Epigraph Examples


An epigraph is a short statement (a sentence, a paragraph, a poem) that comes at the beginning of a literary text, but the words belong to a different author. The epigraph is used to introduce the current literary text, and gives some clue as to its theme, or its connection to this previous text.

Examples of Epigraph:

At the beginning of The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway quotes Gertrude Stein: "You are all a lost generation."

At the beginning of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley quotes Paradise Lost:

"Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay

To mould me Man, did I solicit thee

From darkness to promote me?"

At the beginning of Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury quotes Juan Ramon Jimenez:

"If they give you ruled paper, write the other way."

At the beginning of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee quotes Charles Lamb:

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once."

F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the following quotation at the beginning of The Great Gatsby:

"Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her; If you can bounce high, bounce for her too, Till she cry "Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you!"

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