Use of antithesis in hamlet

It has been highly praised by literary critics for its language and dramatic effect.

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Literary devices used in this play are puns, foreshadowing, metaphor, personification, oxymoron, paradox, among others. A pun is a joke based on the use of a word, or more than one word, that has more than one meaning but the same sound. Mercutio and Romeo often exchange puns with one another in the play: Mercutio--"Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance. On closer examination, however, the combination of these components is indeed appropriate. For example, see how Juliet describes Romeo in the following quote: Juliet--"O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!

Hamlet's famous speech in Act III, scene 1, uses an antithesis, contrary ideas expressed in a balanced sentence. Hamlet's entire "To be or not to be" speech is a soliloquy.

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A soliloquy, a speech delivered by a character in a play or other literature while alone. We also have alliteration, the repetition of an initial sound in two or more words of a phrase, line or sentence. Allusion, a reference to a person , event, or condition thought to be familiar but sometimes actually obscure or unknown to the reader. The literary device used within this play make it more appealing. The most effect and interesting literary devices are irony, symbolism and imagery.

Shakespeare's plays are full of antithesis, and so is Hamlet's most well-known "To be or not to be" soliloquy. This excerpt of the soliloquy is a good example of an antithesis that is not limited to a single word or short phrase. The first instance of antithesis here, where Hamlet announces the guiding question " to be or not to be " is followed by an elaboration of each idea "to be" and "not to be" into metaphors that then form their own antithesis.


Both instances of antithesis hinge on an " or " that divides the two contrasting options. 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 In this excerpt from his poem "Four Quartets," T.

Eliot uses antithesis to describe the cycle of life, which is continuously passing from beginning to end, from rise to fall, and from old to new. In my beginning is my end. In succession Houses rise and fall , crumble, are extended, Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass. Old stone to new building , old timber to new fires Comic book writers know the power of antithesis too!

In this catchy oath, Green Lantern uses antithesis to emphasize that his mission to defeat evil will endure no matter the conditions. In brightest day , in blackest night , No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might Beware my power—Green lantern's light! While most instances of antithesis are built around an "or" that signals the contrast between the two parts of the sentence, the Green Lantern oath works a bit differently.

It's built around an implied "and" to be technical, that first line of the oath is an asyndeton that replaces the "and" with a comma , because members of the Green Lantern corps are expressing their willingness to fight evil in all places, even very opposite environments. Many well-known speeches contain examples of antithesis. Speakers use antithesis to drive home the stakes of what they are saying, sometimes by contrasting two distinct visions of the future. This speech by famous American patriot Patrick Henry includes one of the most memorable and oft-quoted phrases from the era of the American Revolution.

Here, Henry uses antithesis to emphasize just how highly he prizes liberty, and how deadly serious he is about his fight to achieve it. Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take: but as for me, give me liberty or give me death. We must all learn to live together as brothers —or we will all perish together as fools. In songs, contrasting two opposite ideas using antithesis can heighten the dramatic tension of a difficult decision, or express the singer's intense emotion—but whatever the context, antithesis is a useful tool for songwriters mainly because opposites are always easy to remember, so lyrics that use antithesis tend to stick in the head.

In this song by The Clash, the speaker is caught at a crossroads between two choices, and antithesis serves as the perfect tool to express just how confused and conflicted he is. The rhetorical question —whether to stay or to go—presents two opposing options, and the contrast between his lover's mood from one day when everything is "fine" to the next when it's all "black" explains the difficulty of his choice.

One day it's fine and next it's black So if you want me off your back Well, come on and let me know Should I stay or should I go? Should I stay or should I go now? If I go, there will be trouble If I stay it will be double In this song, the singer uses a pair of metaphors to describe the feeling of joy that his lover brings him.

Antithesis Examples and Worksheets

This joy is expressed through antithesis, since the singer uses the miserable weather of a cloudy, cold day as the setting for the sunshine-filled month of May that "his girl" makes him feel inside, emphasizing the power of his emotions by contrasting them with the bleak weather. I've got sunshine on a cloudy day When it's cold outside I've got the month of May Well I guess you'd say, What can make me feel this way? My girl, my girl, my girl Talkin' bout my girl. Fundamentally, writers of all types use antithesis for its ability to create a clear contrast.

This contrast can serve a number of purposes, as shown in the examples above.

It can:. Whatever the case, antithesis almost always has the added benefit of making language more memorable to listeners and readers. Sign In Sign Up. Antithesis Definition.

Examples of Antithesis

Antithesis Examples. Antithesis Function. Antithesis Resources. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of every Shakespeare play. Hamlet draws his audience, the reader, into noticing the different qualities that he has. His qualities are shown through his conversations with other characters as well as through his soliloquies. Shakespeare presents Hamlet as a fascinatingly.

When she gets home, she receives a telegram from a stranger, Van Helsing, telling her that her friends Lucy and Mrs. Westenra have died. Mina is a antithesis to Count because she is sympathetic person and Count is a malicious dead creature.

Use Of Antithesis In Shakespeare – | Zach Zeiler

Who will overcome in this battle of defending Europe. The essay "Company Man" by Ellen Goodman serves to describe a "company man". A literal definition would define this term around the parameter "works for a company". It can be interpreted that most companies are run from large office buildings, which places the office man either at a desk, or in a conference room.

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However, this is the only, immediate information a dictionary can provide. As one looks into the various aspects of the root word or term, one can draw several inferences about the typical.

Antithesis Examples

Every character develops as the play continues to progress, and the attention that is drawn to them illuminates issues of central importance to the play as a whole. The ghost of Hamlet falls into this predicament. The ghost of Hamlet is an extremely important character for many reasons.