Anaphora

Category: Language Adventures

April 18, 2024

Anaphora in my coffee
Anaphora in my tea, 
Anaphora in green eggs and ham, 
Isn’t it just poetic to see? 

Anaphora in my texts
Anaphora on my blog 
Anaphora is the echo
that clears the morning fog.

Anaphora is the repetition of the beginning words of a sentence. It is a powerful rhetorical device typically used to emphasize a point or elicit an emotion. It is one of many valuable devices that employ repetition.

Shakespeare, Dickens, Churchill, Martin Luther King, President Kennedy, and William Blake used anaphora.

Churchill’s We Shall Fight On The Beaches speech is one of history’s most remarkable speeches. He raised the level of his speech to a patriotic, poetic rhythm with the use of the following anaphora:

Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail.
We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France,
We shall fight on the seas and oceans,
We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our
Island whatever the cost may be,
We shall fight on the beaches,
We shall fight on the landing grounds,
We shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
We shall fight in the hills;
We shall never surrender.

For a more contemporary example, Tony Robbins frequently uses anaphora, such as: “Decide what you will not tolerate. Decide what you want. Decide what you will do to achieve it.” Or this one: “You must take action. You must make the change. You must say ‘no’ to excuses.”

Try creating an anaphora today. It is a fun exercise. Your anaphoras will be memorable in everyday conversations. Your anaphoras will be memorable in your writing. Your anaphoras will be memorable in your speeches, too.

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