Essay unit lesson two figures of speech

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  • Advanced parts of speech
  • The use of these tools will make your speaking and your writing move from good to great



  • deliberate omission of a word or words readily implied by the context
  • Examples:
  • Rape is the sexual sin of the mob, adultery of the bourgeoisie, and incest of the aristocracy. - John Updike
  • The Master’s degree is awarded by seventy-four departments, and the Ph.D by sixty


  • Deliberate omission of conjunctions between a series of related clauses
  • Examples:
  • I came, I saw, I conquered.
  • ...and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth. - Abraham Lincoln


  • Repetition of the same word or group of words at the beginning of successive clauses
  • Examples:
  • Let us march to the realization of the American Dream. Let us march on segregated housing. Let us march on segregated schools. Let us march on poverty. Let us march on the ballot boxes, march on the ballot boxes until race baiters disappear from the political arena, until the Wallaces of our nation tremble away in silence. - Martin Luther King Jr.


  • We were going to end the war. We were going to wipe out racism. We were going to mobilize the poor. We were going to take over the universities. Jerry Rubin


  • Repetition of the same word or group of words at the end of successive clauses
  • Examples:
  • As long as the white men sent you to Korea, you bled. He sent you to Germany, you bled. He sent you to the South Pacific to fight the Japanese, you bled. Malcolm X
  • Perhaps the most important thing for me to take back from beach-living: simply the memory that each cycle if the tide is valid, each cycle of the wave is valid, each cycle of a relationship is valid. - Anne Linbergh


  • repetition of the last word of one clause at the beginning of the following clause
  • Examples:
  • The crime was common, common be the pain. - Alexander Pope
  • Aboard my ship, excellent performance is standard. Standard performance is sub-standard. Sub-standard performance is not permitted to exist. - Herman Wouk


  • Arrangement of words, phrases or clauses in an order of increasing importance.
  • Examples:
  • I think we’ve reached a point of great decision, not just for our nation, not only for humanity, but for life upon the earth. - George Wald


  • More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. - St. Paul


  • Repetition of words in successive clauses in reverse grammatical order
  • Examples:
  • Mankind must put an end to war - or war will put an end to mankind. – John Kennedy
  • Ask not what your country can do for you: ask what you can do for your country. –John Kennedy


  • Repetition of words derived from the same root.
  • Examples:
  • But alas.. the gate is narrow, the threshold high, few are chosen because few choose to be chosen. - Aldous Huxley
  • We would like to contain the uncontainable future in a glass. - Loren Eiseley


  • repetition at the end of a clause of the word that occurred at the beginning of the clause.
  • Examples:
  • Blood hath brought blood, and blows hath answer’d blows: Strength match’d with strength, and power confronted power. - Shakespeare
  • Year chases year, decay pursues decay - Samuel Johnson


  • Asking a question not for the purpose of eliciting an answer but for the purpose of asserting or denying something

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