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Climax

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Climax

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Climax is the arrangement of words in increasing order of effect.

Example

We'll collect pennies in tens, hundreds and millions! Power starts small, becomes significant then becomes unstoppable.

We'll fight them in the country, in every town and every street. We shall not surrender!

Love creates happiness, happiness creates joy, joy creates enlightenment.

Discussion

'Climax' in this usage creates the word in its common usage, building up to a climax. A well-built climax increases expectation and so tension with each item in the list.

As words are added to the sequence, a pattern is set up, first of a similar theme and then of increasing importance and impact.

Climax may be used with other devices such as the triple or anadiplosis.

The opposite of climax is anti-climax, where tension is release in a disappointing way.

Climax is also known as Gradation.

Climax is the Greek for 'ladder'.

Classification: Amplification

See also

Tension principle, Anadiplosis

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