Symploce: Definition and Examples

Symploce (derives from Greek combination ‘sym’ “together”, and ‘plekein’ “interweave”), simultaneously combines anaphoraOpens in new window and epistropheOpens in new window; whereby the same word or phrase is repeated at the start of successive lines, clauses, or sentences, while a different word or phrase is repeated at the end of such element, often with a slight change in the middle.

Notable Examples of Symploce

  1. “When there is talk of hatred, let us stand up and talk against it.
    When there is talk of violence, let us stand up and talk against it.”

    Bill Clinton

  2. “Against yourself you are calling him,
    against the laws you are calling him,
    against the democratic constitution you are calling him

    Aeschines

Important Hint! 

Symploce is beginning a series of lines, clauses, or sentences with the same word or phrase while simultaneously repeating a different word or phrase at the end of each element in this series. It is derived from the Greek, meaning to “interweave” – Symploce is a figure of repetition that mixes AnaphoraOpens in new window and EpistropheOpens in new window together.

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