Writing Series

Polysyndeton- Its Effects and Causes

Being able to pull your readers into your story, invoking the deepest emotions within them and making your words more captivating and compelling, is a skill every writer seeks to achieve. Polysyndeton is a literary device that aids writers in curating captivating pieces of story-writing, speechwriting, contemporary writing, and can also be found in our everyday dialogues.

Polysyndeton is a Greek word, coined from ‘Poly’ and ‘Syndeton’ to mean ‘bounding together’. As its meaning, the term acts as a coordinating conjunction to give more feelings to your words, creating a list-like effect in order to pace your words, increase tension and emotions in your readers, and largely adds emphasis to words to ignite deep emotions within your readers.

Polysyndeton may be seen as a grammatical error (especially if your editing depends largely on Proofreading software), however, the literary device is indeed a valid use-age of words and can be found in the Bible, and other Shakespearean languages. 


  • Polysyndeton prolongs moments of reflections in your readers
  • It conveys overwhelming emotions within your readers
  • Polysyndeton adds emphasis to your words 

Polysyndeton are coordinating  conjunctions that help give more logical sequence to our words and speeches, examples of polysyndeton are; and, or, but, nor, so, for, nor. Below are some of the effects using polysyndeton in our word structuring. 

  1. Polysyndeton Prolongs Moments of Reflection in Your Readers :

Using multiple polysyndeton in a sentence or writing, highly changes the flow of your sentence structure. It breaks up the syntax of your words, leaving your reader with no other options than to pay close attention to each sentence building, drawing them deep into each word used.

Your reader ultimately has no other option than to be engrossed by the progression of your words, giving them the chance to reflect on their emotions. These feelings of reflection leave your readers hanging to your words and prolonging moments of reflection. 

  1. It Conveys Overwhelming Emotions within your Reader

When used in an emotional setting, the effect polysyndeton has on your readers can be very overwhelming, almost like a mental picture of listening to a speaker recalling an emotional time in their lives, hearing the sound of their voice breaking due to the intense emotions in them.

Polysyndeton when used to express emotional feelings or circumstances can awaken deep emotions in your reader, ranging from joy, happiness, sadness, curiosity, anxiety, etc 

  1. Polysyndeton adds Emphasis to Your Words

By the frequent use of polysyndeton, readers are easily entertained and highly influenced by your piece. It creates emphasis on words using a list-like effect, giving each word a valuable note of importance, thus, making your piece engaging and attention grabbing. It becomes difficult to lose your reader’s attention.

The device’s empathic abilities prick up the ears of your readers, making it a popular word choice amongst speechwriters.

For years the use-age of the literary device has been very popular, both in speechwriting and also in our everyday conversations.

Though it may be argued to be a simple literary and rhetorical  device, there’s no arguing the effects it has on improving our writing structure and tone. Its descriptive details and list-like effects is a proven powerful tool in literature and speechwriting. 

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