The Antiklimax is managed in many specialist books as an independent stylistic device. In principle, however, it is only the reversal of climax. In this case a step is gradually increased, the increase usually taking place in three parts. The anticlimax is therefore a gradual reduction of what has been said and can amplify a statement.
The amplification of what has been said is achieved by the fact that the named is shown very strongly to the reader. It is something else when we write that we have lost everything or point to the fact that only the world, then the country and now the city is no longer under our control.
In this case the anticlimax is formed by the declining increase of world → country → city and clarifies that everything is lost. The statement is reinforced.
Note: The word climax comes from Greek and means “staircase” or “ladder”. Both terms that symbolize a gradient. However, the prefix “anti” expresses an opposing attitude. The anticlimax is therefore to be understood as a “descending staircase”.
Examples of the anticlimax
The best way to understand the essence of a stylistic device is to illustrate it using a few examples. Therefore we would like to show three examples for the anticlimax.
1. Example of the anticlimax. Slope of power.
There were kings, nobles, and the common people.
This fictional theorem exemplifies the gradual, declining increase. For the time being, the kings, as the embodiment of power, are followed by the nobles, who have less power, and form the common people. The slope of power is thus shown. But also in the literature there are nice examples for the Antiklimax.
2. Example of the anticlimax. Slope of power.
Around the pope circulate the cardinals.
And around the cardinals, the bishops circulate.
And the secretaries circulate around the bishops.
This theorem is taken from Bertolt Brecht’s Life of Galileo, and shows, through the use of the anti-limite measure, a gradient of the power, which is distinguished in the rank of Pope → Bishops → Cardinals → Secretaries. It becomes clear that the style figure can also have more than three components.
3. Example Vers. From the oldest to the last.
Ancestress, grandmother, mother and child
They are together in a dull room;
This verse comes from Gustav Schwab’s “Das Gewitter” and illustrates that, of course, other reductions can be made. This is not a direct decline in power, but the gradual reduction due to the age of the named characters.
Effect and function of the anticlimax
It is difficult to attribute a unique function to a stylistic device. However, a style figure can naturally have an effect or effect on the reader.
Let us try to show this effect for the anticlimax. However, it is important that we should not use a text as a stubborn function, since sometimes rhetorical means are also used completely in a text.
The Antiklimax is the logical counterpart to the climax. It describes a gradual (usually tripartite) and declining elevation of a concept or image.
The stylistic means is strengthened, since the attention of the reader is steered more and more to the individual content aspects of what has been said.