The epanadiplosis is a linguistic stylistic means of repetition used in all literary genres. The epanadiploses describe the fact that a word or a word sequence is repeated at the beginning and at the end of a text. This repetition can be at the beginning and at the end of individual verses, but also enclose stanzas or works (cf. Kyklos). The term is sometimes used synonymous with the anadiplosis, which means a resumption of the sentence or verse in the following sentence or verse, in order to intensify the intensity of the statement.
The terminology can be derived from the Greek (ἐπαναδίπλωσις) and translated with a down-to-the-top doubling. Thus, the translation of the figure already points to the fundamental question: namely, the doubling of an element [used at the beginning and end of two sequences of words]. Either (1) it encloses something or (2) connects successive ones. Let’s look at an example:
(1) You shall be deprived of it! should be without
The above example comes from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s tragedy Faust and is taken from a dialogue between Mephistopheles and Faust. Here the verb, which is the first word of the line, is equal to its conclusion. This greatly increases the word, which ultimately determines the effect of the epanadiploses and other repetition figures.
The verse also shows the similarity to other stylistic figures. Furthermore, this is an epanodus, a special form of chiasmus. This is due to the fact that these words are repeated in reverse order. The verse begins to be without one, one followed, then to end with the same words, but just interchanged: Shall be without. Yet another example:
(1) Ignorant, wicked fellow! have you not told me often enough to get out of the room? Can not you imagine that those who are allowed to be in the Cabinet will also have permission to be in the room? Ignorant, wicked fellow!
This example comes from the 14th elevator of the third act of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s play The Young Scholar. In doing so, the repetition of the address of an ignorant, wicked fellow frames the entire passage. Since the word sequence here also stands at the beginning and at the end of the section, the whole can be regarded as an epanadiplos, which in turn is used in the form of a Kyklos.
However, the term epanadiplosis is also used synonymously for anadiplosis. The anadiplose means that a word or a word sequence is at the end of a sentence but is picked up immediately at the beginning of the next sentence. The repeated elements are consequently separated from one another by a punctuation mark or a line break (see punctuation, enjambement). For example:
(2) With the ships play wind and waves,
Wind and waves do not play with his heart.
The above verses are taken from the last stanza of Goethe’s poem Seefaht. Here the word sequence wind and waves forms the end of the one and the beginning of the next verse. The words are thus doubled, but are in different verses (or sentences). A simple duplication, that is, without breaking through verse or sentence, is called Geminatio or Epanalepse.
Epanadiplose in the film
The epanadiplose is not only found in texts, but is also a common means in the film. Epanadiploses are used here to refer to scenes or motifs which are shown repeatedly at the beginning and at the end, partly also slightly, and thus form a frame.
For example, the film Forrest Gump (1994) can be cited. At the beginning of the film, the viewer sees a feather dancing through the wind. But also in the last shot one sees a pen, which leads from the action and the film decides. At the beginning of the film and also at the end is therefore the same motive: the feather. At times, films end up ending with an identical scene.
Short overview: The most important thing about the Stilfigur at a glance
The epanadiplose is a rhetorical stylistic device. This means either the framing of a sentence, verse or else a different syntactic or semantic unity by the repetition of the same word or the same sentence member (Kyklos), or else the repetition of the end and beginning of successive sentences or verses (anadiploses).
Like other stylistic devices that repeat something, epanadiploses have a reinforcing effect. Furthermore, they can direct the attention of the recipient (reader, listener) to the repeated, and are therefore urgent, which is why they are often used in speeches.