Tricolon: A Word Trick as a Figure of Speech

what is a tricolon?
Tricolon definition and examples

Tricolon: a word trick in speeches or writing

Tricolon is a rhetorical device that involves dividing a concept into three parallel elements, each of similar length and structure. This technique creates rhythm and emphasis, making the message more memorable and impactful. It’s often used in speeches and writing to highlight key points and enhance the persuasiveness of the message.

Why tricolon is important in both literature and daily life?

The answer is that it makes our Words Memorable in Three Easy Steps It’s so simple! Whenever you really want a point to stick, simply break it down into three snappy parts. Take this example: “Read, learn, succeed.” All of these are punchy and clear. It’s great in speeches, essays, or even ads. Anywhere you want people to remember your words. It has to make your message jump out and stay in memory. It’s like a catchy tune that can’t escape from your head. It makes your words more fun and also meaningful. You can see more examples in marketing ads on social media and TV.

Tricolon Examples in various fields of study

  1. Literature – Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”: “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.” The author uses the tricolon in his famous line from the play to appeal to varying groups.
  2. Political Speech – Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.” This tricolon is a very brief definition of Lincoln’s idea of democracy.
  3. Advertising: Nike’s slogan is “Just do it. Simple. Powerful. Memorable.” In the way of describing the very motto, anaphora expresses how effective it actually is.
  4. Film: In “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” the tricolonic title serves classifying the great characters in a manner that exhibits intrigue and balance.
  5. Public Speaking: Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech, wherein repeating the phrase “Let freedom ring” entailed about 10 minutes, and then three geographic locations were given each time he repeated it, using the power of tricolon.
  6. Poetry – Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice”: “From what I’ve tasted of desire, / I hold with those who favor fire.” Here, Frost uses a tricolon structure to the rhythm of the line.
  7. Classical Literature – “Veni, Vidi, Vici” of Julius Caesar: This suggests some classic tricolon manner of historical documentation as it can be translated as “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
  8. Marketing Campaign: Apple’s “Think different. Be different. Stay different.” They used hypothetical campaign examples here for impact and rhythm in marketing.
  9. Legal Writing: in the preparation of legal arguments, tricolon is a way to draw emphasis as “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” from the United States Declaration of Independence.
  10. Historical Writing – Winston Churchill’s speech: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” This tricolon of historical writing succeeds in repeating for emphasis on how much a small group contributed.

Tricolon Study Guide Questions

  1. Identify the Tricolon: Give an example of tricolon that you have studied or are studying in literature. Explain how each part of the tricolon enhances the overall effect of the sentence.
  2. Create Your Own: Create your own tricolon based upon a theme or character in a book that you are reading. Explain why you chose the specific elements in your tricolon.
  3. Comparative Analysis: Compare and contrast the use of tricolon between two completely different literary works. How is one author’s use of this device different from the other? How does it impact the tone or message of the work?
  4. Research tricolon in its historical contexts by finding other examples of it in other speeches or writings of the time. Discuss how these examples have influenced modern literature.
  5. Effectiveness of Tricolon: Select a literary piece that makes use of tricolon and rewrite the sentence below without it. Then, compare both versions and discuss below what difference does the use of tricolon make in the original.
  6. Tricolon in Poetry vs. Prose: Find instances of tricolon in both poetry and prose and discuss how the use and impact of tricolon might differ between these two forms of writing.
  7. Character Analysis Through Tricolon: Select a character in a novel or play who uses tricolon in his or her dialogue. What does this use of tricolon reveal about him/her?
  8. Tricolon and Emotion: Find the passage in which an author uses tricolon to convey something very powerful emotionally. Explain what aspect of the structure of tricolon enhances its emotional power.
  9. Tricolon in Speeches: Review a famous speech that uses tricolon. Explain how this rhetorical device is derived from the use of three parallel clauses, phrases, sentences, or other elements and helps to either increase the persuasiveness or memorability of the speech.
  10. Critique and Create: Analyze the use of tricolon in the following passage, noting its strengths and weaknesses. Then, take a stab at adapting borrowed language by developing your own version of the tricolon.
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