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What are some examples of how anastrophe is used in literature?

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Mar 8, 2017


Anastrophe is when the order of the noun, adjectives and verbs are in a different order to the normal pattern.


Anastrophe is also know as inversion. Anastrophe is used when the author wants to emphasize a certain concept or to set apart a character from others.

Normally the adjective comes before the noun (fair world would be an example) but when using an anastrophe, you use the adjective after the noun (this world fair is when the adjective 'fair' is swapped with the noun 'world'). Another way to use Anastrophe is to put the verb at the end of the sentence (such as how Yoda talks)

So some examples could be

  • Last week I saw a dog (normal)
  • Last week a dog I saw (inverted)
  • Last week saw I a dog (inverted)

Examples in literature:

"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing." Edgar Allan Poe, "The Raven"

"It only stands our lives upon, to use our strongest hands." Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra

"Strong in the force, you are." Yoda, Star Wars (A characteristic that sets Yoda apart from the other characters is his use of anastrophe in his lines)

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