HomePublic SpeakingRhetorical Units: Anagnorisis

Rhetorical Units: Anagnorisis

This submit is a part of a collection on rhetorical units. For different posts within the collection, please click on this hyperlink. For a complete, step-by-step overview of write a speech define, please see this submit.

System: Anagnorisis (pronounced anag-no-ree-sis)

Origin: From the Greek ἀναγνώρισις (anagnorisis), that means “recognition”.

In plain English: A second of perception in a play, film or story when a personality – often the protagonist – makes an necessary discovery and strikes from ignorance to consciousness.


  • Anagnorisis is the “Aha!” second and often takes place at a pivotal level within the story.
  • It’s typically a robust, emotional turning level for the viewers.
  • The perception drives a change within the story, from adverse to constructive or vice versa.


  • Anagnorisis is much like an epiphany, which is a sudden realization.
  • It may possibly happen in the midst of a narrative or on the finish.
  • There could be multiple anagnorisis in a narrative.
  • Two or extra characters can expertise an anagnorisis on the identical time.
  • Aristotle thought of anagnorisis to be essential in Classical Greek tragedies akin to Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. In that play, the anagnorisis happens when Oedipus (the primary character) learns that he has unwittingly killed his father and married his mom.
  • The character experiencing an anagnorisis may notice one thing about himself, his state of affairs, or one thing about one other character.
  • When telling a private story, anagnorisis is a robust method to make the story – and the purpose behind the story – memorable for the viewers.

Examples (Spoiler alert! Film plots revealed under.)

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout (Mary Badham) realizes that Boo Radley (Robert Duvall) was good and had protected her.


In The Princess Bride, Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn) realizes that the individual whom she thought was the Dread Pirate Roberts is definitely her real love Westley (Cary Elwes).


In Combat Membership, Jack (Ed Norton) realizes that he’s the identical individual as Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt).


In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) realizes that Professor Snape (Alan Rickman) was good and was defending him all alongside.


In Bohemian Rhapsody, Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) and Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) notice that Freddie is homosexual.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments