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Polyptoton // is the stylistic scheme in which words derived from the same root are repeated (e.g. "strong" and "strength"). A related stylistic device is antanaclasis, in which the same word is repeated, but each time with a different sense. In inflected languages polyptoton is the same word being repeated but appearing each time in a different case. (e.g. "Iuppiter," "Iovis," "Iovi," "Iovem," "Iove" [in Latin being the nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and ablative forms of Iuppiter, respectively]).
The form is relatively common in Latin Christian poetry and prose in a construction called the superlative genitive, in phrases such as Sanctum sanctorum ("holy of holies"), and found its way into languages such as Old English, which naturally favored the alliteration that is part and parcel of polyptoton—in fact, polyptoton is "much more prevalent in Old English verse than in Latin verse." The specific superlative genitive in Old English, however, occurs only in Latinate Christian poems, not in secular poetry.
- "The Greeks are strong, and skillful to their strength, Fierce to their skill, and to their fierceness valiant;" William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida I, i, 7-8
- "With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder." William Shakespeare Richard II II,i,37
- "Not as a call to battle, though embattled we are." John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961.
- "Thou art of blood, joy not to make things bleed." Sir Philip Sidney
- "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." Lord Acton
- "Who shall watch the watchmen themselves (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)?" Juvenal
- "Diamond me no diamonds, prize me no prizes..." Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Lancelot and Elaine
- Fleming, Damian (2012). "Rex regum et cyninga cyning: 'Speaking Hebrew' in Cynewulf's Elene". In Michael Fox, Manish Sharma. Old English Literature and the Old Testament. Toronto: U of Toronto P. pp. 229–52. ISBN 9780802098542.
- Corbett, Edward P.J. Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student. Oxford University Press, New York, 1971.