Government of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Words About Words 1

"Fair is foul, and foul is fair," chanted the witches in Macbeth, combining two rhetorical devices in one sentence. Did the words to describe these devices—alliteration and antimetabole—even exist back then? Alliteration is the repetition of a sound (the consonant f in this example) at the beginning of two or more words that are close to one another. Antimetabole is the repetition of a word or a phrase in the next clause, in reverse order (e.g. When the going gets tough, the tough get going).

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