Antitheton


Antitheton (an-tith’-e-ton): A proof or composition constructed of contraries. Antitheton is closely related to and sometimes confused with the figure of speech that juxtaposes opposing terms, antithesis. However, it is more properly considered a figure of thought (=Topic of Invention: Contraries [a topic of invention in which one considers opposite or incompatible things that are of the same kind (if they are of different kinds, the topic of similarity / difference is more appropriate). Because contraries occur in pairs and exclude one another, they are useful in arguments because one can establish one’s case indirectly, proving one’s own assertion by discrediting the contrary]).

While noteworthy acts of great courage may shorten one’s life to a sweet unregretful end, noteworthy acts of great cowardice may lengthen one’s life to a bitter regretful end.

  • Post your own antitheton on the “Comments” page!

Definitions courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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