Symploce

An Introduction to Symploce

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
  • 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

  • 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.

Further Readings:
Wikipedia | SymploceOpens in new window
Silva Rhetorica,Figures | SymploceOpens in new window