In rhetoric, an anaphora (ἀναφορά, "carrying back") is emphasizing words by repeating them at the beginnings of neighboring clauses. In contrast, an epistrophe (or epiphora) is repeating words at the clauses' ends. See also other figures of speech involving repetition.
One figure well-known for his use of Anaphora is Charles Dickens (seen in quote below). Some of his best known works constantly portray their themes through use of this literary tool.
- Strike as I would
- Have struck those tyrants!
- Strike deep as my curse!
- Strike! and but once
- — Byron
- Mad world! Mad kings! Mad composition!
- — William Shakespeare, King John, II, i
- 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.
- — Winston Churchill
- In time the savage bull sustains the yoke,
- In time all haggard hawks will stoop to lure,
- In time small wedges cleave the hardest oak,
- In time the flint is pierced with softest shower.
- — Thomas Kyd, 1557?-1595? The Spanish Tragedy, I, vi. 3
- I fled Him down the nights and down the days;
- I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
- I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
- Of my own mind
- — Francis Thompson, The Hound of Heaven
- 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
- Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state, sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.
- — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.
- — Elie Wiesel, Night
- It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way …
- — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
- Smyth, Herbert Weir (1920). Greek Grammar. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-36250-0.