Antithesis literary element


Difference Between Antithesis and Juxtaposition

However, juxtaposition does not necessarily deal with completely opposite ideas—sometimes the juxtaposition may be between two similar things so that the reader will notice the subtle differences. Juxtaposition also does not necessitate a parallel grammatical structure.


  • I. What is an Antithesis?;
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The definition of antithesis requires this balanced grammatical structure. The use of antithesis is very popular in speeches and common idioms, as the inherent contrasts often make antithesis quite memorable.

Here are some examples of antithesis from famous speeches:. While antithesis is not the most ubiquitous of literary devices, some authors use antithesis quite extensively, such as William Shakespeare. Many of his sonnets and plays include examples of antithesis. Though the line is quite simple in form it contrasts these very important opposite states. Hamlet sets up his soliloquy with this antithesis and continues with others, including the contrast between suffering whatever fortune has to offer or opposing his troubles.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way….

Dickens uses these antithetical pairs to show what a tumultuous time it was during the setting of his book. In this case, the use of antithesis is a rhetorical device that foreshadows the conflicts that will be central to the novel. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch and let out a respectful whistle.

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Between acts, stagehands may change scenery, and the setting may shift to another locale. Adage Wise saying; proverb; short, memorable saying that expresses a truth and is handed down from one generation to the next; short saying that expresses an observation or experience about life; maxim; aphorism; apothegm. Examples of adages are the following: Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Antithesis in Literature and Film

Birds of a feather flock together [probably based on an observation of Robert Burton in The Anatomy of Melancholy : "Birds of a feather will gather together. Fish and visitors smell in three days. One tongue is enough for a woman. Ray, English Proverbs A friend in need is a friend indeed.

A barber learns to shave by shaving fools. Alarum Stage direction in a Shakespeare play or a play by another author in Shakespeare's time indicating the coming of a battle; a call to arms. Alexandrine Verse form popularized in France in which each line contains twelve syllables and sometimes thirteen. Major accents occur on the sixth and twelfth syllables; two minor accents occur, one before the sixth syllable and one before the twelfth syllable.

A pause caesura occurs immediately after the sixth syllable. Generally, there is no enjambment in the French Alexandrine line. However, enjambment does occur in English translations of Alexandrine verse. The name Alexandrine derives from a twelfth-century work about Alexander the Great that was written in this verse format. Jean Baptiste Racine was one of the masters of this format.


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Some English writers later adapted the format in their poetry. Allegory Literary work in which characters, events, objects, and ideas have secondary or symbolic meanings. One of the most popular allegories of the twentieth century was George Orwell's Animal Farm , about farm animals vying for power. On the surface, it is an entertaining story that even children can enjoy. Beneath the surface, it is the story of ruthless Soviet totalitarianism.

Literary Devices in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perk by Lynn Alkhalil on Prezi

Other famous examples of allegories are John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and the fifteenth-century morality play, Everyman. Alliteration Repetition of consonant sounds. Examples: 1 But now I am c abined, c ribbed, c onfined, bound into saucy doubts and fears. Note that "one" has a "w" sound. Note that "wr" has an "r" sound.

Allusion Reference to a historical event or to a mythical or literary figure. Examples: 1 Sir Lancelot fought with Herculean strength. Reference to the Belgian town where Napoleon lost a make-or-break battle. Reference to the weak spot of Achilles, the greatest warrior to fight in the Trojan War. When his mother submersed him in the River Styx after he was born, the magical waters made him invulnerable. His flesh was impervious to all harm—except for the heel of a foot.

His mother was grasping the heel when she dipped him into the river. Because the river water did not touch his heel, it was the only part of his body that could suffer harm. He died when a poison-tipped arrow lodged in his heel. Hence, writers over the ages have used the term Achilles heel to refer to a person's most pronounced weakness.

Anachronism : A thing from a different period of history than that which is under discussion; a thing that is out of place historically. Suppose, for example, that a literary work about World War I says that a wounded soldier is treated with penicillin to prevent a bacterial infection.

