What is epistrophe?

Epistrophe is the repeating of words or phrases at the end of sentences or clauses.

It is used to emphasise a point.

Famous examples of epistrophe

Epistrophe is often used in writing and speeches to make a point.

…this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
(Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address)

There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem.
(Lyndon Johnson)

I want the best, and we need the best, and we deserve the best.
(John F. Kennedy)

…when we have faced down impossible odds; when we’ve been told that we’re not ready, or that we shouldn’t try, or that we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes we can. It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation: Yes we can. It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom through the darkest of nights: Yes we can. It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness: Yes we can.
(Barack Obama)

Making epistrophe

Making epistrophe is simple: choose a strong point, and repeat it at the end of each clause.

What did he talk about? His mother. What did he quote? His mother. Who did he call? His mother. I think it is easy to tell who he loves: his mother.

The heat killed me. The people killed me. The food killed me. The whole place killed me.

When we went to the bar, we drank. When we went to the club, we drank. When we wandered the street, we drank. When we got to my friend’s house, we drank. That whole night, we drank. I wonder why I feel awful.