Tags: M.Sc Thesis In StatisticsAmerica Me Essay RulesProthesiste Dentaire En SuisseBook Scholarship EssaysEvaluating A Research Paper CriteriaMaster Thesis In Denmark
At some point in our lives, we've probably all heard a sound bite of Neil Armstrong's iconic first transmission from the Moon: 'That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.' You may have been too inspired by Neil's words to realize it at the time, but his famous phrase very purposefully employs a rhetorical and literary device known as antithesis, that is, the use of words that are opposites or noticeably different to highlight contrasting ideas. Neil could've just as easily stated his idea with something like 'This occasion is insignificant in terms of one person, but has overarching consequences for all humanity.' However, the astronaut's concise quote has inspired so many because it vividly highlights the ramifications of one human's relatively insignificant footstep on the advancement of all humankind through the notable differences between the antithetical elements employed.As its origins in ancient Greek would suggest, antithesis (Greek for 'opposition,' 'contradiction') has been a popular tool for writers since antiquity, especially among Roman poets of the 1st century A. Let's turn from the space program, now, and look at a few instances of antithesis in some literary works you're sure to recognize!
You can be the judge when you learn more about 'antithesis' in this lesson, where you'll see the device defined as well as employed in some familiar literary works! Authors have been using this technique for millennia in order to emphasize the distinctions between important ideas by using groups of words that vividly differ from one another. Here, we can find the opposition in his use of 'small step' and 'giant leap,' as well as in the appearance of 'man' and 'mankind.' But antithesis is about more than merely using contradictory words.Alexander Pope first included this example of antithesis in 1711 in his An Essay on Criticism, a poetic treatise on critiquing literature.Prior to this closing line of one of his stanzas, Pope had been discussing the tendency of literary critics of his day to judge the work of others harshly through some claim to almost divine authority in the matter.Antithesis literally means "opposite." It’s used by writers and speakers to compare two opposite ideas to achieve a contrasting effect.It parallels two contrasting phrases or classes with a similar structure to draw attention to their significance or importance. Who remembers one of the most famous statements of rhetorical antithesis in the public arena: , Brutus is the "noblest of Romans" because he loves Rome and Caesar.Like Armstrong, the author of Paradise Lost was able to summarize Satan's previous pontification on frame of mind by using a powerfully concise yet vivid antithetical comparison.You might've heard the antithetical phrase 'To err is Human; to Forgive, Divine' cited in a number of ethical situations, but you might be surprised to discover its original context.While that may be good and true, few writers use antithesis because, if forced, it sounds contrived and sanctimonious.Let’s look at antithesis closer to see if—or how—you can use it to reach deeper meaning.It has been used since antiquity to emphasize the distinctions between important ideas by using groups of words that vividly differ from one another.By using such attention-grabbing oppositions, authors are able to communicate their ideas more effectively and memorably than if they relied on simple statements.