Anticlimax Figure of Speech

Anticlimax is a sudden change in the series of events when the disappointing situation occurs after positive one. In this article, anticlimax figure of speech has been discussed vividly.

What is Anticlimax?

Anticlimax can be defined as a depressing scenario or a rapid shift in conversation from a significant idea to something ridiculous or inconsequential. An anti-climax occurs when expectations are created and everything is built up to a certain point, only for something boring or disappointing to occur. Aside from that, the comments are presented in an anti-climactic order.

How to pronounce Anticlimax

The word anticlimax is pronounced /ˌæntɪklaɪˈmæks/.

Examples of anticlimax figure of speech:

Some Examples of anticlimax figure of speech are as under: –

  1. She is a great poet, a mother and a good satirist.
  2. He lost his friend, his car and his purse.
  3. He used to visit his family, friends and his old house.
  4. I went to see him, his mother and his sister.
  5. He is a doctor, a good writer and a professional chef.

Types of Anti-Climax

There are two types of anti-climax, “Dramatically and comedically”.

Comedic anticlimax

Comedic anticlimax is considered as most commonly technique used in speaking. In this form, the joke is being conveyed in the manner which is easy to understand for every human being who knows English language.

“Why did the hen cross the pool?”
“To get to the other side.”

Dramatic anticlimax

This form of technique is a bit more difficult to appeal the people. Usually, a dramatic anticlimax is used to emphasize a moral or predominant theme. War movies, or anti-war movies are usually the subject in this technique.

Anticlimax in Literature:

Many writers have contributed in literature while using this technique. Most commonly, this technique has been vividly used in old literature. Furthermore, the new writers have also used this narrative in their work. Some examples of anticlimax in literature are as under: –

The Deserted House by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Come away for life and thought
Here no longer dwell;
But in a city glorious
A great and distant city have bought
A mansion incorruptible
Would they could have stayed with us

In the above lines, the two different aspects of life have been described. One about the earth, where people are facing troubles, and they have issues of the life. The second is heaven, which has been associated with the city glorious. Here the writer is mainly concern with the people and he asks people whether they would like to come with him to live in a heaven which is different from the life of earth. The expression of anticlimax has been observed in the list line of the paragraph where writer is asking about the wish of people.

The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope

“Here thou, great, Anna, whom three realms obey,
Dost sometimes counsel take, and sometimes tea…”

The Pope has used the anticlimax technique in the above lines. He refers to the palace of Anna where the affairs of State were also dealt besides entertainment for society.

Othello by William Shakespeare

“Well, hurry up and confess. Be quick about it.
I will wait over here.
I don’t want to kill you before you have readied your soul.
No, I don’t want to send your soul to hell when I kill you.

The above lines are clear depiction of anticlimax. When the Othello stabs Desdemona, the circumstances suddenly change, which create unacceptable effect in the end of the play.

Dr. Faustus By Christopher Marlowe

Faustus: Nay! Let me have one book more and then I have done,
Wherein I might see all plants, herbs, and trees that grow upon the earth.

Mephistopheles: Here they be.
Faustus: O thou are deceived.

The last lines of passage wherein Faustus desires for seeing the more joys of the life and Mephistopheles present before him those things. Faustus realized that all are nothing but deceive. Here the lesson has also been provided for the people that they should avoid to follow the ways of Faustus because the end of this way is disappointing.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens:

In a moment, the whole company was on their feet. That somebody was assassinated by somebody vindicating a difference of opinion was the likeliest occurrence. Everybody looked to see somebody fall, but only saw a man and a woman standing staring at each other, the man with all the outward aspect of a Frenchman and a thorough Republican, the woman, evidently English.”

In this passage, the most intriguing situation has been discussed. The people know that somebody would be assassinated there. There is a disappointing atmosphere present but a man and a woman are also present there who are staring at each other without caring the threat of death.

Anticlimax examples in Movies:

Anticlimax is used in some of the adored films of all time, avoiding the disappointment of the method in favour of something considerably more deep or amusing. Let’s look at some anticlimax scenarios.

  • MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1975)
  • RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
  • ZERO DARK THIRTY (2012)

Difference between Climax and Anticlimax

A climax is the point in a film or in a story where, after a long buildup, everything becomes incredibly passionate and vivid. However, an anticlimax occurs when there is a lot of buildup and then something incredibly dull happens.

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