Define thesis in literary terms


Definition Thesis Statement

It is defined evaluative term. Evaluative claims involve the assessment or judgment of the ideas in the statement piece.

Introduction to literature reviews

There are also countless theses of theses in academia; everyone who attains a Ph. Examples of thesis papers are often found in other undergraduate and graduate studies as well. Writers have a certain point of view from which they are writing, and may construct entire poems and novels to prove certain ideas true. While an academic writer can base his or her argument off of fact and data, the literary writer often uses situations and the emotions they define to help prove certain go here.

This process can take longer to develop than in academic thesis examples, and yet the statement can often be stronger. When authors of poetry and prose appeal to emotion as well as logic both pathos and logosthe reader is more likely to be convinced of a term message, as well as remember the message for a longer literary of time. There are also countless examples of theses in go here everyone who attains a Ph.

In an oxymoron , two seemingly contradictory words are placed together because their unlikely combination reveals a deeper truth. Some examples of oxymorons include:.


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The focus of antithesis is opposites rather than contradictions. While the words involved in oxymorons seem like they don't belong together until you give them deeper thought , the words or ideas of antithesis do feel like they belong together even as they contrast as opposites. Further, antitheses seldom function by placing the two words or ideas right next to one another, so antitheses are usually made up of more than two words as in, "I'd rather be among the living than among the dead".

Some Internet sources use "antithesis" to describe an author's decision to create two characters in a story that are direct opposites of one another—for instance, the protagonist and antagonist. But the correct term for this kind of opposition is a foil : a person or thing in a work of literature that contrasts with another thing in order to call attention to its qualities. While the sentence "the hare was fast, and the tortoise was slow" is an example of antithesis, if we step back and look at the story as a whole, the better term to describe the relationship between the characters of the tortoise and the hare is "foil," as in, "The character of the hare is a foil of the tortoise.

Below are examples of antithesis from some of English literature's most acclaimed writers — and a comic book! In the famous opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities , Dickens sets out a flowing list of antitheses punctuated by the repetition of the word "it was" at the beginning of each clause which is itself an example of the figure of speech anaphora. By building up this list of contrasts, Dickens sets the scene of the French Revolution that will serve as the setting of his tale by emphasizing the division and confusion of the era.

The overwhelming accumulation of antitheses is also purposefully overdone; Dickens is using hyperbole to make fun of the "noisiest authorities" of the day and their exaggerated claims. The passage contains many examples of antithesis, each consisting of one pair of contrasting ideas that we've highlighted to make the structure clearer. It was the best of times , it was the worst of times , it was the age of wisdom , it was the age of foolishness , it was the epoch of belief , it was the epoch of incredulity , it was the season of Light , it was the season of Darkness , it was the spring of hope , it was the winter of despair , we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven , we were all going direct the other way —in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

In this verse from Paradise Lost , Milton's anti-hero , Satan, claims he's happier as the king of Hell than he could ever have been as a servant in Heaven. He justifies his rebellion against God with this pithy phrase, and the antithesis drives home the double contrast between Hell and Heaven, and between ruling and serving. Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. As the plot of Othello nears its climax , the antagonist of the play, Iago, pauses for a moment to acknowledge the significance of what is about to happen. Iago uses antithesis to contrast the two opposite potential outcomes of his villainous plot: either events will transpire in Iago's favor and he will come out on top, or his treachery will be discovered, ruining him.

This is the night That either makes me or fordoes me quite. In this passage, the simple word "either" functions as a cue for the reader to expect some form of parallelism, because the "either" signals that a contrast between two things is coming. Shakespeare's plays are full of antithesis, and so is Hamlet's most well-known "To be or not to be" soliloquy.

Definition Thesis Statement

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.

What is a Thesis? Definition, Examples of Theses in Literature - Writing Explained

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!

Structuring a thesis

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.

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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. A thesis statement refers to part of an essay where the writer establishes his position regarding a topic. This is the position that the writer will further explore throughout his paper. They help to introduce the essay and set a focus for the reader. Narrative thesis statements are found in narrative essays or in literature.

They set the scene for the lesson that will be explored or taught through the piece. Narrative thesis statements are important in literature in order to establish the purpose for the work or introduce the lesson that the novel will attempt to teach.

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