Antithesis Literary Terms

Antithesis Literary Terms-34
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!

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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.


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  • Antithesis Examples -

    Antithesis is the term used to refer to an author's use of two contrasting or opposite terms in a sentence for effect. The two terms are set near each other to enhance or highlight the contrast in opposite meaning. Sometimes, characters in literary works are the antithesis of each other. The two…

  • What is Antithesis? Definition, Examples of Antitheses in.

    The Function of Antithesis. 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.…

  • Antithesis Definition of Antithesis at

    An interpretive method, originally used to relate specific entities or events to the absolute idea, in which some assertible proposition thesis is necessarily opposed by an equally assertible and apparently contradictory proposition antithesis, the mutual contradiction being reconciled on a higher level of truth by a third proposition.…

  • Antithesis - Literary Term Definition - Uniregistry

    Antithesis - Literary Term Definition. Great Literary Term dictionary if you're searching for the definition of Antithesis; This example of the Antithesis Literary Term definition plays a major part in the study of poems, poetry and Literary works.…

  • Antithesis - Dictionary Definition

    The noun antithesis comes from a Greek root meaning "opposition" and "set against." It's often used today when describing two ideas or terms that are placed in strong contrast to each other.…

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    Literary Terms & Devices in English for Language Arts English / Spanish THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234 FALL 2015 The Literary Terms are only for instruction. Not for ELL Accommodation. NYS LANGUAGE RBE‐RN AT NYU PAGE 1 2012 GLOSSARY ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS ENGLISH ‐ SPANISH THE STATE…

  • Glossary of literary terms - Wikipedia

    This glossary of literary terms is a list of definitions of terms and concepts used in the discussion, classification, analysis, and criticism of all types of literature, such as poetry, novels, and picture books, as well as of grammar, syntax, and language techniques.…

  • Antithesis

    Antithesis ăntĬth´ĬsĬs, a figure of speech involving a seeming contradiction of ideas, words, clauses, or sentences within a balanced grammatical structure. Parallelism of expression serves to emphasize opposition of ideas. The familiar phrase "Man proposes, God disposes" is an example of antithesis, as is…

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