had known the virtue of the ring,
Or half her worthiness that gave the ring,
Or your own honor to contain the ring,
You would not then have parted with the ring.

William Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice

More figures of speech