Tuesday Terminology: Epanalepsis


The name is menacing, but the meaning is more straightforward than it seems. Epanalepsis is simply repeating the same word or words at the beginning and ending of a phrase. The most famous example is as follows:

The king is dead; long live the king.

Why would someone use epanalepsis? Now days, it’s more rare (and sounds a bit unnatural), but this arrangement, while raising the formality, does provide a special emphasis to the repeated word or words.

My beloved is mine, and I belong to my beloved.

Let’s see some examples you have found or made up.

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One thought on “Tuesday Terminology: Epanalepsis

  1. “Be all that you can be.”
    (U.S. Army advertising slogan )

    “Mankind must put an end to war–or war will put an end to mankind.”
    (John F. Kennedy’s speech to UN General Assembly, Sept. 25, 1961)

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