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Juxtaposition Examples

What's juxtaposition?

You may have heared many times this term, juxtaposition, and never new what it means? Before listing some juxtaposition examples, I would like to make a clear, laymen's definition of this concept, so that not only the linguistic experts will understand it.

Juxtaposition is a linguistic tool, used in any written text or any daily conversation, to highlight the distinction, the contrasts and the similitudes and alike attributes of two concepts, thoughts, characters, feelings, objects by placing them together in the context.

I'm sure anyone uses juxtapositions everyday, not even knowing it. You probably said not long ago something like: "She's pretty ugly!"

The expert's definition of juxtaposition looks like this:
(from :

  • an act or instance of placing close together or side by side,especially for comparison or contrast.
  • the state of being close together or side by side.

Juxtaposition Examples in Literature

Shakespeare's works have a great variety of juxtaposition examples, but Romeo and Juliet would be the best representation of how contrasts stand side by side to emphasize the antithesis of the play.

Some examples of juxtaposition are:

  • the young and the old;
  • peasents and aristocrats;
  • romantic Romeo and blazing Tybalt;
  • the quiet whispers of lovers and the loud sounds of the crowds;

Other example of juxtaposition would be John Milton's "Paradise Lost" where it's accentuated the relation between good and evil, God and Satan.

Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" is also loaded with juxtaposition examples:

  • main character Raskolnikov commits murder, although he's presented like a good person, with lots of qualities;
  • he feels guilty all throughout the novel, but still he wouldn't give himself up;
  • he falls in love with a prostitute, that's also presented like a geniune virgin;

Other examples of juxtapositions:

"A child asks his father:
- Father which is right arm?His father responds:
- To know where your right arm is, you must first find out where your left one is, because there is no left without right, up without down, no joy without sorrow, no hill without valley, day without night and no beginning without any end. "

"Forget to remember or remember to forget."

"Building false theories from clever juxtaposition of several half-truths."

The simple positioning of two words or syntactic constructions, without any connectors:

"Johnny, my brother, we're leaving tomorrow!"

"Kill me, I still won't tell!"

"You try it, you buy it!"

Juxtaposition examples in photography

Juxtaposition in photography means putting objects that are similar or contrast in the same frame, by different methods.

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JEREMIAH MWANIKI KILUNDA from Nairobi on November 06, 2020:

I used my dictionary to look up the meaning of juxtaposition since English my second language. Unfortunately, the meaning was not comprehensive. But from this article, I have understand the meaning. Thanks for sharing.

Randy Durant from Atkinson, New Hampshire on May 14, 2014:

Hey, depressed...what's your gimmick...and what is "aothen"?

depresed on May 07, 2014:

im not joking, im so depresed.... can someone help me pls? my name is ally, im 14 years old and i look like a skinny rag doll, my best friend died and im an aothen, i have no friend or family, and im a mess, if you have any comment on how to help me, i would love that, not sure how long i have left

depresed on May 07, 2014:

i need help :'(

L D on February 22, 2014:

This sheds a new light on literature

G on October 25, 2013:

"Never new what it means" or "never knew what it means" should check spelling.....

bob on September 27, 2013:


ob molefhe on September 12, 2013:

thank u very much......realy helped a lot

ob molefhe on September 12, 2013:

thank u very much......realy helped a lot

pam on September 04, 2013:

LOL I found this useful

Ninya. on July 15, 2013:

Thank you so much. It helped me a lot! :)

Freakoutgold on April 21, 2013:

Great....but what could be poetry examples?

bronbron85 on November 22, 2012:

chloe stokes you're (not your) stupidly stupid. I mean these examples weren't the best but at least the author tried. I would like to see you do better. Cleverly stupid doesn't count.

goitse on September 08, 2012:

thanks it helpd me a lot in ma assignment

D-Box on August 17, 2012:

Shut up Pete!

Anjini on July 27, 2012:

This is awesome

domo gen on July 27, 2012:

mehh i could have done better

Lozza on July 25, 2012:

This was great. It really helped me understand, thanks so much

arjun on July 12, 2012:

worth reading!!

kiddy on July 03, 2012:

helped a lot thank you SO MUCH !!!!!!!

Pete on July 01, 2012:

Knew...not new. Knew what it means...not new what it means

Aila on June 08, 2012:

Thank you very much. But how is: "Kill me, I won't tell" one?

Sgutellme on May 26, 2012:

These are awesome examples...Thanks!

mazda on May 14, 2012:

i have an english lit exam next week and this helped thanks

chloe stokes on April 25, 2012:

oh..right.. thanks i suppose but it never REALLY cleared what i typed into google but that's not your fault...much love, NOT!!! ps your cleverly stupid pahhhahaahaha

amber on April 22, 2012:

thankyou heaps :)

Sam on April 18, 2012:

Thank you very helpful (????

Kate on April 13, 2012:

Spelling!!!!! Verb tense!!!!

Steven on April 11, 2012:

Thanks so much! Helped a lot! :D

lola on March 29, 2012:

thanks so much!!!!!

edub411 on March 26, 2012:


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