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Home » Shakespeare's Works » Elements » Figures of Speech » Figures of Speech by Name » Climax


Climax (cli'-max) is the arrangement of items in order of increasing importance, (also called auxesis and crescendo). “If thou would have such a one, take me. And take me, take a soldier. Take a soldier, take a king. And what say’st thou then to my love?” Henry V, 5.2.138. A variation is bathos, in which items in as series build to an anticlimax.

Climax is an example of:

Marry, if you would put me to verses

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Marry, if you would put me to verses or
to dance for your sake, Kate, why you undid me.
For the one, I have neither words nor measure; and
for the other, I have no strength in measure, yet a
reasonable measure in strength. If I could win a
lady at leapfrog or by vaulting into my saddle with
my armor on my back,
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Act 5
Scene 2
Line 138

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