Should I stay or should I go now? If I go, there will be trouble If I stay it will be double In this song, the singer uses a pair of metaphors to describe the feeling of joy that his lover brings him. This joy is expressed through antithesis, since the singer uses the miserable weather of a cloudy, cold day as the setting for the sunshine-filled month of May that "his girl" makes him feel inside, emphasizing the power of his emotions by contrasting them with the bleak weather. I've got sunshine on a cloudy day When it's cold outside I've got the month of May Well I guess you'd say, What can make me feel this way?
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My girl, my girl, my girl Talkin' bout my girl. Fundamentally, writers of all types use antithesis for its ability to create a clear contrast.
A Tale of Two Cities Summary and Analysis of Book II, Chapters 4-9
This contrast can serve a number of purposes, as shown in the examples above. It can:. Whatever the case, antithesis almost always has the added benefit of making language more memorable to listeners and readers. Antithesis Definition. Antithesis Examples. Antithesis Function. Antithesis Resources. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts.
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Download this entire guide PDF. Antithesis Definition What is antithesis? Some additional key details about antithesis: Antithesis works best when it is used in conjunction with parallelism successive phrases that use the same grammatical structure , since the repetition of structure makes the contrast of the content of the phrases as clear as possible. The word "antithesis" has another meaning, which is to describe something as being the opposite of another thing.
For example, "love is the antithesis of selfishness. The word antithesis has its origins in the Greek word antithenai , meaning "to oppose. How to Pronounce Antithesis Here's how to pronounce antithesis: an- tith -uh-sis Antithesis and Parallelism Often, but not always, antithesis works in tandem with parallelism.
The following is a good example of both antithesis and parallelism: To err is human , to forgive divine. Antithesis vs. Related Terms Three literary terms that are often mistakenly used in the place of antithesis are juxtaposition , oxymoron , and foil.
Juxtaposition In juxtaposition , two things or ideas are placed next to one another to draw attention to their differences or similarities. Oxymoron In an oxymoron , two seemingly contradictory words are placed together because their unlikely combination reveals a deeper truth. Some examples of oxymorons include: Sweet sorrow Cruel kindness Living dead The focus of antithesis is opposites rather than contradictions. Foil 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.
Antithesis in Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities 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. Antithesis in William Shakespeare's Othello 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.
Antithesis in William Shakespeare's Hamlet Shakespeare's plays are full of antithesis, and so is Hamlet's most well-known "To be or not to be" soliloquy. Antithesis in T. Antithesis in Green Lantern's Oath Comic book writers know the power of antithesis too! Antithesis in Speeches Many well-known speeches contain examples of antithesis. Antithesis in Patrick Henry's Speech to the Second Virginia Convention, This speech by famous American patriot Patrick Henry includes one of the most memorable and oft-quoted phrases from the era of the American Revolution.
Antithesis in Martin Luther King Jr. Antithesis in Songs In songs, contrasting two opposite ideas using antithesis can heighten the dramatic tension of a difficult decision, or express the singer's intense emotion—but whatever the context, antithesis is a useful tool for songwriters mainly because opposites are always easy to remember, so lyrics that use antithesis tend to stick in the head. Antithesis in "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash In this song by The Clash, the speaker is caught at a crossroads between two choices, and antithesis serves as the perfect tool to express just how confused and conflicted he is.
Antithesis in "My Girl" by the Temptations In this song, the singer uses a pair of metaphors to describe the feeling of joy that his lover brings him. Why Do Writers Use Antithesis? It can: Present a stark choice between two alternatives. Convey magnitude or range i. Express strong emotions. Create a relationship of opposition between two separate ideas. Accentuate the qualities and characteristics of one thing by placing it in opposition to another. Other Helpful Antithesis Resources The Wikipedia page on Antithesis : A useful summary with associated examples, along with an extensive account of antithesis in the Gospel of Matthew.
Sound bites from history : A list of examples of antithesis in famous political speeches from United States history — with audio clips! A blog post on antithesis : This quick rundown of antithesis focuses on a quote you may know from Muhammad Ali's philosophy of boxing: "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
"A Tale of Two Cities" Lesson Plans
Cite This Page. Sign up! Literary Terms Related to Antithesis. See all Literary Terms MLA Chicago. Lorenz, Ben. Retrieved November 14, Copy to Clipboard. PDF downloads of all LitCharts literature guides, and of every new one we publish. Detailed quotes explanations with page numbers for every important quote on the site.
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"A Tale of Two Cities" Lesson Plans
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