Antithetical couplets

The antithetical couplet (also called duilian) is also known as yinglian or duizi. An antithetical couplet is a kind of national writing style, which is composed by the skillful manipulation of the characteristic of the Chinese language that one character corresponds with one syllable. The philosophical origin and national cultural psychology of the antithetical couplet are the notion of yin-yang duality, according to which the Chinese recognize and master things. The feature of the antithetical couplet is an “antithesis”: equal characters, the same part of speech, the level and oblique fitting with each other, the contents being related, and the rhythms corresponding. There are many types of antithetical couplets, such as Spring Festival couplets, marriage couplets, birthday couplets, elegiac couplets, and antithetical couplets about tea, etc.

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