Anadiplosis is used to add rhythm to the sentence and build the reader’s intensity to know the climax. This Penlighten article helps you understand this literary device better, with the help of several examples in poetry and literature.
It is important that you do not confuse anadiplosis with epanadiplosis, in which the same word is used to begin and end a sentence. For example, “You bleed when the white man says bleed. You bite when the white man says bite, and you bark when the white man says bark.”
Anadiplosis is a stylistic device that is used in literature to give an additional effect. When using anadiplosis, one begins a sentence, clause, or phrase by repeating the last word of the previous sentence or clause. For example, “Strength through unity, unity through faith.”
The use of anadiplosis adds rhythm, and emphasizes the words. It also helps build suspense, and intensity to know the climax. It can also be used to create descending action. For example, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
» I would but run away. Run away, perhaps today. Perhaps today I will. I will run away.
» Will you come with me? Come with me to a better place. A place where we can be together forever, forever where we can do what we know must be done.
It is not necessary for the repeated words to be exactly beside each other. Sometimes, other words can be placed in between the repeated words, provided they are not too far apart. Given below are the various examples of anadiplosis in literature, poetry, films, songs, and speeches.
Grass in the wind
Wind on the lark
Lark for the sun
Sun through the sea
Sea in the heart
Heart in its noust
Nothing is lost.
— John Glenday, Grain
Sky aglow with gleaming stars,
Stars that stream their courses high,
High and grand, those golden cars,
Cars that ever keep their track,
Track untraced by human ray,
Ray that zones the zodiac,
Zodiac with milky-way,
Milky-way where worlds are sown,
Sown like sands along the sea,
Sea whoso tide and tone e’er own,
Own a feeling to be free,
Free to leave its lowly place,
Place to prove with yonder spheres,
Spheres that trace athrough all space,
Space and years–unspoken years.
— Reverend M. Sheeleigh, Trying Skying
Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! — Psalm 98:4 and 5 (ESV)
Now, I’ll take you by the hand
Hand you another drink
Drink it if you can
Can you spend a little time
Time is slipping away
Away from us, so stay
Stay with me I can make
Make you glad you came.
— “Glad You Came” by The Wanted
The prince was a brick
The brick was an egg
The egg was a bird”
— “Supper’s Ready” by Genesis
Apart from literature and poetry, anadiplosis is also widely used in speeches, to make a lasting impression on the listeners. Not only does it instill a hope in people, it also proves helpful in motivating them.