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HAMLET: To be, or not to be, that is the question— Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune, Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles, And by opposing, end them?by William Shakespeare) Arguably the most famous six words in all of Shakespeare’s work are an example of antithesis.
If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to.
Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle., Heller uses a specific type of humor in which antithetical statements show the true absurdity of war.
While antithesis is not the most ubiquitous of literary devices, some authors use antithesis quite extensively, such as William Shakespeare.
Many of his sonnets and plays include examples of antithesis.
The definition of antithesis requires this balanced grammatical structure.
Antithesis As You Like It
The use of antithesis is very popular in speeches and common idioms, as the inherent contrasts often make antithesis quite memorable.
This very famous quote explains the concept of the “Catch-22,” which became a popular idiomatic expression because of the book. There are now fifty or sixty countries fighting in this war.
In fact, this example is not so much an antithetical statement but instead an antithetical situation. Antithesis parallels opposite concepts, while juxtaposition sets up a comparison and contrast between two concepts that can be either similar or different. Surely so many counties can’t all be worth dying for. He had decided to live forever or die in the attempt, and his only mission each time he went up was to come down alive. You’re inches away from death every time you go on a mission.
However, juxtaposition does not necessarily deal with completely opposite ideas—sometimes the juxtaposition may be between two similar things so that the reader will notice the subtle differences.
Juxtaposition also does not necessitate a parallel grammatical structure.