The Epizeuxis is a rhetorical stylistic medium and encounters us in texts of all kinds and genres. Epizeuxis are the three or more repetitions of a word or group of words. Consequently, the Epizeuxis belongs to the figures of the word repetition (Repititio) and is still related to the stylistic means Geminatio, Anadiplose and Epanalepse.
The term Epizeuxis is derived from the Greek and can be translated with addition. This translation clearly illustrates in the very essence what it is all about: adding or repeating additional words [immediately following each other]. Let’s look at an example.
I am very, very, very good!
In the above example there are basically two style figures. On the one hand, we can recognize the exclamation (exclamation), and on the other hand, through the threefold repetition, the epizeuxis. Here, the word is repeated three times, which naturally amplifies it and brings it to the center.
The Epizeuxis, by the way, are, like the Geminatio, often found at the beginning or the beginning of the verse. Thus, the stylist can draw the attention of the receiver (reader, viewer) to a detail or strengthen the importance of a concept. Of course, it can also appear in the middle or at the end.
No! No! No! that can not be.
Impossible, brother, that can not be your seriousness.
These two sample sentences are taken from the drama Die Räuber by Friedrich Schiller, and they are bundled with several stylistic figures. Consequently, we can call the repetition of the word at the end of the sentence as an epipher and the rather unusual sentence in the second line as hyperbaton. For us, however, the beginning is exciting in this case: for the threefold repetition of the exclamation No! is an Epizeuxis.
Ole Ole ole Ole,
We are the champions.
The above example comes from a sporty environment and was first recorded by Grand Jojo. The verse line has become the basis for numerous football matches. In the example, we also find an example of the repeated repetition of a word.
It is interesting to note that the Epizeuxis, apart from the literary genres, can often be found in the stadium and, of course, in music, since it is catchy and reinforcing (→ Kehrreim).
Note: The three examples all have in common that they place a single word in the immediate center. The epizeuxis can therefore strengthen a concept or a sense unit and put it in the focus of the reader. The repeated repetition has a catchy effect.
Epizeuxis, geminatio, anadiplosis and epanalysis
The Epizeuxis is one of the figures of the word repetition (Repititio) and is sometimes difficult to distinguish from other stylistic figures of this kind. For this reason, we would like to show you the characteristics of similar stylistic devices so that the difference becomes clear.
But not all figures of the word repetition are to be illuminated, but only those which resemble the Epizeuxis in some form. The demarcation of Anapher, Epipher, or Kyklos should not be difficult in this case, where geminatio, anadiplosis, and epanalysis can cause problems.
The Epizeuxis in contrast to other stylistic figures
Geminatio: Describes the immediate doubling of a word and not the three or more repetitions. The words belong to the same sense unit.
Example: “This is very, very good!”
Anadiplosis: Also means the immediate doubling of words or groups of words. In contrast to the Geminatio these, however, belong to different sentences and senses.
Example: “Language is dead. Dead are also my parents.”
Epanalysis: Describes the repetition of a word or phrase within a sentence. However, the words do not follow each other directly, or there is a distance on the speech level (pause during speech).
Example: “Flache, Mortimer! Flee! ”
Effect and function of Epizeuxis
In principle, it is difficult to ascribe a function or effect to a stylistic device. Then we run the risk of breaking down the stylistic figure every time and do not look to see if it does not cause anything else in the particular case and breaks with the expectation.
Nevertheless, there are of course reasons why a stylistic figure is used in a text, even if we have to check whether it is in this case as well. So let’s look at the function and effect of Epizeuxis and keep in the backside that these are not always true.
As a stylistic figure of repetition, the Epizeuxis can amplify the statement and direct the focus of the receiver (reader, viewer) to a certain detail. For by repeating a word or a group of words, of course, penetration is conveyed.
This effect is known to us from advertising, whereby messages are clearly anchored in the head. (Example: “‘What do you want?’ – ‘Ma-o-am, Ma-o-am, Ma-o-am!’
If, however, the figure comes into play in the dramatic text, it can also develop a pathetic effect (exaggerated, all too sensitive). This can be quite funny or clearly exaggerated.