Paraphrase Tool


Updated Jan 30, 2023

Exploring the Rhetorical Device of Complexio


Rhetoric, the art of using language effectively, has been a fundamental tool for communication since ancient times. One of the many rhetorical devices used to enhance persuasive techniques is known as complexio. In this article, we will delve into the concept of complexio, understand its purpose, and explore some accurate examples to illustrate its effectiveness.

Understanding Complexio

Complexio, also referred to as amplificatio, is a rhetorical device that involves building up a topic through a series of amplifications or expansions. It is used to emphasize certain aspects of an idea, event, or argument by elaborating on them and providing further details. Complexio aims to captivate the audience and persuade them by making the subject matter more vivid, powerful, or impactful.

Examples of Complexio

To better comprehend complexio, let's explore some noteworthy examples where this rhetorical device has been effectively employed:

Example 1: Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" Speech

In his iconic speech, Martin Luther King Jr. utilized complexio to engage his audience and amplify his message of racial equality and justice. He skillfully employed a series of amplifications to emphasize the urgency and importance of his dream:

"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood."

By expanding on the idea of racial reconciliation through vivid imagery, King effectively employed complexio to capture the audience's attention and evoke a strong emotional response.

Example 2: William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar"

In Shakespeare's play, "Julius Caesar," the character Mark Antony uses complexio to sway the crowd against the conspirators who assassinated Caesar. In his famous funeral oration, Antony progressively amplifies his accusations against the murderers:

"Here was a Caesar! When comes such another?"

By building up his argument, Antony intensifies the impact of his accusation, stirring the emotions of the crowd and fueling their desire for justice. This example demonstrates the persuasive power of complexio in influencing public opinion.

Example 3: Advertising Copywriting

Complexio is not limited to historical speeches or literary works; it is also frequently employed in advertising copywriting. Advertisers often use this rhetorical device to make their products or services stand out and appeal to their target audience. Consider the following example from a shampoo advertisement:

"Experience the extraordinary transformation of your hair; from lifeless and dull to vibrant and lustrous. Our advanced formula, enriched with nourishing ingredients, will revive and rejuvenate your locks, leaving them soft, silky, and full of irresistible shine."

By skillfully amplifying the benefits of their product, the advertisers effectively engage potential customers and create a desire to experience the promised transformation.


Complexio, the rhetorical device of amplification, adds depth and impact to language. By expanding on ideas and events, complexio captivates the audience, evokes emotions, and enhances persuasive techniques. Whether it is used in historical speeches, literary works, or advertising copywriting, this rhetorical device continues to play a crucial role in effective communication.

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