A juxtaposition is a great storytelling tool filmmakers use to compare and contrast two different elements in the same frame.

You can use juxtaposition to make all kinds of points about your characters, theme, story and mood.

Juxtaposition is when you put two completely different objects together and let the audience draw their own conclusions.

Most of the time, you want to play with the contrast between these elements so that they’re as different as possible.


What Is juxtaposition

What Is juxtaposition?

Juxtaposition is often used to compare two unrelated things and highlight similarities between them.

Writers might use juxtaposition to compare seemingly opposite things in order to reveal a shared commonality between the two.

For example, an author might juxtapose the attributes of a certain model car with those of a famous scientific theory to reveal similarities between the two.

The comparison provides insight into the theory, but it also reveals that the model car possesses certain qualities that support the theory.



What Is Juxtaposition?

Juxtaposition is a literary device in which two or more concepts are placed next to one another in a way that highlights their similarities or differences.

The word “juxtapose” comes from the Latin word “juxta,” meaning “next to.” In juxtaposition, two separate ideas are placed next to each other for comparison or contrast.

The concept of juxtaposition dates back to Aristotle’s discussion of tragedy, and it has been used throughout the centuries by poets, philosophers, novelists, and other writers. Juxtaposition is also useful in nonfiction situations.

For example, an author might place opposing points of view side by side to examine them more closely.

A business leader might lay out his own vision alongside that of his competitors in order to highlight their similarities and differences.

Juxtaposition can be used for purposes other than comparing or contrasting ideas. It can also be used as a device for irony.

For example, when two characters with opposite personalities or values share the stage in a play or story.

Juxtaposition can also emphasize meaning through contrast—when a character who is happy one moment is sad the next, for example, or when a character achieves his goal only to find that he no longer wants it.

A classic example of juxtaposition is having a child innocently play in a cemetery. The contrast between childhood innocence and death is what makes this juxtaposition so powerful.

You can use this technique for any element you like: characters, locations, props, music, whatever.

As a filmmaker, it’s important to remember that opposites attract. You can use this to your advantage by piling on various contrasts until your audience notices what’s going on — then start building suspense.

The more contrasts you build up, the greater the payoff will be when something goes wrong or an unexpected event happens.

First Known Use Of Juxtaposition

Juxtaposition is one of the oldest literary devices (the word was originally used in French—juxtaposer—to mean placing side by side). It has been used in poetry, literature, and prose for thousands of years.

Juxtaposition is simply the placing together of two or more things, concepts, or images that are not normally associated with each other.

It can be a literary device or a rhetorical tool.

Juxtaposition can create an unusual effect when two or more different elements or ideas are placed next to each other because it creates a sudden awareness of relationships between them that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

In rhetoric, juxtaposition can be used as a device to advance an argument. Juxtaposition is frequently employed by political candidates to demonstrate inconsistencies in their rivals’ positions on particular issues.

Juxtaposition is also widely used in advertising. Advertisers use juxtaposition as a persuasive tool to promote their products by making comparisons with competing products.

For example, an advertisement may present the features and benefits of a product next to those of its competitors to encourage consumers to buy their product over others on the market.

The first known use of juxtaposition as a literary device was by Aristophanes in ancient Greece around 400 BC.


History And Etymology For Juxtaposition

Juxtaposition is a word that is used to describe the arrangement of two or more things in close proximity to one another. This arrangement is frequently used by artists to create contrasts between the things that are being juxtaposed, such as placing a beautiful woman near a cadaver, or placing a collection of precious gemstones near garbage.

In modern usage, juxtaposition refers to any situation where objects are placed next to each other for purposes of comparison.

The concept of juxtaposition has been used in art and literature throughout history, with artists and writers often using it to create contrast and generate discussion about the things they are comparing by placing them next to each other.

In modern times, the term is sometimes used to describe any situation where two things are placed next to each other for purposes of comparison, such as placing a beautiful woman near a cadaver or lining up valuable gemstones near garbage.Juxtaposition is a bifurcated word.

