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Posted by Manjusha Filed in English Writing

In antithesis, the same sentence contains a striking opposition or contrast of words or sentiments. Antithesis is employed to secure emphasis.

  • Man proposes, God disposes.
  • Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.
  • Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.
  • Speech is silver, but silence is Golden.
  • Many are called, few are chosen.


Oxymoron is a special form of antithesis. It conjoins two terms that in ordinary usage are contraries.

  • She accepted it as the kind cruelty of the surgeon's knife.
  • So innocent arch, so cunningly simple.

Phrases like 'pleasing pains', 'I burn and freeze' and 'loving hate' are all examples of oxymoron.


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