The term paradox is from the Greek word paradoxon, which means “contrary to expectations, existing perception, or perceived opinion.”
It is a announcement that appears to be self-contradictory or silly, but which might also consist of a latent truth. It is likewise used to demonstrate an opinion or assertion contrary to general traditional thoughts. A paradox is frequently used to make a reader assume over an idea in modern way.
Examples of Paradox
Your enemy’s friend is your enemy.
I am nobody.
“What a pity that youth need to be wasted on the young.” – George Bernard Shaw
Truth is honey, which is bitter.
“I can resist anything but temptation.” – Oscar Wilde
From the above examples of paradox, we can say that paradox creates a humorous impact at the readers due to its ridiculousness.
Examples of Paradox in Literature
In literature, paradox isn't always simply a clever or comical announcement or use of words. Paradox has serious implications because it makes statements that regularly summarize the principal themes of the work they're used in. Let us examine a few paradox examples from a few famous literary works:
Example #1: Animal Farm (By George Orwell)
In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, one part of the cardinal rule is this announcement:
“All animals are equal, however a few are more same than others.”
This statement seems to no longer make any sense. However, on nearer examination, it becomes clear that Orwell factors out a political truth. The government inside the novel claims that everybody is identical, however it has by no means treated anyone equally. It is the concept of equality said on this paradox that is opposite to the common belief of equality.
Example #2: Hamlet (By William Shakespeare)
In William Shakespeare’s famous play Hamlet, the protagonist Hamlet says:
“I should be merciless to be kind.”
This declaration does not seem to make sense. How can an person deal with others kindly even if he is merciless? However, Hamlet is talking approximately his mom, and how he intends to kill Claudius to avenge his father’s death.
This act of Hamlet may be a tragedy for his mom, who's married to Claudius. Hamlet does no longer want his mom to be the loved of his father’s murderer any longer, and so he thinks that the murder will be accurate for his mother.
Example #3: Romeo and Juliet (By William Shakespeare)
From William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet:
“The earth that’s nature’s mother is her tomb;
What is her burying grave, this is Rainbow in her womb…”
The contradictory ideas of the earth being the birthplace and a graveyard make these traces paradoxical.
Example #4: My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold (By William Wordsworth)
In his short lyric My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold, William Wordsworth remembers the joys of his past and says:
“The baby is father of the man…”
This assertion has a reputedly wrong supposition, however whilst we appearance deep into its meaning, we see the truth. The poet is saying that the formative years experiences grow to be the idea for all adult occurrences. The adolescence of a person shapes his life, and consequently “fathers” or creates the grown-up grownup. So, “The child is father of the man.”
Function of Paradox
The above analyzing may carry out the question, “Why is paradox used whilst a message may be conveyed in a truthful and easy manner?” The solution lies in the nature and cause of literature. One function of literature is to make the readers experience analyzing. Readers revel in extra after they extract the hidden meanings out of the writing as opposed to some thing supplied to them in an straight forward manner. Thus, the chief reason of a paradox is to provide pleasure.
In poetry, using paradox is not confined to mere wit and pleasure; rather, it becomes an integral part of poetic diction. Poets normally employ paradox to create a extremely good idea or image out of words.
Some kinds of paradox in poetry are supposed to speak a tone of irony to its readers in addition to lead their mind to the instant subject. Paradox in maximum poems usually strives to create emotions of intrigue and interest in readers’ minds, to make them assume deeper and tougher to experience the real message of the poem.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw