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Parallelism

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Parallelism

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Parallelism is the use of repeated patterns in separate parts of a sentence.

Example

The good that I hear does not match the bad that I see.

He loves to live; I live to love.

I know you lie, I accuse you of lying, I will show you are a liar.

Discussion

Repetition of a pattern creates emphasis, multiplying attention to each part referenced and thus the power of sentence.

Pattern repetition can be simple and obvious, making them easy to see. Patterns can also be subtle and overt, making them difficult to perceive.

Various forms of parallelism include:

  • Parallel subjects: The silent canal and the peaceful towpath led us on.
  • Parallel objects: I will search every city, town and village until I find you.
  • Parallel verbs and objects: Turn out the lights of life, draw the curtains of time, close the door on existence.
  • Parallel verbs and adverbs: He was publicly kind and privately mean.
  • Parallel phrases: Look to the mountains where you can see the peaks.
  • Parallel sentences: Lift me up! Help me ascend!

Classification: Repetition

See also

Repetition principle

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