In Malcolm X's Ballot or the Bullet speech, at one point he states: '...dripping with blood, dripping with the blood of the black man....

Is there a specific rhetorical term for this technique, where a phrase is repeated to provide clarification?

  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_rhetorical_terms
    – jimm101
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 12:38
  • I'd already had a look through this, and cmd-f for 'rep' and a couple of other words didn't show anything that seemed particularly relevant (beyond repetition itself, but I was looking for something more specific). Maybe symploce, but it's not quite capturing the entire essence; specifically that it is repeated to provide further clarification.
    – user178943
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 12:47
  • It's good to show your work in the question, along with why those other definitions weren't useful.
    – jimm101
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


As best as I can tell, it looks like an example of "Epimone" which is repetition of a phrase (usually a question) to stress a point. In this case though, the repetition is not a question, it is the direct repetition of a phrase to stress an additional meaningful descriptor of the same phrase.

In your example, the "clarification" comes from the repetition + further description. There are several other rhetorical terms pertaining to repetition listed at the link below.


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