Antithesis (Greek for "setting opposite", from "against" "position") is a counter-proposition and denotes a direct contrast to the original proposition.
Among English writers who have made the most abundant use of antithesis are Pope, Young, Johnson, and Gibbon; and especially Lyly in his Euphues.
It is, however, a much more common feature in French than in English; while in German, with some striking exceptions, it is conspicuous by its absence.
The Jewish Encyclopedia: Brotherly Love states: As Schechter in J.
Antithesis is the use of two contrasting or opposite elements or ideas in a sentence, stanza or story.
The contrasts used in such statements are strict and can be humorous or ironic.
The readers should be clever enough to get what the writer is trying to communicate because writers can be very ironic in nature.Sometimes, writers use antithesis in order to pass on some comments in an indirect way.So, readers should have the capability to get those hidden meanings.Authors use antithesis in literature to establish a relationship between two ideas or characters.They may also use the device as part of a description, to drive a point, as a figure of speech or to be ironic or satirical.For example, In the above example, you can see that the famous Martin Luther King Jr.has used a parallel structure in his quote, which makes this sentence an antithetical one.In “Passing Time,” Maya Angelou uses antithesis in the second and third stanzas when she refers to the “beginning” and “end” of time.At the end of the second stanza, she writes about a “certain end,” but contrasts the idea with a “sure beginning” at the end of the third stanza.The words ‘brothers’ and ‘fools’ or ‘live’ and ‘perish’ can be said as contradictory elements.These words are not exact opposites; but they are creating a contrasting effect which is effective for an antithetical statement.