What is Anadiplosis? Definition, Examples of Anadiplosis in Literature

Definition of anadiplosis: Anadiplosis is a term that refers the repetition of a phrase that ends one clause and begins the successive clause.

What Does Anadiplosis Mean?

What is anadiplosis? Anadiplosis is a type of repetition where the writer ends a clause with a phrase and begins the next clause with the same phrasing of words.

Here are some brief examples of anadiplosis:

  • Do your work with pride and thoughtfulness; this pride and thoughtfulness will receive positive results.
    • Pride and thoughtfulness = anadiplosis
  • The cause of our youth’s obesity problem is laziness. This laziness will result in serious health issues in their future.
    • Laziness = anadiplosis

Modern Examples of Anadiplosis

anadiplosis definitionHere are some modern examples of anadiplosis:

  • Malcom X once said, “Once you change your philosophy, you change your thought pattern. Once you change your thought pattern, you change your attitude. Once you change your attitude, it changes your behavior pattern and then you go on into some action.”
    • Here there are two examples of anadiplosis: “you change your thought pattern” and “you change your attitude”. This rhetorical use of anadiplosis is used to persuade his listeners to change in order to receive desired results.
  • Former President George W. Bush used anadiplosis when addressing America regarding the terrorists attacks of September 11, 2001, “Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution.”
    • The word anger is an example of anadiplosis used in order to stir emotions of patriotism in the grieving American citizens after the horrific attack of 9/11.

The Function of Anadiplosis

Anadiplosis is used in order to bring attention to a subject through use of repetition. Speakers in order to persuade or stir emotion in the audience often use this rhetorical technique. This emotion many times leads the audience to take action or believe in the speaker’s message.

How Anadiplosis is Used in Literature

anadiplosis rhetorical definitionHere are some examples of anadiplosis used in literature:

In Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, his intellectual and poetic narrator speaks using anadiplosis. In this novel, this device is used to characterize his poetic nature rather than being used in a rhetorical manner. Nabokov writes,

  • “what I present here is what I remember of the letter, and what I remember of the letter I remember verbatim.”
    • “What I remember of the letter” = anadiplosis

In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, anadiplosis can be found when Juliet is attempting to persuade her father to forgive her for her disobedience and agrees to marry Paris. Juliet tells her father,

  • “Where I have learned me to repent the sin/ Of disobedient opposition/ To you and your behests, and am enjoined/ By holy Lawrence to fall prostrate here/ To beg your pardon./ Pardon, I beseech you!/ Henceforward I am ever ruled by you.”
    • Pardon = anadiplosis


Define anadiplosis in literature: Anadiplosis is a type of repetition in which the word or phrase repeated is found at the end of one clause and the beginning of the following clause. This device is often used as a rhetorical device to convince or persuade the listener, but it can also be used in a manner to place emphasis on a phrase or character trait.

Here is a final example of anadiplosis:

In the famous children’s book Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss employs anadiplosis to create a rhythm in his story,

  • “I am Sam, Sam I am.”
    • Sam = anadiplosis