Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org &
Knatz.com / Teaching / Scholarship /
Shakespeare’s Sonnets: Meta-Oxymoron / Basics /

Oxymoron: Literary / Philosophical

My Mac hard drive dictionary defines oxymoron as “a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction (e.g., faith unfaithful kept him falsely true).”

I sometimes hear it used to mean a contradiction in terms: a pocketbook paradox.
I never heard the term till my senior year at Columbia where my beloved James Zito indentified it as a rhetorical device popular in Elizabethan times, used much by Shakespeare.
Try this, from Romeo and Juliet, II ii:

Good night, good night! parting is such
sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow.

There: “sweet sorrow.”
Mutually exclusive in normal thought and expression. But notice: the sweet sorrow oxymoron is nested in a metaphorically oxymoronic framework: Julet wants to say goodnight to Romeo all night long, till it’s no longer night, but day.

In time things become their supposed opposite!
But that’s a separate point, needing much more development.

The rest of this section will load up with examples from the Sonnets (and from other Shakespeare plays, and other Renaissance works …)

on Shakespeare’s Sonnets

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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