Lit terms for Shakespeare

25 terms by mattwoolz 

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exposition

creates the tone, gives the setting, introduces some of the characters, and supplies facts necessary for the understanding of the play

rising action

the antagonist and the protagonist are balanced against each other

climax

always occurs in the third act of a Shakespearean drama. It is the turning point of the action where the action turns from good to bad

complications

events which serve to further the climax or catastrophe

falling action

the continuous downfall of the protagonist. It prepares the audience for the next phase of the play

catastrophe

the tragic failure, usually the death, of the hero and comes as the natural outgrowth of the action

denouement

the resolution of the play where the tragedy is explained and a solution to the problem is given for future reference. The _____ sometimes presents a moral

tragedy

a drama which tells of an important and related series of events in the life of a person of significance. The events usually end in an unhappy catastrophe. The whole drama is treated with great seriousness and dignity

soliloquy

a speech of a character in a play while the speaker is alone on stage

aside

words spoken by an actor to be heard by the audience only and not by the other actors

dramatic irony

the words or acts of a character in a play may carry meaning unknown to him, but understood by the audience

protagonist

the chief character in the play.

antagonist

the chief opponent of the protagonist

fate

circumstances which can't be controlled by humans

tragic flaw

a certain quality in the characters personality which causes their downfall

free will

the ability of the character in the play to make his own decisions and shape his own future

pathos

the suffering of a character and the feeling the audience has for the characters

humorous relief

elements of humor in the play that serve to relieve tension in the audience

chorus

the actor who sets the tone of the play, intro and possibly conclude

puns

humorous play on words indicating different meanings

blank verse

the style of writing used by Shakespeare, each line has 5 feet of iambic pentameter, no rhyme

iambic pentameter

the beat or rhythm of five foot poetry

iamb

one foot of an unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable

metaphor

comparing something in terms of something else

extended metaphor

several comparisons are made

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