The following is a good example of both antithesis and parallelism:. To err is human , to forgive divine. The two clauses of the sentence are parallel because each starts off with an infinitive verb and ends with an adjective "human" and "divine".
The mirroring of these elements then works to emphasize the contrast in their content, particularly in the very strong opposite contrast between "human" and "divine. In most cases, antitheses involve parallel elements of the sentence—whether a pair of nouns, verbs, adjectives, or other grammar elements. However, it is also possible to have antithesis without such clear cut parallelism.
In the Temptations Song "My Girl," the singer uses antithesis when he says:. Here the sentence is clearly cut into two clauses on either side of the comma, and the contrasting elements are clear enough. However, strictly speaking there isn't true parallelism here because "cold outside" and "month of May" are different types of grammatical structures an adjective phrase and a noun phrase, respectively. Three literary terms that are often mistakenly used in the place of antithesis are juxtaposition , oxymoron , and foil. Each of these three terms does have to do with establishing a relationship of difference between two ideas or characters in a text, but beyond that there are significant differences between them.
In juxtaposition , two things or ideas are placed next to one another to draw attention to their differences or similarities. In juxtaposition, the pairing of two ideas is therefore not necessarily done to create a relationship of opposition or contradiction between them, as is the case with antithesis. So, while antithesis could be a type of juxtaposition, juxtaposition is not always antithesis.
In an oxymoron , two seemingly contradictory words are placed together because their unlikely combination reveals a deeper truth. Some examples of oxymorons include:. The focus of antithesis is opposites rather than contradictions. While the words involved in oxymorons seem like they don't belong together until you give them deeper thought , the words or ideas of antithesis do feel like they belong together even as they contrast as opposites. Further, antitheses seldom function by placing the two words or ideas right next to one another, so antitheses are usually made up of more than two words as in, "I'd rather be among the living than among the dead".
Some Internet sources use "antithesis" to describe an author's decision to create two characters in a story that are direct opposites of one another—for instance, the protagonist and antagonist. But the correct term for this kind of opposition is a foil : a person or thing in a work of literature that contrasts with another thing in order to call attention to its qualities.
While the sentence "the hare was fast, and the tortoise was slow" is an example of antithesis, if we step back and look at the story as a whole, the better term to describe the relationship between the characters of the tortoise and the hare is "foil," as in, "The character of the hare is a foil of the tortoise. Below are examples of antithesis from some of English literature's most acclaimed writers — and a comic book!
In the famous opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities , Dickens sets out a flowing list of antitheses punctuated by the repetition of the word "it was" at the beginning of each clause which is itself an example of the figure of speech anaphora.
By building up this list of contrasts, Dickens sets the scene of the French Revolution that will serve as the setting of his tale by emphasizing the division and confusion of the era. The overwhelming accumulation of antitheses is also purposefully overdone; Dickens is using hyperbole to make fun of the "noisiest authorities" of the day and their exaggerated claims.
The passage contains many examples of antithesis, each consisting of one pair of contrasting ideas that we've highlighted to make the structure clearer. 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 —in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
In this verse from Paradise Lost , Milton's anti-hero , Satan, claims he's happier as the king of Hell than he could ever have been as a servant in Heaven. He justifies his rebellion against God with this pithy phrase, and the antithesis drives home the double contrast between Hell and Heaven, and between ruling and serving. Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. As the plot of Othello nears its climax , the antagonist of the play, Iago, pauses for a moment to acknowledge the significance of what is about to happen.
Iago uses antithesis to contrast the two opposite potential outcomes of his villainous plot: either events will transpire in Iago's favor and he will come out on top, or his treachery will be discovered, ruining him. This is the night That either makes me or fordoes me quite. In this passage, the simple word "either" functions as a cue for the reader to expect some form of parallelism, because the "either" signals that a contrast between two things is coming.
Shakespeare's plays are full of antithesis, and so is Hamlet's most well-known "To be or not to be" soliloquy. This excerpt of the soliloquy is a good example of an antithesis that is not limited to a single word or short phrase. The first instance of antithesis here, where Hamlet announces the guiding question " to be or not to be " is followed by an elaboration of each idea "to be" and "not to be" into metaphors that then form their own antithesis.
Both instances of antithesis hinge on an " or " that divides the two contrasting options. To be or not to be , that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them In this excerpt from his poem "Four Quartets," T. Eliot uses antithesis to describe the cycle of life, which is continuously passing from beginning to end, from rise to fall, and from old to new.
In my beginning is my end. In succession Houses rise and fall , crumble, are extended, Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass. Old stone to new building , old timber to new fires Comic book writers know the power of antithesis too! In this catchy oath, Green Lantern uses antithesis to emphasize that his mission to defeat evil will endure no matter the conditions. The definition of antithesis is a contrary or opposite opinion, concept use antithesis in a sentence , how to spell antithesis , What Synonyms and Collocations for antithesis how do I use the word antithesis in a sentence?
Words starting with A English Lessons use in a sentence What is 'antithesis'? How is it used in sentences?
Other words in the Disagreement category:
My answer: An " antithesis " can be either an entity that is the exact opposite of You can use the word Antithesis as in following. The use of irony Using antithesis - Use antithesis in a sentence antithesis Use antithesis in a sentence antithesis sentence examples How to use antithesis in a sentence. Sentences For Antithesis - awcinternational.
Antithesis Define Antithesis at Dictionary. See more. Use antithetical in a sentence antithetical sentence examples Antithetical Sentence Examples.
Antithesis Examples and Definition - Literary Devices
How to use antithetical in a sentence. Each uses a verb followed by a simile. Second, the contracting elements of a butterfly and a bee seem contradictory. That is, a butterfly is light and airy while a bee is sharp and stinging. One person a boxer, in this case should not be able to possess these two qualities—this is why this is an antithesis. When he landed on the moon, American astronaut Neil Armstrong famously stated:. Through parallel structure, this quotation presents an antithesis. However, this contradiction proposes that the action of landing on the moon might have just been a small physical step for the man Neil Armstrong, but it was a giant leap for the progress of mankind.
Primarily, writers employ antithesis for argument.
As a literary or rhetorical device, a writer is trying to communicate a particular point that is best expressed through opposites.