It is derived from Latin roots, as is the word juxtapose.

Tuscan, the form of Latin spoken in Tuscany, Italy derives from the word for “twice put together.” Tuscan then was a reference to the juxtaposed Greek and Roman culture of that part of Italy.

Juxtaposition In Everyday Life

I was at the grocery store last night buying food for my family. I’d spent the entire day at work so I was in a rush to get home to my wife and kids.

I walked down the baby aisle and looked around for a few minutes. Babies were everywhere, cooing and laughing with their parents.

I’m not sure why, but it struck me that juxtaposition is all around us.

I went over to the dairy section and picked up some milk. In front of me was a mom with her daughter who appeared to be about 5 years old.

The mom had her hand on the cart handle where her daughter’s would normally go, but the little girl was trying to push the cart herself.


Her mother kept pulling her hand back and making comments about how she needed to hold onto it because she could get hurt if she let go of it or something like that.The juxtaposition in everyday life refers to the placement of ideas in contrast for a purpose.

The juxtaposition is most often used for humor but can also be used to make a point or emphasize something. Juxtaposition is a literary device that can be found in all aspects of life, from sitcoms to political speeches.

Juxtaposition In Literature

Juxtaposition is a literary device that consists of the placement of two or more concepts, characters, images or ideas in close proximity to one another for purposes of comparison or contrast.

The juxtaposition of ideas in literature is used to create images in the reader’s mind. The reader may be presented with two different aspects of the same thing and then asked to compare and contrast them in order to see how they are similar and different.

For example, if an author were writing about a man who enjoyed boxing and his son who loved ballet, these two traits would produce a juxtaposition once they are put together as a part of the same story.

An effective juxtaposition will create a strong visual effect on the reader where she may be able to picture both aspects of the story vividly. Juxtaposition can also be used to emphasize one aspect over another by placing it next to something that is seemingly completely opposite.

Juxtaposition is a literary device that is the opposite of Cliche. It is when two elements, often two images, are put together in order to create a contrast between them.

This brings out an element that is not otherwise obvious and makes a point about the two things.

Juxtaposition Examples In Movies

Movie scenes are great examples of juxtaposition. They make us feel certain emotions at the same time.

The following scenes have examples of juxtaposition in movies.

Thelma and Louise (1991)

The murder of Harlan’s wife Kathleen, juxtaposed with a

beautiful landscape shot of Thelma & Louise’s blue convertible driving off at sunset. This scene is powerful because it shows that something very bad has happened but we don’t know exactly what yet and the music makes us feel melancholy, which contrasts with the murder we just witnessed.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Andy’s escape from prison after his friend Red finds a tunnel under the prison. Andy then cuts through the fence with a sheet of metal and emerges into freedom as Red watches from his cell window above ground.

This scene is powerful because it shows that Andy is free from prison but still trapped by his circumstances and how he feels about Red leaving him behind.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

The first meeting between Butch and Jules where he is a boxer who loses to Butch in a fight after he doesn’t take any damage and then gives him some advice on how to live life before they go their separate ways.

Juxtaposition In Art

Juxtaposition is a term used in the design world and in art to describe the placement of two or more contrasting elements together.

When it comes to design, juxtaposition can be applied to virtually any element but most often refers to color, texture, and size. In art, juxtaposition is also frequently used with color and occasionally with other elements.

Shades of Color

Using different shades of the same color is one way to create juxtaposition. The best way to do this is by placing two different objects next to each other in an image so that one appears darker than the other.

For example, if you were taking pictures of orange flowers, you could place a light-colored object (like a white piece of paper) next to them for contrast.

Juxtaposing Different Colors

Various artists have used this effect throughout history. One such example is Vincent Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers.” In this painting, Van Gogh uses complementary colors (orange and blue) side by side as well as shading techniques that make one flower appear brighter than the other.


