Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rhetoric terms of the day: epanalepsis, inclusio, chiasmus

EPANALEPSIS: Repetition at the end of a clause or sentence of the word or phrase with which it began.


"Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice."
(The Bible, Phil. 4.4)

"Swallow, my sister, O sister swallow,
How can thine heart be full of the spring?"
(Algernon Charles Swinburne, "Itylus")

CHIASMUS: A verbal pattern (a type of antithesis) in which the second half of an expression is balanced against the first with the parts reversed.


"Mankind must put an end to war--or war will put an end to mankind."
(John F. Kennedy, Speech at the United Nations, 1961)

"I flee who chases me, and chase who flees me."

"If black men have no rights in the eyes of the white men, of course the whites can have none in the eyes of the blacks."
(Frederick Douglass, "An Appeal to Congress for Impartial Suffrage")

“0h, Sophonisba, Sophonisba, Oh!”
(Thomson, “The Tragedy of Sophonisba”)

“Oh, Huncamunca, Huncamunca, Oh!”
(Fielding, “Tom Thumb”)

"Don't sweat the petty things--and don't pet the sweaty things."

INCLUSIO: a scheme of repetition using epanalepsis (duplication of the same word or phrase at the beginning and end of a clause or sentence) not to mark off merely a sentence or clause but an entire passage--that is, beginning and ending a poem, paragraph, story, play, or even novel with the same word or group of words. Many psalms include this structure, beginning with a phrase, illustrating that phrase, and then repeating it again at the end. Also known as bracketing or envelope structure.


Psalm 8:

1 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!1


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