by Jacob Harris

What the Heck is Paradox?

A paradox is a statement that appears contradictory, but reveals a kind of truth.



  • Juxtaposition places two usually unassociated words or ideas next to each other, but they aren't necessarily contradictory.
  • The contrast in jux. calls attention to dissimilar ideas, but that's it
  • Paradox uses two CONTRADICTORY ideas to convey insight into a unique idea, not just draw attention to itself

Where Does it Come From?

  • Comes from the Latin word Paradoxum (paradoxum in Greek), meaning beyond belief
  • Formed by para (beyond) and orthodox (accepted belief)

Just to See if You Were Paying Attention

Paradoxun: Latin or Greek?

Famous Literary Paradoxes/Activity

What truth is each paradox trying to convey?

"All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."-George Orwell, Animal Farm.

"I must be cruel to be kind."-William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

"The earth that’s nature’s mother is her tomb;
What is her burying grave, that is Rainbow in her womb."-William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.

“Child is father of the man."-William Wordsworth, “My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold”.