Are there any citable examples of asyndetons in literature?

1 Answer
Jun 30, 2017

Yes, there are many! See below for a few examples :)


First, we should know what asyndeton is!

Asyndeton is the usage of lists without conjunctions such as "and." Without these extra words, the author can effectively quicken the pace of the sentence, which could create a dramatic effect, especially in a suspenseful scene.

Without the distraction of "and" between words, the author places more emphasis on the important parts in the list. Additionally, authors can use asyndeton to emphasize a repeated phrase.


  • "My friend is dead, my neighbor is dead, my love, the darling of my soul, is dead" (A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens)
  • "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness..." (A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens)
  • "...the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals' song of it" (The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald)
  • "I was a guide, a pathfinder, an original settler" (The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald)
  • " stirred only the farthest fringes of life, a small leaf, a black feather, a single fiber of hair" (Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury)
  • "These griefs, these woes, these sorrows make me old" (Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare)
  • "Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils, / Shrunk to this little measure?" (Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare)
  • "The air was thick, warm, heavy, sluggish" (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad)
  • "We saw no houses, no smoke, no footprints, no boats, no people" (Lord of the Flies by William Golding)

Hope this helps!