Antithesis: Wikis

  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Antithesis (Greek for "setting opposite", from ἀντί "against" + θέσις "position") is a counter-proposition and denotes a direct contrast to the original proposition. In setting the opposite, an individual brings out of a contrast in the meaning (e.g., the definition, interpretation, or semantics) by an obvious contrast in the expression.

Contents

Description

A simple enumeration of the elements of dialectics is that of thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Hell is the antithesis of Heaven; disorder is the antithesis of order. It is the juxtaposition of contrasting ideas, usually in a balanced way. In rhetoric, it is a figure of speech involving the bringing out of a contrast in the ideas by an obvious contrast in the words, clauses, or sentences, within a parallel grammatical structure, as in the following:

"When there is need of silence, you speak, and when there is need of speech, you are dumb; when you are present, you wish to be absent, and when absent, you desire to be present; in peace you are for war, and in war you long for peace; in council you descant on bravery, and in the battle you tremble."

Antithesis is sometimes double or alternate, as in the appeal of Augustus:

"Listen, young men, to an old man to whom old men were glad to listen when he was young."

Some other examples of antithesis are:

A) Man proposes, God disposes.
B) Give everyman thy ear, but few thy voice.
C) Many are called, but few are chosen.

Among English writers who have made the most abundant use of antithesis are Pope, Young, Johnson, and Gibbon; and especially Lyly in his Euphues. It is, however, a much more common feature in French than in English; while in German, with some striking exceptions, it is conspicuous by its absence. The familiar phrase “Man proposes: God disposes” is an example of antithesis, as is John Dryden's description in The Hind and the Panther: “Too black for heaven, and yet too white for hell.”

The force of the antithesis is increased if the words on which the beat of the contrast falls are alliterative, or otherwise similar in sound. It gives an expression greater point and vivacity... than a judicious employment of this figure.

In literature

In literary fiction, an antithesis can be used to describe a character who presents the exact opposite as to personality type or moral outlook to another character in a particular piece of literature. Some examples of an antithesis in popular literature include the characters of Dumbledore and Voldemort in Harry Potter, the doctor and Kino in The Pearl, Théoden and Denethor in The Lord of the Rings, and Aslan and the White Witch in "The Chronicles of Narnia". This does not mean however, that they are necessarily in conflict with each other.

Antithesis is also a rhetorical figure of speech, often used in both poetry and prose.

Not that I loved Cæsar less, but that I loved Rome more.
(William Shakespeare, "Julius Cæsar," Act 3, scene 2, 22)
My only love sprung from my only hate"
(Juliet when she finds Romeo is a member of the Montague family and therefore an enemy of her)

In the Bible

The Antithesis of the Law is the name given by some New Testament scholars to a section of the Sermon on the Mount[Matt. 5:17–48] in which Jesus is reported as taking six well known prescriptions of the Mosaic Law, and calling on his followers to do more than the law requires. Protestant scholars since the Reformation have generally believed that Jesus was setting His teaching over against false interpretations of the law current at the time. The Jewish Encyclopedia: Brotherly Love states:

As Schechter in J. Q. R. x. 11, shows, the expression 'Ye have heard...' is an inexact translation of the rabbinical formula (שןמע אני), which is only a formal logical interrogation introducing the opposite view as the only correct one: 'Ye might deduce from this verse[Lev 19:18] that thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy, but I say to you the only correct interpretation is, Love all men, even thine enemies.'

Antithesis was the name given by Marcion to a document in which he contrasted the Old Testament with the New Testament.

In each of the six cases, Jesus open each statement with words to the effect: "You have heard it said...but I say to you...."

The fulfillment of the Law

Jesus made clear his great respect for the Law and his fulfillment of the Law.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus, Matthew 5:17-20

Murder

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder,[Ex 20:13] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother[1] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,'[2] is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Jesus, Matthew 5:21-22

Adultery

You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.'[Ex 20:14] But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Jesus, Matthew 5:27-30

Divorce

It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.'[Deut. 24:1] But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

Jesus, Matthew 5:31-32

Oaths

Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.' But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Jesus, Matthew 5:31-32

An eye for an eye

You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'[Ex 21:24] [Lev 24:20] [Deu 19:21] But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Jesus, Matthew 5:38-42

Love for enemies

You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor[Lev 19:18] and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Jesus, Matthew 5:43-47

See also

References

  1. ^ Some manuscripts say "brother or sister without cause"─NIV notes
  2. ^ 'Raca' is an Aramaic term of contempt.─NIV notes

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ANTITHESIS (the Greek for "setting opposite"), in rhetoric, the bringing out of a contrast in the meaning by an obvious contrast in the expression, as in the following: - "When there is need of silence, you speak, and when there is need of speech, you are dumb; when present, you wish to be absent, and when absent, you desire to be present; in peace you are for war, and in war you long for peace; in council you descant on bravery, and in the battle you tremble." Antithesis is sometimes double or alternate, as in the appeal of Augustus: - "Listen, young men, to an old man to whom old men were glad to listen when he was young." The force of the antithesis is increased if the words on which the beat of the contrast falls are alliterative, or otherwise similar in sound, as - "The fairest but the falsest of her sex." There is nothing that gives to expression greater point and vivacity than a judicious employment of this figure; but, on the other hand, there is nothing more tedious and trivial than a pseudo-antithetical style. Among English writers who have made the most abundant use of antithesis are Pope, Young, Johnson, and Gibbon; and especially Lyly in his Euphues. It is, however, a much more common feature in French than in English; while in German, with some striking exceptions, it is conspicuous by its absence.


<< Antistrophe

Antitype >>


Simple English


An antithesis, is an idea that is the opposite of another idea.

Often the antithesis is used to make a point clear about the original idea.









Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message