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Antithesis

an-tith'-e-sis / From Greek: anti “against” and thesis “a setting” or tithenai “to set, place”
Also known as: contrarium, contentio, comparatio, contrast

Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure).

This is closely related to the Topic of Invention: Contraries, and is sometimes known as the similarly named figure of thought, antitheton.

Examples:

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues." —Abraham Lincoln

"It can't be wrong if it feels so right" —Debbie Boone

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Acknowledgement

The above information on individual rhetorical techniques is reproduced from the website “Silva Rhetoricae” (www.rhetoric.byu.edu ) under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Credit for this content lies with Professor Gideon O Burton of Brigham Young University.