Repetition/Polysyndeton Alex Tenno Blaine Gonzales
Definition and Pronouncation • Polysyndeton:(pol.y.syn.de.ton) the repetition of conjunctions in a series of coordinate words, phrases, or clauses. • Repetition:[rep-i-tish-uhn]the act of repeating; repeated action, performance, production, or presentation or repeated utterance; reiteration.
Example • “There was much game hanging outside the shops, and the snow powdered in the fur of the foxes and the wind blew their tails. The deer hung stiff and heavy and empty, and small birds blew in the wind and the wind turned their feathers. It was a cold fall and the wind came down from the mountains.” • The repetition of the conjunction and makes this polysyndeton. The author (Hemmingway) uses and to create a run on seneence. This sentence emphasies how cold the wind was, and how it affected the lives of the people in that small village
Example • In the opening scene of Halmet, there are repeated (apparently unnecessarily repeated) references to the fact that the ghost has been seen twice before. The first mention of the ghost is at line 24 and is immediately followed by Marcellus saying that Horatio doesn't believe "this dreaded sight twice seen of us." on line 28. Barnardo starts to tell the tale and again speaks of "what we have two nights seen." on line 35. • The reader does not need to hear that the ghost was seen twice before. Once would be enough. But Shakespeare wanted to make sure that the audience was aware that the ghost did not just show up but had been stalking the parapets for days now. The first reference is by the officer Marcellus, and is a passing reference. The second by the soldier Barnardo, and is the start of an explanation of how the ghost was seen.
Example • “And each dark tree that ever grew,/Is curtained out from Heaven’s wide blue;/Nor sun, nor moon, nor wind, nor rain,/Can pierce its interwoven bowers…” • This is an example of polysyndeton. The author (Percy B. Shelly) is repeating the word nor to prove that there isnothing in the world that can “pierce its interwoven bowers” the repetition of this individualy word reenforces this idea in the reader’s mind, making it a useful literary tool.