Rhetorical Device: Diacope

Diacope involves the repetition of a word or phrase that is broken up by a single intervening word, or a small number of intervening words. It has the effect of putting emphasis and a degree of finality on the last repetition. This device can be used to emphasize something without having to overstate it; rather than using declarative language that could potentially come off as aggressive or domineering, diacope allows speakers to repeat ideas and concepts for emphasis while still sounding natural and conversational.

Diacope is very similar to a device called epizeuxis, in that both involve repetition of an exact word or phrase, however diacope involves an interruption.


A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!William Shakespeare, "Richard III: Act 5 Scene 4"

The name's Bond, James Bond.James Bond

Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.Martin Luther King, "I Have a Dream" (28 August 1963)

The people everywhere, not just here in Britain, everywhere -- they kept faith with Princess Diana. They liked her. They loved her. They regarded her as one of the people. She was the people's princess.Tony Blair, "Press Remarks on the Passing of Princess Diana" (31 August 1997)

WWS rhetorical device explainer card on diacope

There are other forms of Diacope. In this example, a different adverb is placed before each repetition of the word 'poor' to elaborate on how the character feels about her poverty.
I hate to be poor, and we are degradingly poor, offensively poor, miserably poor, beastly poor. Charles Dickens, "Our Mutual Friend" (1864)

Further reading

  • American Rhetoric: Diacope Visit
  • Silva Rhetoricæ: The Forest of Rhetoric Visit
  • Literary Terms: Diacope Visit
  • Wikipedia: Diacope Visit