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What is the purpose of anaphora?

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Quick Answer

The purpose of anaphora is to create a driving rhythm, heighten emotion, add emphasis and make the passage easier to remember. Anaphora is a poetic and rhetorical device in which a word or phrase is repeated at the beginning of successive lines for artistic effect.

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Anaphora is a word of Greek origin and denotes carrying back or referring. As one of the oldest poetic techniques known, anaphora occurs in devotional verse across the world, including the Psalms of the Bible. Other examples may be found in Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Allen Ginsberg's "Howl," portions of T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" and in the works of William Shakespeare and other Elizabethan poets.

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