Diacope is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is repeated with a small number of intervening words.
The word ‘Diacope’ derives from the Greek word “diakope” meaning “cut in two” reflecting how, in diacope, a pair of repeated words are divided by intervening words.
Often, Diacope is used to express strong emotion or to draw attention to the repeated phrase. It works by making a phrase memorable and even rhythmic.
Because it is a very common repetition scheme, diacope often appears simultaneously with other figures of speech, including epistrophe, epanalepsis, parallelism, and anaphora.
- “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”( Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina)
- “Put out the light, then put out the light”( Shakespeare’s Othello)
- “To be or not to be” ( Hamlet)
Types of Diacope:
There are mainly two types of Diacope
1. Vocative Diacope
This type of diacope just repeats a phrase or word for emphasis such as:
“The horror! Oh, the horror!”( Repetition in this line is on the phrase “the horror,” which emphasizes how horrific something is! It also shows how a character is mentally overwhelmed.)
“He is a good man; What a good man”.( Here the ‘good man’ is repeated and separated by ‘What’, The repetition of ‘good man’ emphasizes the good qualities of the man’s character.
2. Elaborative diacope
This version of diacope repeats a phrase or word with an additional description or adjective that describes, clarifies, or further lays emphasis on a particular aspect of the thing or subject such as:
“He is standing with a lovely woman. A tall, well-dressed, and beautiful woman.”
Here elaborative diacope adds further clarity to the appearance of a woman: tall, well-dressed, and beautiful.
Also read: Innuendo: Definition, Features, and Examples