‘Anaphora’ figure of speech!! When a word or phrase is repeated at the beginning of clauses or sentences that follow each other, this is known as anaphora. This repetition highlights the phrase while also giving the passage a rhythm, making it more memorable and enjoyable to read.

Well, let’s see some extracts and understand this figure of speech nicely. Get the reading started!

Anaphora Figure of Speech

Anaphora is a device in which a phrase or word is repeated at the start of successive phrases, sentences, or clauses. Anaphora is a literary device that allows writers to emphasise, convey, and reinforce meaning in their writing.

This stylized technique of repeating a word at the beginning of each phrase in a group of clauses or sentences can be very effective in poetry, speeches, lyrics, and prose.

What is the Anaphore Figure of Speech?

Anaphora serves as a literary device for emphasizing words and ideas in general. When used correctly, it can also have a lyrical and artistic effect. Readers often remember passages with anaphora in the same way they remember musical refrains. This not only enhances the reader’s language knowledge and enjoyment, but it also increases the writer’s ability to communicate and reinforce meaning in their work.

Unfortunately, when used incorrectly, anaphora can turn a reader off. It can come across as too forced, obnoxious, or emphatic. Anaphora writing is a delicate balance of deliberate literary device and natural wording flow.

As a result, to avoid overwhelming or disengaging the reader, writers must carefully consider when and how to use anaphora.

Examples – Anaphora Figure of Speech

Anaphora is a word that is used in conversation to express emotion and to emphasize or affirm a point or idea. Here are some examples of anaphora in conversation:

  • “Go big or go home.”
  • “Be bold. Be brief. Be gone.”
  • “Get busy living or get busy dying.”
  • “Give me liberty or give me death.”
  • “You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.”
  • “Stay safe. Stay well. Stay happy.”
  • “So many places, so little time.”
  • “I wish I may; I wish I might.”
  • “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”
  • “Give much, give often, give freely.”
  • “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
  • “Run far, run fast.”
  • “Monkey see, monkey do.”
  • “Open heart, open mind.”
  • “Great haste makes great waste.”


“Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response. Indifference is not a beginning; it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor–never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten.”

(Elie Wiesel)


Writers frequently use anaphora to elicit emotion. The passage from Elie Wiesel’s speech above, in which he begins his statements with “indifference,” exemplifies this well. Though indifference as a term implies a lack of emotion, Wiesel’s repeated use of the word has the opposite effect on the reader/listener.

As a result, indifference as anaphora evokes empathy and sadness in this case. A rhetorical device that elicits emotion in the reader or listener is useful to a writer as a means of conveying meaning.

Also Read: Hyperbole Figure of Speech: Get to Know the Definition, Uses and Examples

Emphasize a Concept

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

(Mark Twain)


Anaphora is a great rhetorical device for writers who want to emphasise or reinforce a point. The concept represented by a word or phrase is highlighted and brought to the foreground for the reader by repeating it at the beginning of successive sentences or phrases.

In his famous quote comparing the size of a dog in a fight to the size of the fight in a dog, Mark Twain uses this reinforcement and emphasis. Mark Twain is able to reinforce the concept that external, physical size has less influence on an outcome than innate passion and motivation by emphasising the impact of size through anaphora.

Call to Action

“Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.”

(Martin Luther King Jr.)


A writer can create a sense of urgency or a call to action for the reader by repeating a word or phrase at the beginning of successive sentences. In Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, for example, he uses the phrase “go back” to compel his readers/listeners to take action.

Furthermore, the repetition of this phrase creates effective anaphora by instilling a sense of urgency in the reader/listener to think about and follow the directive. As a result, anaphora is a powerful rhetorical device for political or motivational writing.


Hopefully, this article has given you the meaning and its various forms which are used beautifully in sentences by various writers, poets and authors. One can always try to point out figures of speech when they are reaching a novel, a piece of extract or a poetry. This will enhance your English language and also give you an insight of how and where you can use them.

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Also Read: What is the Personification Figure of Speech? Let’s Learn English Grammar to Communicate Better


1. What is an anaphora figure of speech in English?
A: An anaphora is a rhetorical device that involves the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences. It is used to create emphasis, rhythm, and impact in writing or speech.

2. How is anaphora used to enhance writing or speech?
A: Anaphora is used to bring attention to key ideas, create rhythm, and evoke emotions. It adds emphasis and impact by repeating words or phrases at the beginning of consecutive sentences or phrases.

3. Can you provide examples of anaphora in literature or speeches?
A: Certainly! Examples of anaphora include Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous phrase: “I have a dream” repeated at the beginning of successive sentences in his iconic speech. In literature, poems by Walt Whitman often employ anaphora for poetic effect.

4. What’s the difference between anaphora and epistrophe in figure of speech?
A: Anaphora involves the repetition of words at the beginning of successive clauses, while epistrophe is the repetition of words at the end of successive clauses. Both are powerful rhetorical devices but differ in their placement within sentences or phrases.

5. How can I effectively use anaphora in my writing or speech?
A: To use anaphora effectively, consider the key points you want to emphasize. Repeat specific words or phrases at the beginning of successive sentences or clauses to create rhythm and impact. Ensure it aligns with the overall context and tone of your writing or speech. Practice and experimentation can refine your use of anaphora.