Epiphora Examples: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know what epiphoras are? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on epiphoras, including the definition, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What is an epiphora?

According to Thought Co, epiphora, which is also known as epistrophe, refers to the repetition of a word or phrase at the end of successive clauses, in contrast with anaphora. The combination of anaphora and epiphora is called symploce, which is the repetition of words or phrases at both the beginning and end of successive clauses. This is used in song, literature, and famous speech like the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln, president of the United States as well as Martin Luther King Jr.’s, “I Have a Dream.”

What are examples of epiphoras?

Take a look at the below examples of epiphoras from Thought Co, Six Minutes, and Literary Devices.

  •  “Take whatever idiot they have at the top of whatever agency and give me a better idiot. Give me a caring idiot. Give me a sensitive idiot. Just don’t give me the same idiot.”- Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish, speaking about FEMA Chief Michael Brown, September 6, 2005
  •  “Hourly joys be still upon you! Juno sings her blessings on you … Scarcity and want shall shun you, Ceres’ blessing so is on you.” – The Tempest (By William Shakespeare)
  •  “She’s safe, just like I promised. She’s all set to marry Norrington, just like she promised. And you get to die for her, just like you promised.” – Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean
  •  “We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true! But you people sit there, day after day, night after night—also known asall ages, colors, creeds. You’re beginning to believe the illusions we’re spinning here! You’re beginning to think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube. You eat like the tube. You raise your children like the tube. You even think like the tube. This is mass madness, you maniacs! In God’s name, you people are the real thing. We are the illusion!” – Peter Finch as television anchorman Howard Beale in Network, 1976
  •  “For when we have faced down impossible odds, when we’ve been told we’re not ready or that we shouldn’t try or that we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Yes, we can. It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation: Yes, we can. It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail towards freedom through the darkest of nights: Yes, we can. It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness: Yes, we can.” – Barack Obama, speech after New Hampshire primary loss, January 8, 2008
  •  “Our brothers and sisters in Asia, who were colonized by the Europeans, our brothers and sisters in Africa, who were colonized by the Europeans, and in Latin America, the peasants, who were colonized by the Europeans, have been involved in a struggle since 1945 to get the colonialists, or the colonizing powers, the Europeans, off their land, out of their country.” – Malcolm X, “The Black Revolution”, June, 1963
  • “There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem. And we are met here tonight as Americans-not as Democrats or Republicans-we are met here as Americans to solve that problem.” – Lyndon B. Johnson, March 15, 1965
  •  “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”- Bill Clinton
  •  “… that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863
  • “The United States, as the world knows,will never start a war.We do not want a war. We do not now expect a war.” – John F. Kennedy, “The Strategy for Peace”, June 10, 1963
  •  “I’m a Pepper, he’s a Pepper, she’s a Pepper, we’re a Pepper. Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too? Dr. Pepper.”- Advertising jingle for Dr. Pepper soft drink
  •  “Then, since this earth affords no joy to me But to command, to check, to o’erbear such As are of better person than myself, I’ll make my heaven to dream upon the crown; And, whiles I live, to account this world but hell, Until my mis-shap’d trunk that bears this head Be round impaled with a glorious crown. And yet I know not how to get the crown, For many lives stand between me and home.” – King Henry VI (By William Shakespeare)
  •  “Fie, fie, thou shamest thy shape, thy love, thy wit, Which, like a userer, abound’st in all, And uses none in that true sense indeed Which should bedeck thy shape, thy love, thy wit.” – Romeo and Juliet (By William Shakespeare)

“Sweet Portia,
If you did know to whom I gave the ring,
If you did know for whom I gave the ring
And would conceive for what I gave the ring
And how unwillingly I left the ring,
When nought would be accepted but the ring,
You would abate the strength of your displeasure.”

“If you had known the virtue of the ring,
Or half her worthiness that gave the ring,
Or your own honor to contain the ring,
You would not then have parted with the ring.” – Merchant of Venice (By William Shakespeare)
Overall, epiphoras are the repetition of the first part of successive sentences.


  1. Epiphora – Examples and Definition of Epiphora | Literary Devices 
  2. Epiphora: Definition, Examples, and Usage Guide | Six Minutes 
  3. Definition and Examples of Epiphora in Rhetoric | Thought Co. 
  4. 45+ Literary Devices and Terms Every Writer Should Know | Reedsy