All terms

What is an anastrophe?

Rearranging the typical word order of a sentence for emphasis or poetic effect.

The Art of Flipping Sentences: Understanding Anastrophe in Creative Writing

Anastrophe is the fancy word for a rearrangement of the normal sentence structure.

Instead of the typical subject-verb-object pattern in English, anastrophe flips the order in order to place emphasis on a particular word or add a poetic flair to your writing.

You'll see anastrophe used often in poetry, where the rearrangement of words can create a musical quality that enhances the poem's sound and meaning. It's also used frequently in literature, particularly in dialogue to indicate a character's unique speech patterns or quirks.

Anastrophe can be accomplished in a number of ways - by moving the subject to the end of a sentence, by shifting the verb to a different place, or even by adding in additional words or phrases in between. The possibilities are nearly endless, so experiment and see what feels right for your writing.

Just remember: anastrophe should always have a purpose. It should enhance the meaning of the words you're using, not simply be used for the sake of being different. With careful consideration and practice, you'll soon be a master of flipping your sentences in just the right way.

Flipping Sentences in Classic Literature: Examples of Anastrophe in Action

Anastrophe has been used by many classic writers to add emphasis and nuance to their storytelling. Here are just a couple of examples.

Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'

In the famous soliloquy, Hamlet muses on life and death with the following words: 'To be or not to be, that is the question.' By reversing the normal subject-verb order of the sentence, Shakespeare forces us to focus on the existential dilemma at hand and the gravity of life and death.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby'

In 'The Great Gatsby', Gatsby himself uses anastrophe when he speaks of his love for Daisy, saying: 'Her voice is full of money.' By placing the object 'money' at the end of the sentence, Fitzgerald emphasizes the supreme value that Gatsby places on Daisy as his goal and his ultimate prize.