There are so many rhetorical devices. Since you probably can not remember all of them, we’ve put together the 30 most common style remedies for you and provided examples. So you can give your text analysis more depth quickly and easily.

Knowing rhetorical means is not only helpful at school and during your studies. Even privately, the linguistic figures open up completely new perspectives. We’ll tell you about their benefits, explain the five most important ones in detail, and give you an overview of other important stylistic devices that you can use later.

Advantages of rhetorical means

Rhetoric stylistic devices are broadly based on rhetoric (ancient Greek “rhetoric”). Already since antiquity one understands among them an artful kind of representation. Especially in poetry, there are many rhetorical figures, which should not only condense the content, but also serve as a joke to make the sound and appearance of the texts more appealing.

It is an advantage to be able to recognize and name rhetorical devices. They not only meet us at school and during their studies, we are also constantly surrounded by them in everyday life, for example through advertising and songs. Even if you read a book privately, you get a much better understanding of what the author intended, if you can identify rhetoric.

You do not have to memorize all the rhetorical resources, there are just too many. But the most well-known are often inquired at school because it can be really useful to know them. The more you know, the better. So not only will your text analysis be richer, you will get a finer understanding of your entire environment and also improve your language skills.

Rhetoric can be learned and helps you to improve your expression – both in writing and orally. It also benefits your self-esteem and charisma. A rich vocabulary and juggling with language is also helpful in job interviews to leave a bright impression.

The 5 most common rhetorical remedies

Here is an overview of rhetorical tools that are often used in literary texts. That’s why we explained them in more detail than the other rhetorical devices. Knowing them will benefit you in your analysis by allowing you to use more potential for your interpretations. Rhetoric remedies are almost always meaningful, and even if the author did not intend anything specific with them, you can use them interpretatively.


Few words are used to convey information. This shortened comparison, often in figurative language, goes beyond its actual, literal meaning and refers to the figurative meaning.


“Sea of ‚Äč‚Äčtears”

(This term indicates that many tears flow – so many that the exaggerated comparison can be compared to the fluid volume of the sea.)

“Break someone’s heart”

(Of course, this does not mean a real action, but a transferred one.) The broken heart is symbolic of the failed love, for example, it could be that the person who broke his heart was abandoned or betrayed.)

“Wall of silence”

(The wall symbolizes the impenetrability of silence.) Silence in itself clarifies the rejection of a verbal utterance to other people.)


The initial sounds are repeated to produce an effect. Either certain word contexts should be made clear, melody generated or merely the importance emphasized.


“Milk makes tired men happy.”

(This example is even a tautogram, since all the words in the sentence start with the same initial letter.) The sentence is a 1950s advertising slogan, and the alliterations make it easy for anyone to remember the tautogram.)

“Its rolling waves looked wonderful in the sunlight.”

(This is a classic alliteration that emphasizes the imposing wave motion of the hair through loudness.) The wave motion of the letter w also contributes to this.)

“The children sang Catholic hymns in chorus.”

(This example shows that not always the same letter must be at the beginning of the word, but the sound / k / is sufficient to produce the same effect as in the previous example.)


Words or phrases are repeated to enhance their effect and to produce melody. This ensures that the meaning of the sentence or sentences is really understood. Often, anaphors are also used to enhance or summarize.


“Because of him, I can never visit a fair without fear of death again. Because of him I can never ride carousel again. Yes, only because of him I will never again be able to enjoy the smell of cotton candy. “

(This alliteration has an increasing function as it goes into more detail.) Starting with a big problem, the speaker is getting more and more problems associated with it and making his problem even worse. “The anger and extreme blame on the polluter are emphasized his problems.)

“I want to see you, I want to hug you, I want to kiss you, I want to love you.”

(This alliteration emphasizes the desire of the speaker.) From ‘see’ to ‘love’ there is an increase.)


