You are here

Antithetical Parallelism: One Phrase Opposing Another

TitleAntithetical Parallelism: One Phrase Opposing Another
Publication TypeIcon
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsPinnock, Hugh W., and Fernando Vazquez

Another basic poetic form that we will look at in this book is the antithetical form (Latin, opposite and contraposita; Greek, antitheta). The antithetical form is used to emphasize a point by contrasting opposing views of an idea or phrase. It is used in a number of ancient writing forms to establish a contrast. The ancient philosopher Aristotle wrote, "This kind of style is pleasing, because contraries are easily understood and even more so when placed side by side, and also because antithesis resembles a syllogism; for refutation is a bringing together of contraries." The antithetical form "is a figure by which two thoughts, ideas, or phrases are set over one against the other in order to make the contrast more striking and thus to emphasize it." Jose Krasovec writes, "Antithesis is not in terms of contradiction, thesis, and antithesis, but in opposite aspects of the same idea." Antithesis is different from antimetabole in that antimetabole is chiastic, whereas antithesis can take any form of parallelism. Antithesis can state an idea and its contrast (A-B) or can repeat that idea and its contrast (A-B/A-B/A-B).


An extract from Hugh W. Pinnock, Finding Biblical Hebrew and Other Ancient Literary Forms in the Book of Mormon (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1999), 94-95.

For more from this volume, please visit the link below.

Citation Key1148