What is Anaphora?
Anaphora (pronounced uh--naf-er-uh) is when a certain word or phrase is repeated at the beginning of clauses or sentences that follow each other. This repetition emphasizes the phrase while adding rhythm to the passage, making it more memorable and enjoyable to read.
For example, imagine you are frustrated and tired with your friend, who is making the same mistakes over and over again.
I’m sick and tired of you letting me down. I’m sick and tired of you making me mad. And I’m sick and tired of you doing such silly things!
Through the repetition of “I’m sick and tired,” the phrase has become more emotionally-charged than before.
For another example of anaphora, consider emphasizing that your frustration is caused by how often your friend causes you to feel this way:
Every single day you let me down. Every single day you make me mad. Every single day you do such silly things!
Here, the repetition of “every single day” serves to emphasize just how often your friend frustrates you.
One of the most common examples of anaphora, and a clear sign of its ability to emphasize and remain in our memories, is Charles Dickens’ opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities:
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.
What is an Asyndeton?
Asyndeton (pronounced uh--sin-di-ton) is skipping one or more conjunctions (and, or, but, for, nor, so, yet) which are usually used in a series of phrases. Asyndeton is also known as asyndetism. This word is derived from the Greek phrase asyndetos meaning “unconnected.”
After seeing all the evidence, I agree. They disagree.
What is Enjambment?
Enjambment is continuing a line after the line breaks. Whereas many poems end lines with the natural pause at the end of a phrase or with punctuation as end-stopped lines, enjambment ends a line in the middle of a phrase, allowing it to continue onto the next line as an enjambed line. Enjambment is derived from the French phrase enjambment meaning to “straddle something,” as the sentence extends to a next line.
Examples of Enjambment
Here are a few basic examples of enjambment in poetry:
We were running
to find what had happened
beyond the hills.
If written as a sentence (We were running to find what had happened beyond the hills) it is clear that this phrase has no punctuation until the end. In the poem, each line is enjambed until the period at the end of the third line.
The sun hovered above
the horizon, suspended between
night and day.
This example is similar: the first and second lines are enjambed, whereas the third is end-stopped.
What is an Extended Metaphor?
An extended metaphor is a metaphor that is developed in great detail. The amount of detail can vary from that of a sentence or a paragraph, to encompassing an entire work. In an extended metaphor, the author takes a single metaphor and employs it at length, using various subjects, images, ideas and situations. They are commonly used in poetry, as well as prose.
Examples of Extended Metaphor in Literature
William Shakespeare used Extended Metaphor extensively in both his poems and his plays. The balcony scene in his play Romeo and Juliet is one of the most classically touching and romantic examples. This is Romeo’s monologue, in which he compares Juliet to the sun.
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off…
The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost, is one of the most famous examples of extended metaphor in poetry. In it he compares life’s journey to a forest path:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
What is Exemplum?
“Exemplum” is just Latin for “example.” And that’s all it is. It’s an example, story, or anecdote used to demonstrate a point.
On its strict definition, exemplum specifically means a story used to illustrate an ethical point. We’ll call this “moral exemplum,” but you might also call it a “parable.” These can be anything from short tales to whole novels or plays.
More broadly, “exemplum” can mean any use of an example at all. So any time someone says “for instance” or “for example,” what follows is an exemplum. These, too, can be either short or long, but they tend to be fairly short.
The plural of “exemplum” is “exempla.”
II. Examples of Exemplum
Once there was a boy who lived in a village. He liked to call out “Wolf!” and laugh as the villagers ran around in a panic, only to realize that there was no wolf at all. One day, the boy was playing in the forest, and ran into an actual wolf. He cried “Wolf! Wolf!” but no one believed him anymore. Everyone thought he was lying again, and no one came to save him.
This is one of the most famous exempla of all. You probably heard this story at some point when you were young, when an adult wanted you to understand the importance of being truthful. This is a good, short example of the “moral exemplum.”
The traditional paper newspaper is in dire straits. For example, the venerable Rocky Mountain News in Denver closed its doors in 2009, never to reopen.
This author is using a short exemplum to illustrate a more general point about newspapers. Notice that this exemplum does not prove the point! After all, just because one newspaper closed does not mean the industry as a whole is in trouble. However, the exemplum helps readers see what the author means.
What is Hyperbaton?
Hyperbaton is a figure of speech in which the typical, natural order of words is changed as certain words are moved out of order. The word hyperbaton (pronounced hahy-pur-buh-ton) is derived from the Greek phrase hyperbatos meaning “transposed” or “inverted.”
Examples of Hyperbaton
Hyperbaton can be dramatic or strange or it can be subtle and poetic.
Sweet, she was.
In changing “She was sweet” to “Sweet, she was,” the writer emphasizes sweetness in a unique hyperbatonic sentence structure.
Ever so lost and confused, I felt just then!
Similar to the above example, this hyperbaton emphasizes lostness and confusion.
He was as he was strange, insane, confusing and complained! Piece of what an interesting fellow I met and said hello.
This third example is jumbled, fun, and intriguing as words are flipped and moved around hyperbatically.