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Next, Shakespeare splits this basic chiastic arrangement of parallelisms and forms a border surrounding the central chiasm of the overall system:
A basic scheme might be notated as ABCBA, with the C level representing the apex; however, this type of chiasm may actually contain any number of levels and is more directly related to the biblical forms than the first two examples (Renaissance writers often compose passages of successive couplets, or phrases employing parison, which can mimic some of the earlier ABA examples mentioned here).
The following system is an ABCBA chiasm linked to an ABA chiasm with a typical Shakespearean catalogue embedded in the structure (the word sin illustrates rhetorical repetition, but it does not define the structural spine of the chiasm):
In this line, the words "love" and "hate" form a chiasm with "brawling" and "loving," as well as simultaneously forming yet another chiasm with line 175, the previous verse line in the text (as seen below).
More specifically, the basic process of composing a passage according to complex chiastic principles begins by outlining a simple chiasm (such as the basic inclusion shown above), and then expanding each level with yet another chiasm, catalogue, periodic sentence, parallelism, or any other type of structure that addresses the original concept.
Helena, a virgin; chiasm 2] B2: were made of B2: is metal to make A2: virgins.
As a pattern of composition, complex chiasmus is also a very fast and economical way to write (once the first half of a chiasm is written, the remaining portion has almost written itself), which would permit an author to generate a much greater output of material than might otherwise be achieved without the device.
Thousands of years have passed since the first writer of the ancient Mediterranean world composed the first complex chiasm, a form that subsequent generations explored and developed to an elaborate degree (though apparently falling into general disuse in later generations).