Figure Name epanaphora
Source Silva Rhetoricae (http://humanities.byu.edu/rhetoric/Silva.htm); Ad Herennium 275-277 ("repetitio"); Quintilian ("relatio"); Isidore ("anaphora," "epanaphora"); Aquila ("epanaphora"); Sherry (1550) ("epanaphora," "repeticio," "repeticion"); Peacham (1577) ("anaphora", "epanaphora"); Suarez ("repetitio" "anaphora" "epibole"); Fraunce (1588); Puttenham (1589) ("anaphora," "the figure of report"); Day 1599 ("anaphora," "repetitio"); Hoskins (1599); Vinsauf (1967) ("repetitio"); Gibbons (1767) 207 ("epanaphora"); De Mille (1882); Demetrius (1902) 191; Jamieson (1844) ("repetition") 187; Bullinger (1898) ("epibole; or, overlaid repetition"); Johnson (1903) ("epanaphora, or anaphora")
Earliest Source None
Synonyms anaphora, epembasis, epibole adjectio, epibole, relatio, repetitio, repeticio, repeticion, the figure of report, overlaid repetition
Etymology Gk. ana "again" and phero "to bring" or "carry" / epiballein "to cast upon"
Type Scheme
Linguistic Domain Lexicographic

1. A rhetorical device that consists of repeating a sequence of words at the beginnings of neighboring clauses, thereby lending them emphasis. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. Occurs when one and the same word forms successive beginnings for phrases expressing like and different ideas. (Ad Herennium)

3. Epanaphora, or Anaphora, is a forme of speech which beginneth diverse members, still with one and the same word. (Peacham)

4. If a mode of expression both easy and adorned is desired, set aside all the techniques of the dignified style and have recourse to means that are simple, but of a simplicity that does not shock the ear but its rudeness. Here are the rhetorical colours with which to adorn your style: (Vinsauf)

5. "a Figure, in which the same word is gracefully and emphatically repeated; or in which distinct sentences, or the several members of the same sentence, are begun with the same word." (Gibbons)

Epanaphora may be defined as that figure by which several clauses have the same worde at the beginning and at the end of successive clauses or sentences:
"When you enact that on account of his religion no Catholic shall sit in Parliament, you do what amounts to the tyranny of a sect. When you enact that no Catholic shall be a sheriff, you do what amounts to the tyranny of a sect. When you enact that no Catholic shall be a general, you do what amounts to the tyranny of a sect." -GRATTAN. (De Mille)

7. Repetition of the same word at the commencement of each clause. (Demetrius)

8. "Repetition seizes some emphatical word or phrase, and, to mark its importance, makes it recur frequently in the same sentence. It is significant of contrast and energy." (Jamieson)

9. [epibole] The Repetition of the same Phrase at irregular Intervals... [see Etymology] The figure is so named, because the same sentence or phrase is "cast upon" or "laid upon" (like layers or courses of bricks) several successive paragraphs. It thus differs from Anaphora in that it consists of the repetition of several words, whereas in Anaphora only one word is repeated. (Bullinger, 365)

10. Epanaph'ora, or Anaph'ora.—This word is made from the Greek, and signifies literally a carrying back. The figure consists of a repetition of a word or phrase with variation of context... It is a favorite and effective figure in eulogies and philippics. (Johnson, 96)


1. What the hammer? what the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp? — William Blake, The Tyger

2. "To you must go the credit for this, to you are thanks due, to will this act of yours bring glory." (Ad Herennium)

3. Cicero in the praises of Pompey: A witnesse is Italie, which Lucius Cilla being bictor confessed, was by the vertue and counsell of this man delivered: A witnesse is Celicia, which being environed on every side with many and great dangers, he set at libertie, not with terror of warre, but quicknesse of counsel: A witnesse is Africa, which being opprest with great armies of enemies, flowed with the blood of slaine men: A witnesse is France, through which a way was made with great slaughter of Frenchmen for our armies into Spaine: A witnesse is Spaine, which hath very often seene, that by this man many enemies have ben overcome and vanquished. (Cicero qtd. in Peacham)

3. The Lord sitteth above the water floods. The Lord remaineth a king for ever. The Lord shall give strength unto his people. The Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace. (Psal.29. qtd. in Peacham)

3. An example of Scripture: “Whom they loved, whom they served, whom they ran after, whom they sought and worshipped. (Jerem.8. qtd. in Peacham)

3. Where is the wise? Where is ye Scribe? Where is the disputer of this world?” (1.Cor.1. qtd. in Peacham)

3. he covetous man is ever poore. The contented man is alwayes rich. The covetous man is an enemie to him selfe. The contented man is a friend to others. The covetous man is full of care. The contented man is full of comfort. (Peacham)

3. desire you for the love I have borne to you, for the love you have borne to me, and for the love which our good God doth beare to us all, that you will remember these my last words, uttered with my last breath. (Peacham)

4. (repetitio) Deed so evil! Deed more evil than others! Deed most evil of all deeds! (Vinsauf)

5. "Virgil furnishes us with an example of this Figure, when he says, 'Here are cool fountains, here are velvet meads; / Here the young groves are twisted into bow'rs: / Here, here, O how could I enjoy with thee / My life, delighted to its latest hour.'" (Gibbons)

7. 'Against yourself you summon him ; against
the laws you summon him ; against the democracy you summon him.' (Demetrius)

8. "Pope, to heighten compassion for the fate of an unfortunate lady, reiterates the circumstances of her being deprived in her distress of the sympathy of her friends: 'By foreign hands thy dying eyes were closed, / By foreign hands thy decent limbs composed; / By foreign hands thy humble grave adorned, / By strangers honoured and by strangers mourned.'" (Jamieson 187)

9. Ex. 16:35. -"And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan." (Bullinger, 366)

10. Pope's Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady furnishes an example:

By foreign hands thy dying eyes were closed.
By foreign hands thy decent limbs composed.
By foreign hands thy humble grave adorned.
By strangers honored and by strangers mourned.
Cicero's second oration against Antony contains this passage: "You mourn, O Romans, that three of your armies have been slaughtered—they were slaughtered by Antony. You lament the loss of your most illustrious citizens—they were torn from you by Antony. The authority of this order is deeply wounded—it is wounded by Antony. In short, all the calamities we have ever since beheld (and what calamities have
we not beheld?) if we reason rightly, have been entirely owing to Antony. As Helen was of Troy, so the bane, the misery, the destruction of this state, is Antony."
Robert Buchanan's poem entitled Meg Blaine contains a graceful example of the use of this figure, in which the repetition that is carried through the passage is more a repetition of the idea than of the exact form of words:

Lord, with how small a thing
Thou canst prop up the heart against the grave!
A little glimmering is all we crave.
The lustre of a love that hath no being,
The pale point of a single star flashing and fleeing,
Contents our seeing—
The house that never will be built; the gold
That never will be told;
The task we leave undone when we are cold;
The dear face that returns not, but is lying.
Licked by the leopard, in an Indian cave;
The coming rest that cometh not till, sighing.
We turn our weary gaze upon the grave.
And, Lord, how should we dare
Thither in peace to fall.
But for a feeble glimmering even there—
Falsest, some sigh, of all?
We are as children in thy hands indeed.
And thou hast easy comfort for our need:
The shining of a lamp, the tinkling of a bell,
Content us well. (Johnson, 96-97)

Kind Of Repetition
Part Of
Related Figures epistrophe, symploce
Notes Used for both embellishment and amplification of style.
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Ioanna Malton
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes Reviewed by Randy
Reviewed No