Rhetorical Devices


  • Alliteration – the recurrence of initial consonant sounds – rubber baby buggy bumpers
  • Allusion – a reference to an event, literary work or person – I can’t do that because I am not Superman.
  • Amplification – repeats a word or expression for emphasis – Love, real love, takes time.
  • Analogy – compares two different things that have some similar characteristics – He is flaky as a snowstorm.
  • Anaphora – repeats a word or phrase in successive phrases – “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?” (Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare)
  • Antanagoge – places a criticism and compliment together to lessen the impact – The car is not pretty but it runs great.
  • Antimetabole – repeats words or phrases in reverse order – “ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” (J F Kennedy)
  • Antiphrasis – uses a word with an opposite meaning – The Chihuahua was named Goliath.
  • Antithesis – makes a connection between two things – “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” (Neil Armstrong)
  • Appositive – places a noun or phrase next to another noun for descriptive purposes – Mary, queen of the land, hosted the ball.
  • Enumeratio – makes a point with details – Renovation included a spa, tennis court, pool and lounge.
  • Epanalepsis – repeats something from the beginning of a sentence at the end – My ears heard what you said but I couldn’t believe my ears.
  • Epithet – using an adjective or adjective phrase to describe – mesmerizing eyes
  • Epizeuxis – repeats one word for emphasis – The amusement park was fun, fun, fun.
  • Hyperbole – an exaggeration – I have done this a thousand times.
  • Litotes – makes an understatement by denying the opposite of a word that may have been used – The terms of the contract are not disagreeable to me.
  • Metanoia – corrects or qualifies a statement – You are the most beautiful woman in this town, nay the entire world.
  • Metaphor – compares two things by stating one is the other – The eyes are the windows of the soul.
  • Metonymy – a metaphor where something being compared is referred to by something closely associated with it – The knights are loyal to the crown.
  • Onomatopoeia – words that imitate the sound they describe – plunk, whiz, pop
  • Oxymoron – a two word paradox – near miss, seriously funny
  • Parallelism – uses words or phrases with a similar structure – I went to the store, parked the car and bought a pizza.
  • Simile – compares one object to another – He smokes like a chimney.
  • Understatement – makes an idea less important that it really is – The hurricane disrupted traffic.

Read more at http://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-rhetorical-devices.html#7XwDfyFT2WCmvmGi.99



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s