Juxtaposing textures can be done in several ways. One method is by placing rough and smooth objects next to each other or by placing a soft texture next to a hard texture.

Examples Of Juxtaposition In Screenplays

Juxtaposition refers to the placing of two or more objects in close proximity, usually for effect. It’s a device used by all writers, from screenwriters to novelists. In screenwriting, juxtaposition is used most often in film scripts to achieve a variety of effects.

Tension can be created by juxtaposing two things that seem like they shouldn’t go together. A great example of this is seen in the movie “The Silence of the Lambs,” where an FBI agent is working with a convicted serial killer to capture another serial killer.

This creates tension on many levels, including the fact that the agent is having nightmares about the man she is working with, but also because it seems incongruous that someone who represents law and order would work with a man who represents murder and mayhem.

Juxtaposition can also be used in scenes to change the mood or tone. 

In “The Silence of the Lambs,” juxtaposing gruesome crimes against innocent victims makes for a very effective scene that showcases the depravity of Buffalo Bill, the serial killer being hunted by Clarice Starling, and brings her character further into focus as someone who doesn’t mind getting dirty if it will bring justice to those victimized by killers like him.

 Importance Of Using Juxtaposition

Juxtaposition is what occurs when you place two objects next to each other that would not naturally go together. For example, a beach ball and a giraffe are paired together in the picture below.

This creates an amusing photo that draws attention to the fact that they do not belong together. Juxtaposition is used in photography to create visual interest and enhance a pictures impact on viewers.

Juxtaposition is a type of writing that places two seemingly contradictory words next to each other to create a humorous effect. An example of this would be “an extremely friendly ghost.” It is used in writing and speech to create humor, satire or emphasis .

It can also be used to make an important point more memorable by drawing attention to it with a contrasting phrase or word.

Juxtaposition is the use of different images, colors or elements in artwork. Use of juxtaposed elements immediately draws attention and leads the viewer to see the similarities and differences between them, which can elicit emotion from the viewer.

Juxtapositions are commonly found in art, film, music and literature but can also be seen in photography, fashion and even architecture.

 Examples Of Juxtaposition In Pop Culture

Juxtaposition is the pairing of two usually unrelated things to create a humorous or interesting effect. A juxtaposition can be created by the writer, or they may be ironic juxtapositions found in pop culture.

The examples of juxtaposition below are taken from TV shows, YouTube videos, and other sources.

You will see many examples of juxtaposition throughout this guide and also on other pages at Adweek Copywriting Examples. You will also see a lot of humor used to enhance the impact of juxtaposition.

Juxtaposition itself is used to make a point or tell a joke, but it can also be used to discuss an idea in an intriguing way.

For example, if you were writing about the painting “American Gothic,” you might write about the contrast between the image of a well-dressed man holding a pitchfork and the woman standing next to him wearing a dress that looks like it was made from burlap sacks.

It’s interesting to note that Grant Wood actually painted his father as the farmer in this picture and his mother as the woman in white.Juxtaposition is the juxtaposition of images and ideas.

Juxtaposition is most common in pop culture but is used in art, politics, and ordinary people’s everyday lives.

Juxtaposition Wrapping Up

I wanted to share some of the most recent images I’ve created using the technique. You can see more in my portfolio.

This is what Juxtaposition is all about: putting two or more elements together that seem completely unrelated or even opposite, but that together create a visual tension.

In this example, the leaf and rose are clearly different elements, but when put together they create an interesting contrast that makes the viewers’ eyes move back and forth between each one.

This technique can be used in many different ways. In this case, I’m going for a very straightforward approach by combining multiple elements of nature (leaves, branches, flowers) with a simple geometric shape (a circle).

In other situations you could use multiple objects from different categories or combine very different styles, colors and textures to create something that sparks your audience’s curiosity.

Here are more examples of Juxtaposition:

These three images were created using just the same leaf that was used in the previous example. The only difference is that I arranged it differently on each photo.