The writer of the work would deserve criticism for committing an anachronism, for penicillin and other antibiotics did not come into use until , twenty-three years after the end of World War I. Anadiplosis an uh dih PLOH sis Figure of speech in which a word or phrase at the end of a sentence, clause, or line of verse is repeated at or near the beginning of the next sentence, clause, or line of verse.

Here are examples: The peasant pledged the country his loyalty ; loyalty was his only possession. My conscience hath a thousand several tongues , And every tongue brings in a several tale , And every tale condemns me for a villain. Anagnorisis an ag NOR ih sis In Greek drama, a startling discovery; moment of epiphany; time of revelation when a character discovers his true identity. In the Sophocles play Oedipus Rex , anagnorisis occurs when Oedipus realizes who he is. Analogue : Literary work, film, character, setting, etc. Anapest and Anapestic See Meter. Anaphora uh NAF uh ruh Repetition of a word, phrase, or clause at the beginning of word groups occurring one after the other.

Antithesis literary term

Examples: 1 Give me wine, give me women and give me song. Annotation Explanatory note that accompanies text; footnote; comment. Antagonist Character in a story or poem who opposes the main character protagonist. Sometimes the antagonist is an animal, an idea, or a thing. Examples of such antagonists might include illness, oppression, or the serpent in the biblical story of Adam and Eve. Antonomasia an tihn uh MAY zha Identification of a person by an appropriate substituted phrase, such as her majesty for a queen or the Bard of Avon for Shakespeare. Antithesis Placement of contrasting or opposing words, phrases, clauses, or sentences side by side.

The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. Examples: 1 Fish and visitors smell in three days—Benjamin Franklin. See also Epigram. Apostrophe Addressing an abstraction or a thing, present or absent; addressing an absent entity or person; addressing a deceased person. Examples: 1 Frailty, thy name is woman. The purpose of creating new words or phrases arises from a desire to find new ways to discuss old things as well as the need, sometimes, to use more precise language.

Neologisms are made by borrowing words from other languages, combining existing words or word parts, shortening existing words to create new variations, shifting the meaning of existing words, or simply creating new words. Objective Correlative — This literary device refers to any object, scene, even, or situation that may be said to stand for or evoke an internal state of mind. Occupatio — Used often by politicians, this is an allusion to something by denying it will be mentioned.

Pace is controlled by several elements, including sentence structure short versus long sentences , the use of action versus description action speeds up pace while description slows down pace , and how quickly important information is revealed to the reader. Fiction that develops too quickly may become tedious and superficial while fiction that develops too slowly may bore your readers for lack of drama.

Palilogia PAL-il-o-gia — The repetition of a word or phrase with no words in between. For a detailed description, see Epizeuxis. Many of the stories by Franz Kafka included parables or were in their entirety parables. Paradiastole — A type of litotes where the force and tone of a description is deliberately weakened. This device creates rhythm and emphasizes important ideas. The effect of this device is to speed up the pace of the passage. Contrast Hypotaxis. Parenthesis — A sentence or statement inserted between sentences for explanation or amplification and usually indicated by lunulae, dashes, or commas.

Pathetic Fallacy — A type of personification , this literary device refers to a poetic convention by which nature is used to reflect the emotions that characters are experiencing. Personification — This literary device refers to a figure of speech that attributes human qualities to animals, inanimate objects, or abstract ideas.

Three literary devices: juxtaposition, antithesis, parallel

Use of personification helps us understand the world in human terms. The purpose of this device is to emphasize an important point or concept and to achieve an aesthetic sound or appearance. And with her ears, she hears the blessings that I bestow upon her.

Common Antithesis Examples

See Diacope. It is an indirect way to express what you mean and is used to provide emphasis. The purpose of this device is to emphasize a series of things, cause a hypnotic effect, and give a biblical pronouncement that creates a sense of truthfulness behind the passage.

For a detailed description, see Occupatio.

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antithesis literary element Antithesis literary element
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