Hyperbaton is when an author plays with the conventional order of words in a sentence. Instead, the phrases are arranged differently from what we would expect. Hyperbaton is often used in poetry, to preserve the rhythm and rhyme scheme. Hyperbaton can also be used to add interest and complexity to the writing.
Off of the horse, Katie did fall.
Into the box went the homework and onto the playground went the class.
She hit him, and he fell-this only can I report.
Examples of Hyperbaton from Literature and Film
Yoda in Star Wars uses hyperbaton frequently:
"Yes, a Jedi's strength flows from the Force. But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow,quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan's apprentice."
Shakespeare also often played with the order of words, as he does here in this excerpt from Julius Caesar:
His coward lips did from their color fly
And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world
Did lose his luster. I did hear him groan,
Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans
Mark him and write his speeches in their books.
Literary Terms Examples
Literary Terms Examples for Kids