Polysyndeton, Asyndeton, Question-in-the-narrative, Break-in-the-narrative, Climax, Anticlimax

Dariya Kokisheva 2013 M04 14
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Polysyndeton is a list or series of words, phrases, or clauses that is connected with the repeated use of the same conjunction. The most common conjunctions used with polysyndeton are and...

Polysyndeton is a list or series of words, phrases, or clauses that is connected with the repeated use of the same conjunction. The most common conjunctions used with polysyndeton are and and or.

Example: The citizens of the small town demanded a new sheriff and mayor, hoping the change would lead to the elimination of deception and fraud and corruption.

 

Asyndeton is a list or a series in which no and is used at all, rather the items are separated by commas. Asyndeton has an effect that is quite different from polysyndeton’s. If the effect of polysyndeton is to slow the reader down, the effect of asyndeton is most often the opposite: to speed the reader up.

One of the most famous examples of asyndeton is attributed to Julius Caesar.

Example: “I came, I saw, I conquered.” –Julius Caesar.

 

Question-in-the-narrative changes the real nature of a question and turns it into a stylistic device. A question in the narrative is asked and answered by one and the same person, usually by the author.

Example: “For what is left the poet here?

For Greeks a blush – for Greece a tear.” (G. G. Byron)

 

Break-in-the-narrative is a device which dictionaries define as a stopping short for rhetorical effect. In the written variety of the language break-in-the-narrative is used for some stylistic effect. Break-in-the-narrative is connected with the intention of the speaker not to finish the sentence and to imply something by doing so, for example:

  • You just come home, or I will...

With aposiopesis, emotions prevent the speaker from finishing the sentence:

  • My God! If the police come - and find me here
 

Climax

Anticlimax

Climax is an arrangement of sentences, which secures a gradual increase in significance, importance, or emotional tension in the utterance.

Anticlimax refers to a figure of speech in which statements gradually descend in order of importance. Unlike climax, anticlimax is the arrangement of a series of words, phrases, or clauses in order of decreasing importance.

Examples

“This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Martin Luther King, I Have a Dream

1. She is a great writer, a mother and a good humorist.

2. He lost his family, his car and his cell phone.

       

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