An Introduction to Antimetabole
Antimetabole (derives from Greek anti “in opposite direction,” and metabole “turning about”), is a form of speech with inverted order of words; so that the meaning is twisted, as:
- √ “A poem is a speaking picture; a picture is a mute poem.”
- √ “We must eat to live, and not live to eat.”
This is achieved by the inverted order of repeated words in adjacent phrases or clauses (A-B, B-A). Antimetabole is similar to chiasmusOpens in new window, in which one sentence is the grammatical inverse of the next.