Epistrophe is the repetition of a word or words at the end
of a phrase or clause. Its rhetorical function is to provide dramatic or
poetic emphasis to an idea or a passage.
behind us and what lies before us are tiny
compared to what lies within us.”
well-known saying from Ralph Waldo Emerson, we can see that
the mere repetition of a single word at the end of these
three clauses adds rhythm to a simply worded idea and makes
it more rememberable.
Epistrophe is often associated with poetic or literary
situations, but it can also be used in everyday speech or
writing to add emphasis through deliberate repetition in writing that may otherwise sound plain.
If the bear
population declines and the raccoon population
declines, scientists fear a destructive increase in the
number of fish migrating upriver.
In Stephenie Meyer's Twilight,
Bella is focused entirely on the vampire Edward—she
gazes at Edward, she dreams of Edward, she
declares her love for Edward, and, even more than she
wants to live, she wants to be with Edward.