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antithesis

Subject: Literature

A figure of speech in which sharply contrasted ideas are juxtaposed in a balanced or parallel phrase or grammatical structure, as in ‘Hee for God only, shee for God in him’ (Milton).

antithesis

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Chris Baldick

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

... , an effect of contrast produced by framing opposed terms in parallel syntactical constructions: ‘Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream’ (Sonnet 129). Chris...

Antithesis

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The Oxford Companion to the English Language (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...Antithesis [Stress: ‘an-TI-the-sis’] . 1. In rhetoric , a construction in which words are opposed but balanced: ‘For many are called, but few are chosen’ (Matthew 22:14); ‘To err is human, to forgive, divine’ (Pope, 1711 ). Technically, the first part of such constructions is the thesis (‘for many are called’), the second the antithesis (‘but few are chosen’). 2. In general usage, opposite: This policy is the antithesis of everything we believe in . See chiasmus . ...

antithesis

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Linguistics
Length:
30 words

... The relation between successive units that are put in contrast; e.g. between me and you in It wasn’t me ; it was you , or between the clauses that contain...

Antithesis

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The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
316 words

...he exclaimed that “the captors became captives and the victors were vanquished” (Nik.Chon. 362.81–84, tr. Magoulias 200). On the lexical level, antithesis could be expressed as oxymoron, e.g., “unplowed plowland” in Germanos I (PG 98:308C). More than a figure of speech, however, antithesis was a substantial element of the worldview: the cosmos was an antithesis between earth and heaven, the microcosm an antithesis between soul and body. Existence seemed to be permeated by oppositions, floating in a constant imbalance. The resolution of this contradiction...

Antithesis

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The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Literature
Length:
37 words

... , a journal of contemporary theory, criticism and creative writing produced by postgraduate students in English at the University of Melbourne, was first published in August 1987 , edited by Michelle de Kretser , Helene Nevola and Sara White...

antithesis

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The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
36 words

... (Greek, set against) The proposition that is the contradictory of a thesis. In dialectical materialism the reaction to a change or process. From the process and the reaction together emerges the synthesis that transcends...

antithesis

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

... [ an- tith -ĕ-sis ] ( plural - theses ) A contrast or opposition, either rhetorical or philosophical. In rhetoric , any disposition of words that serves to emphasize a contrast or opposition of ideas, usually by the balancing of connected clauses with parallel grammatical constructions. In Milton ’s Paradise Lost ( 1667 ), the characteristics of Adam and Eve are contrasted by antithesis: For contemplation he and valour formed, For softness she and sweet attractive grace; He for God only, she for God in him. Antithesis was cultivated...

Antithesis

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Encyclopedia of Rhetoric

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006
Subject:
Language reference, Linguistics
Length:
495 words

... . Under the general denomination of antithesis (Gk. antithesis, antitheton; Lat. contentio, contrapositum ), authors usually gather together a varied and complex collection of discursive phenomena, which has as its main foundation the link in the space of a statement, or in different segments of it, of at least a pair of lexical units whose meanings are or can be opposite. Since this figure was mentioned in Aristotle's Rhetoric (1410a24), the characterization usually provided by authors throughout the continuing classical tradition presents...

Antithesis

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Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

... (Greek, ‘opposition’) A literary device in which contrasting ideas are sharpened by the use of opposite meanings. The following lines are a classic example: Rais’d in extremes, and in extremes decri’d, With Oaths affirm’d, with dying Vows deni’d, Not weigh’d or winnow’d by the Multitude, But swallow’d in the Mass, unchewed and crude. Some Truth there was, but dashed and brew’d with Lies; To please the Fools, and puzzle all the Wise. Succeeding Times did equal Folly call Believing nothing or believing all....

antithesis

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Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016

... . For a misuse of this word, see antipathy...

antithesis

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A Dictionary of Animal Behaviour (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
33 words

... The principle that opposite emotional expressions, such as pleasure and anger, use opposing sets of muscles. This can occur either as part of * facial expression or in the postures involved in * display...

Antithesis

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T.V.F. Brogan and A. W. Halsall

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2017

...[ 1643 ] 1.2.122). A. Albalat once declared antithesis to be “the generating principle of half of French literature, from Montaigne to Hugo” (192–93); certainly, it is the predominant figure in the romantic poetry of Victor Hugo. In Eng. poetry, William Shakespeare uses antithesis 209 times in the Sonnets , i.e., about once per sonnet, both of content and of form (syntax); he also experiments with double antithesis regularly (e.g., 27.12) and at least once with triple (11.5). He particularly exploits antithesis in series, to develop the (Petrarchan)...

Thesis and Antithesis

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Encyclopedia of Rhetoric

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006
Subject:
Language reference, Linguistics
Length:
2,963 words

...) is fond of balanced cola often with homoeoteleuton (words with the same endings), even when there is no semantic antithesis. Isocrates ( 436–338 bce ), too, at times indulges in antithesis to embellish his more balanced periods even when there is no antithesis of argumentation. During this century, however, while semantic antithesis moved away from stylized verbal antithesis, there remain the basic utilitarian features of antithesis of thought ( dianoia ). The old presocratic expression of contraries appears in Plato as a method of discussion (dialectic)...

nomos–physis antithesis

nomos–physis antithesis   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Classical studies
Length:
251 words

...antithesis [Gk. nomos , ‘law’, ‘norm’, ‘convention’, seen in opposition to physis ‘nature’] In late fifth-century Athens a particular argument of the sophists concerned whether the widely accepted if mostly unwritten norms of political and ethical behaviour existed by nature or by convention, and so whether they operated everywhere at all times or applied only to people and if so only to particular countries or even particular individuals ( see Protagoras ). If, as Hesiod says, Zeus gave justice ( dikē ) to all humans as a norm, nomos , for...

antithesis

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The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002

... . For a misuse of this word, see antipathy...

antithesis

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Language reference, History of English
Length:
22 words

... XV. — late L. — Gr. antíthesis , f. ANTI- + tithénai set, place ( cf. THESIS ) . So antithetic XVII, antithetical XVI. ult. — Gr. antithetikós...

antithesis

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Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
224 words

...or opposition between two things’, which meaning is followed by between . Examples: This revolting creed was the antithesis of everything the Royal Navy stood for — History Today , 2002 ; Designed as the antithesis to the Oscars, the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation has been mocking Hollywood’s below-par cinematic output for almost three decades — The Guardian (Film ), 2009 ; The two halves of the work therefore corresponded to his antithesis between faith and understanding —H. Chadwick, 2001...

antithesis

antithesis noun   Reference library

The Oxford Essential Dictionary of Foreign Terms in English

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002
Subject:
Language reference
Length:
141 words

... noun plural antitheses LME Late Latin (from Greek, from antitithenai , from as anti - against + tithenai to set, place: cf. thesis ). 1 Grammar a The substitution of one case for another. Only in LME. b L16–M17 The substitution of one sound for another. 2 E16 Rhetoric (An) opposition or contrast of ideas, expressed by parallclism of words that are the opposites of, or strongly contrasted with, each other. Also, repetition of the same word at the end of successive clauses. 3 M16 The second of two opposed clauses or sentences; a...

antithesis

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Pocket Oxford Italian Dictionary: English-Italian (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Bilingual Dictionary
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Bilingual dictionaries
Length:
5 words
antithesis

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Pocket Oxford Irish Dictionary: English-Irish

Reference type:
Bilingual Dictionary
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Bilingual dictionaries
Length:
4 words

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