Oxymoron (60 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

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  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.


A figurative use of language in which two opposite qualities are conjoined, as in bitter-sweet. Milton's description of hell as having no light, but rather darkness visible is a brilliantly sophisticated example. The following description from Robert Lowell's For the Union Dead is finely intellectual and poetic achievement: “The old South Boston Aquarium stands / In a Sahara of snow now ”

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Editors. "Oxymoron". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=806, accessed 23 October 2017.]

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