Antimetabole Examples


Antimetabole is a literary and rhetorical device in which a phrase or sentence is repeated, but in reverse order.

Writers or speakers use antimetabole for effect-calling attention to the words, or demonstrating that reality is not always what it seems by using the reversal of words.

Examples of Antimetabole:

Examples of Antimetabole in Literature and Speech

1. "Fair is foul and foul is fair." Macbeth, Shakespeare

2. "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country." "Inaugural Address," John F. Kennedy

3. "It is not even the beginning of the end but is perhaps, the end of the beginning." Winston Churchill

4. "Virtue that transgressed is but patch'd with sin, And sin that amends is but patch'd with virtue."Twelfth Night,Shakespeare

5. "I am stuck on band-aid, because band-aid's stuck on me." Band-aid commercial

6. "Women forget all those things they don't want to remember, and remember everything they don't want to forget." Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

7. "Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Grammar Examples