Paraphrase Tool


Updated Jan 25, 2023

The Power of Period: Exploring the Rhetorical Device


In the world of rhetoric, the use of various literary devices is instrumental in captivating an audience, conveying persuasive arguments, and leaving a lasting impact. One such device is the period, a rhetorical technique that involves deliberately placing a series of parallel clauses or phrases at the end of successive sentences or clauses. This article delves into the power of the period as a rhetorical device, exploring its purpose, examples, and impact on communication.

Purpose of the Period

The period serves multiple purposes within the realm of rhetoric. Primarily, it creates a sense of rhythm and balance, allowing the speaker or writer to emphasize their ideas and provide a sense of closure. By grouping related thoughts together and delivering them in a structured and deliberate manner, the period adds emphasis, highlighting key points and making them more memorable. Moreover, this technique can evoke a sense of anticipation in the audience, leading them to eagerly await the conclusion of each sentence.

Examples of the Period in Action

Let's examine a few examples of the period in action to better understand its impact:

  1. "I came, I saw, I conquered." - Julius Caesar

    This famous quote by Julius Caesar exemplifies the period's ability to convey power and authority. The repetitive structure of the clauses emphasizes the certainty and determination of the speaker, leaving a lasting impression on the audience.

  2. "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears." - William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

    Shakespeare's use of the period in this line from Julius Caesar not only establishes a rhythmic pattern but also emphasizes the speaker's plea for attention. The repeated appeal to different groups creates a sense of inclusivity, drawing the listeners in and making them feel involved.

  3. "To err is human, to forgive divine." - Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism

    In this famous couplet, Alexander Pope employs the period to convey a sense of wisdom and truth. By presenting two parallel phrases, Pope emphasizes the contrasting ideas of human fallibility and divine forgiveness, leaving readers to ponder the complexity of human nature.

Impact on Communication

The period, as a rhetorical device, holds significant power in communication. By employing this technique, speakers and writers can enhance their persuasive abilities and engage their audience more effectively. The deliberate use of parallel clauses creates a sense of harmony and rhythm, making the message more memorable and captivating. Additionally, the period lends a sense of authority and confidence to the speaker, reinforcing their arguments and making them more persuasive.


The period, as a rhetorical device, plays a crucial role in effective communication. By utilizing parallel structures and placing related phrases or clauses at the end of successive sentences, speakers and writers can emphasize their ideas, create a sense of rhythm, and leave a lasting impact on their audience. From historical figures like Julius Caesar to renowned writers like Shakespeare and Pope, the power of the period has been utilized to convey authority, capture attention, and enhance the overall persuasive nature of communication. So, next time you seek to make your words resonate, consider employing the period as a valuable tool in your rhetorical arsenal.


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