figures of balance
figures of speech
groupings index

Figures of balance may be divided between those that are schemes (the artful arrangements of words), and those that are figures of thought (addressing the subject matter, not the manner of expression). Some figures cross over between the two types, such as the figure antithesis.

Figures of Balance - Schemes

These figures often rely upon various kinds of parallel and antithetical structures.

  • parallelism
    Similarity of structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases, or clauses. (See Figures of Parallelism)
    • isocolon
      A kind of a parallelism in which a series of similarly structured elements all have the same length.
    • tricolon
      Three parallel elements of the same length occurring together.
  • antithesis
    Juxtaposition of contrasting ideas (often in parallel structure).
  • climax
    Generally, the arrangement of words, phrases, or clauses in an order of increasing importance, often in parallel structure.

Figures of Balance - Subject Matter

  • dirimens copulatio
    A figure by which one balances one statement with a contrary, qualifying statement
  • antithesis
    Juxtaposition of contrasting ideas (often in parallel structure).
  • in utrumque partes
    Arguing both sides of an issue.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
Please cite "Silva Rhetoricae" (

Trees | SILVA RHETORICAE | Flowers