Terminology – Juxtaposition.

Hello everyone and welcome back to another #theorythursday. Last week I talked about punctuation, I specifically talked about how to use a semicolon. Check it out if you haven’t already.

Today I am talking about terminology again and I am talking about the term juxtaposition.

What does the term juxtaposition mean?

In literary terms, the term juxtaposition refers to when an author or a director places two different concepts directly beside each other. Doing this has two purposes, it highlights the stark difference between the two things and sometimes it can highlight surprising similarities between the two things.

I think that the theatre is a brilliant place for a writer to use juxtaposition because it can be such a visual thing. A really good example of juxtaposition onstage is in the musical version of Les Misérables.

In the stage show there is a scene where young Cosette and young Eponine are onstage together. Cosette is treated very badly by Eponine’s family. She is beaten and dressed in rags and forced to work. In the scene, young Cosette is scrubbing the floors while being berated but then young Eponine enters, dressed beautifully, and she is doted on by her parents.

The juxtaposition of Cosette’s ragged state directly beside Eponine’s beautiful clothes shows the audience straight away that there is a stark difference in how these two little girls are treated.

Why is it important to know the term juxtaposition?

Understanding what the term juxtaposition means will allow you to recognise it in books, movies, and tv shows. When you can see something happening and understand why an author made that choice, it allows you to understand the piece on a deeper level.

This has been Theory Thursday, I hope you enjoyed it. Happy New Year’s Eve Eve.

Kate xo.

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