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In the widely followed hearing on Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation to the United States Supreme Court, Senator Kamala Harris said to Kavanaugh's accuser of sexual assault;

You have called for an independent investigation

Judge Kavanaugh has not.

You have called for independent witnesses

Judge Kavanaugh has not.

You have submitted yourself to a polygraph test

Judge Kavanaugh has not.

Is there a term for this rhetorical technique, where a sort of refrain punctuates several statements?

I searched Google but couldn't find a word more suited than "refrain," though I suspect there is a more appropriate term out there.

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Senator Harris is using "repetition", a common rhetorical device.

Repetition is a literary device that repeats the same words or phrases a few times to make an idea clearer and more memorable. There are several types of repetition commonly used in both prose and poetry.

Repetition is a literary device that repeats the same words or phrases a few times to make an idea clearer and more memorable. ... As a rhetorical device, it could be a word, a phrase, or a full sentence, or a poetical line repeated to emphasize its significance in the entire text.

There are quite a few types of repetition and Harris uses an epimone.

  • Epimone (pronounced eh-PIM-o-nee) is a rhetorical term for the frequent repetition of a phrase or question; dwelling on a point. Also known as perseverantia, leitmotif, and refrain.

A very good example of an epimone can be seen in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Who doesn't remember...

Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men--
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me;
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill;
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man. . . .

-- (Mark Antony in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Act 3, scene 2)

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    Excellent. I studied Julius Caesar for my "O Level" GCE English Literature about 60 years ago, and Anthony's funeral speech remains as powerful today as it did then. – WS2 Sep 27 '18 at 19:45

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