Why do authors use Anaphora


The Anaphor is a rhetorical figure of word repetitions, like the anadiplose or the epipher and is used as a stylistic device to structure and rhythmize texts. The word anaphor can be derived from the Greek and roughly means to lead back or also to relate back (gr. ἀναφορά (anaphorá)).

The anaphor describes that Repetition - once or several times - of a word or a sentence at the start consecutive verses, stanzas or even sentences or parts of sentences. This can result in a reinforcing effect unfold through haunting repetition.

I write now, I write, what I want, I write for my life gladly. would therefore be a simple sentence that illustrates the structure.

In the literature we find numerous examples of the anaphor, which is why it can be counted among the most common rhetorical figures without question. Especially in religious texts such as the Bible, the use of the repetitive anaphor is common practice.

Structure of the anaphor

The anaphora is always a form of repetition and can be identified as such quite easily. It follows a simple pattern, as it always repeats a word or part of a sentence in the following verse or sentence at the beginning that has already introduced it.

The above quote comes from Friedrich Schiller's drama The Fiesco conspiracy in Genoa and also reveals the use of the anaphor and, apparently, its effect. By repeating the two words The Moor what is said is strengthened, so to speak.

Furthermore, the repetition gives the sentence a certain dynamic of its own, as it gets a certain rhythm, which puts the emphasis on the word pair The Moor lies.

Effect of the anaphor

Let's look at another example, it can also be shown to what extent the anaphora not only intensifies or rhythmizes the effect of a sentence, but also almost "hammering" what is said into the reader.

Duke Otto speaks these words in Grillparzer's work A faithful servant of his master to the queen. Here the emphasis is on repeating the word Bywhich, as it were, introduces the enumerated words and gives them a separate urgency awards.

Figuratively speaking, one could think that the recipient (that is, we) pauses at every “through” and thus takes in the individual words much more intensely, perhaps more consciously. However, that belongs more to an interpretation of the text.

More examples of the anaphor

The book of unrest, Fernando Passoa
How tiringto be loved, to be truly loved! How tiringto be the object of someone else's emotional stress! If one has always wanted to see oneself free, always free, suddenly burdening oneself with the burden of responsibility, reciprocating feelings and being decent enough not to withdraw so that no one thinks that one is a prince in Things emotion and at the same time reject the highest that a human soul can give. How tiringto see our existence entirely dependent on the emotional relationship with another person! How tiringof being forced to love a little too, albeit without the full reciprocation!
In the foreign, Joseph von Eichendorff
I hear the brooks rustling / In the forest here and there, / In the forest in the noise / I don't know where I am.
Threepenny Opera, Bertolt Brecht
Yes there you can only lie down Yes there one must be cold and heartless. / Yes there so much could happen. / Oh, there’s only: no!

Similar stylistic devices

However, the anaphora can quickly be confused with other stylistic figures, which is why it is always worth taking a second look at the relevant text passage. For example, the epipher is only a reflection of the anaphor, since the literal repetition is at the end of the respective sentences and not at the beginning.