Parallelism refers to sentences that have a parallel sentence structure. This can be at least two equal main clauses, subordinate clauses, question sets, exclamations or the like. Parallelisms can have an antithetical or a tautological function: they emphasize a counter-assertion or remain on the same word-meaning level by rewriting more and more precisely what is meant.


“You sing loud, you speak softly.”

(Here, singing and talking are to be juxtaposed.) This parallelism can be interpreted in such a way that the “you” can express themselves stronger and better through his singing than through ordinary conversation.)

“I know it. I understand it. I get it.”

(The speaker makes it very clear that he understood what it is about.) The triple repetition on the same level of meaning should emphasize how much.)

Rhetorical question

A rhetorical question is a question for which no answer is expected. It is not asked to receive information, but to emphasize something or to verbalize the thoughts. As a rule, the rhetorical question makes it clear that this is a soliloquy. They may be similar in their function to an assertion or simply intended to emphasize a statement.


“What did I want to do again? Oh, get the vacuum cleaner. “

“Do I really look that bad? Maybe I can walk around without a hat with the hairstyle. “

“What is this now?”

“Say, where are we here?”

25 other helpful rhetorical remedies

There may be overlaps between the different stylistic devices. For example, some sentences may be interpreted simultaneously with an anaphora as well as with a parallelism. Decide on each rhetorical figure what you need for your interpretation and set the focus accordingly. If a sentence starts over and over again with “I go ….” You can decide, whether the ego and the running movement should be in the foreground or actually what is important, what follows after the “I go …”. Always try to recognize relationships and relationships and make them clear. The following rhetorical tools offer many ways to interpret your textual analysis.


A neologism is a linguistic re-creation. Often, previously existing words are put together, less often completely new words are created. Neologisms can arise with the appearance of new phenomena, but also through subjective perception, which can not be described with existing concepts.


“Vlog” (“Video” + “Blog”)

“Boy’s Morning Flower Dreams” (J.W. Goethe)

“Knorke” (means as much as good, excellent, satisfied)

Accumulation (accumulation)

Accumulation is an enumeration or juxtaposition of related words into a topical theme that can either be named or left in space. The topic is usually quickly clear. The terms can be simple chains of association on a topic to better describe, or specially arranged in order.


“Sun, moon and stars”

“Now all the animals on the farm sleep, the cows, the pigs, the chickens, the dogs and cats.”

“Trees, leaves, lakes, puddles, animals, deer, sky, air, rustling, rustling”


The ellipse denotes an omission in the sentence, so it is grammatically incomplete. Ellipses are often used to shorten sentences. Reading is usually not affected by this shortening. Often ellipses are also used for colloquialisms or implied phrases and proverbs.


“The sooner the farewell, the less tears.” For: “The faster the farewell, the less tears there are.”

“Who sits in the glasshouse …” for: “Who sits in the glass house, should not throw stones.”

“What now?” For: “What do we do now?”


An allegory is an executed metaphor, a kind of general comparison. Often, something abstract is complemented by something tangible. The metaphor should be made more accessible to the reader.


“We are all just puppets, controlled by the big players and can not help it.”

“The world is like a flower meadow. Sometimes you sniff the sweet smell of life and the sun shines on you, sometimes you get stung and stand in the shade. “

“I felt like the sun itself: warm, radiant, tall and as if I could reach all the people in this world.”


A paradox is an apparent contradiction and must be distinguished from alogism. An alogism is characterized by total disjointedness (“The stones are hungry.”, “During the day it is brighter than inside.”). By contrast, a paradox contradicts itself only in its utterances; it does not have to be illogical or illogical.


“I’m cold, but at the same time I’m warm too.”

“You can look forward to a colorful wedding. By the way, the motto is black and white. “

“No, no, I really do not need anything. But please make me a quick latte macchiato with soymilk. “


Inversion reverses the familiar grammatical order or deliberately reverses it. This is often the case in lyric poetry to create tune to specific content that would not be possible in ordinary grammatical sequence. Questions and statements can also be stylistically changed in this way.