Prior to this closing line of one of his stanzas, Pope had been discussing the tendency of literary critics of his day to judge the work of others harshly through some claim to almost divine authority in the matter.
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He was only misled by his love of antithesis into a hasty and illogical remark.
That seems to arise out of the antithesis to the former conception of love.
This is the British English definition of antithesis. Change your default dictionary to American English.
Antithesis is a figure of speech which refers to the juxtaposition of opposing or contrasting ideas. You can be the judge when you learn more about 'antithesis' in this lesson, where you'll see the device defined as well as employed in some familiar literary works! Authors have been using this technique for millennia in order to emphasize the distinctions between important ideas by using groups of words that vividly differ from one another. Here, we can find the opposition in his use of 'small step' and 'giant leap,' as well as in the appearance of 'man' and 'mankind.' But antithesis is about more than merely using contradictory words.At some point in our lives, we've probably all heard a sound bite of Neil Armstrong's iconic first transmission from the Moon: 'That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.' You may have been too inspired by Neil's words to realize it at the time, but his famous phrase very purposefully employs a rhetorical and literary device known as antithesis, that is, the use of words that are opposites or noticeably different to highlight contrasting ideas. Neil could've just as easily stated his idea with something like 'This occasion is insignificant in terms of one person, but has overarching consequences for all humanity.' However, the astronaut's concise quote has inspired so many because it vividly highlights the ramifications of one human's relatively insignificant footstep on the advancement of all humankind through the notable differences between the antithetical elements employed.Unlike the other examples we've seen so far, Charles Dickens' use of antithesis in his famous novel from 1859 is anything but brief.In fact, the entire opening sentence of A Tale of Two Cities is loaded with antitheses: 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, 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 before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…' Each individual phrase is actually quite concise in itself.But the number of thinkers whom this antithesis does not satisfy grows daily.There are forms of antithesis in which the contrast is only of a secondary kind.Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our community of experts to gain a global audience for your work! Usage Examples: His boisterous and loud speaking manner is the antithesis of his predecessors more quiet and reserved style. a use of words or phrases that contrast with each other to create a balanced effect Synonyms: opposite, reverse, contradiction, contrast Antonyms: parallel, similarity Tips: Antithesis is derived from the Greek antitithenai, which literally means to set against." Antithesis is a more sophisticated way of saying "opposite." Use antithesis to refer to someone who is the complete "opposite" of another person.