What is Parallelism in Literature?

Updated: January 15, 2023
Parallelism is the use of similar grammatical structures in two or more successive phrases or clauses. This technique is often used in poetry and rhetoric to emphasize similarity or difference between ideas.
Detailed answer:

Rhetoric is the art of persuasion and argumentation. Parallelism is important for rhetorical purposes because it makes your writing sound more sophisticated and gives you more opportunities for persuasion. Anytime you want to make an argument about something, it’s best to make it clear that you’re not just talking out of your ass by using parallelism.

Parallelism can be achieved by repeating the same words or phrases, or by using corresponding grammatical structures. Example: “We are born crying, live complaining, and die disappointed” (Thomas Fuller).

An example of parallelism is when a poet uses alliteration, assonance, consonance, and rhyme to create a pleasant sound pattern. Examples of parallelism can be found in both prose and poetry. For instance, in the sentence: “I have a dog and a cat.” The word “have” is repeated to emphasize that each person has one of each animal.

In addition to using alliteration, assonance, consonance, and rhyme, poets may also employ other types of parallelism such as syntactical (grammatical) and semantic (conceptual). Syntactical parallelism involves using words that are grammatically similar such as nouns or verbs while semantic parallelism involves using words with similar meanings such as synonyms or antonyms.

Parallelism can be used to create rhythm through repetition, emphasis and balance. It also helps readers understand complex ideas by breaking them down into smaller parts that can be easily digested at once.

What is Parallelism in Literature?. (2023, Jan 15). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/qa/what-is-parallelism-in-literature/