What is antithesis? How Bacon’s statements in ” Of Revenge ” are antithetical ?
Antithesis is a figure of speech in which opposing or contrasting ideas are balanced against each other in grammatically parallel syntax. It may also be maintained that antithesis is the use of words or phrases that contrast with each other to create a balanced effect. In Bacon’s prose style this balanced effect plays an important role in serving his utilitarian goal. As a lawyer Bacon is familiar with the technique of judging a matter with all its merits and demerits. When he makes some particular statement, he at once counterbalances it, to avoid any possible exaggeration, by giving the other side of the picture as well. Such weighting and balancing make his style antithetical. His arguments in the essay ” Of Revenge “, for example, as in so many other essays, may be quoted here. For as for the first wrong, it doth but offend the law; but the revenge of that wrong putteth the law out of office. Certainly, in taking revenge a man is but even with his enemy, but in passing it over he is superior, for it is a prince’s part to pardon. Each sentence above is balanced by an opposite statement using the conjunction ‘ but ‘ ( underlined ). No Definite conclusions are arrived at and the readers are left to pick and choose.