Definition of antithesis
Antithesis, which literally means "opposite", is a rhetorical device in which two opposing ideas are joined in a sentence to achieve a contrasting effect.

Antithesis emphasizes the idea of ​​contrast through parallel structures of sentences or contrasted clauses. The phrases and clauses are similar, in order to attract the attention of listeners or readers. For example:

"Setting foot on the moon may be a small step for a man but a giant step for humanity."

The use of contrasting ideas, “One small step” and “one giant step” in the sentence above emphasizes the importance of one of the most important milestones in human history.

Examples of common antitheses Below is a list of some common antithetical statements:

Give each man your ear, but to a few your voice.
Man proposes, God disposes.
Love is something ideal, marriage something real.
Speech is silver, but silence is gold.
Patience is bitter, but it has sweet fruit
Money is the root of all evil: poverty is the fruit of all goodness
You are pleasing to the eye, but hard on the heart
Examples of antitheses in literature
In In literature, writers employ antithesis not only in sentences, but also in characters and events. Therefore, its use is extensive. Here are some examples of antithesis in the literature:

Example # 1: A Tale of Two Cities (By Charles Dickens)
The opening lines of Charles Dickens' novel A Tale of Two Cities provides an unforgettable example of antithesis:

“ It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of folly, it was the age of faith, it was the age of unbelief, 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 ahead of us, we had nothing ahead, we were all going straight to heaven, we were all going directly in the opposite direction ”. 40a 4
The contrasting ideas, placed in parallel structures, notably highlight the conflict that existed at the time discussed in the novel

Example # 2: Julius Caesar (By William Shakespeare)
In William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, we notice antitheses in the characters of Marco Antonio and Marco Bruto. Brutus is portrayed as the "noblest of the Romans", close to Caesar, and a person who loved Rome and Caesar. Antonio, on the other hand, is shown as a man with the evil intentions of harming Caesar and taking over Rome. These opposing characters emphasize the conflict in the play.

Example 3: An essay on criticism (by Alexander Pope)
Alexander Pope says in his essay on criticism:

“To err is human; to divinely forgive. “

Accessibility is a characteristic of man, and God - the Creator - is most forgiving. Through these opposing ideas, Pope reveals the fundamental nature of man. He wants to say that God forgives because his creation is wrong.

Example 4: Community (by John Donne)
We find a contrast in John Donne's poem Community:

“Well, we must love and hate sick,
For sick is sick and good is still good; Neither hate nor love,
But one and then another prove
How we're going to bend our imaginations. "

Two contrasting words" love "and" hate "are combined in the lines above. It emphasizes that we love well because it is always good, and we hate bad because it is always bad. It is a matter of choice to love or hate things that are neither good nor bad.

Example 5: Paradise Lost (by John Milton)
John Milton in Paradise Lost says:

“Better to rule in hell than serve in heaven . ”

The opposing notions of rulership / service and hell / heaven are put into this sentence to create an antithetical effect.

Function of the antithesis
A literary device, like the antithesis, uses words to convey ideas in ways other than the usual words and expressions of The daily life. In this way, it conveys a more vivid meaning than ordinary language. When contrasting ideas are brought together, the idea becomes more forceful.

As a literary device, the antithesis creates contrasts to examine the pros and cons of a discussed topic and helps to make judgment on that particular topic.
Antistrophe Aphorism