a reference to another work of literature, person, or event
phrases or sentences of a similar construction/meaning placed side by side
parallel structure in which the parallel elements are similar not only in grammatical structure, but also in length
the juxtaposition of contrasting words often found in parallel structure
inversion of the natural word order
Insertion of some verbal unit in a position that interrupts normal flow of the sentence.
two coordinate elements where the second explains the first
The omission of words that are implied by the context
omission of conjunctions
using several conjunctions in close succession, to slow rhythm of sentence (as in 'he ran and jumped and laughed for joy')
the repetition of initial or medial consonant sounds
repetition of vowel sounds
repetition of a word or phrase as the beginning of successive clauses
repetition of a word at the end of two or more successive sentences, verses, etc.
repetition at the end of a clause of the word that occurred at the beginning
The word that finishes one clause starts the next
repetition of words, in successive clauses, in reverse gramatical order
criss-cross. Reversal of gramatical structure in adjacent clauses.
Repetition of words derived from the same root
where a part stands for the whole
substituting the name of an attribute or feature for the name of the thing itself
The substitution of one part of speech for another
substitution of a descriptive word or phrase for a proper name
deliberate use of understatement, stated in the negative.
A literary work in which characters, objects, or actions all together represent a subject
A brief, cleverly worded statement that makes a wise observation about life.
Deus Ex Machina
any active agent who appears unexpectedly to solve and insoluble difficulty. (God from a machine)
Where two characters are opposite and bring out each other's characteristics
An exaggerated statement
the ability to form mental images of things or events
occurs when what is said contradicts what is meant or thought
occurs when the outcome of a work is unexpected, or events turn out to be the opposite from what one had expected
comparison not using like or as
using words that imitate the sound they denote
the act of attributing human characteristics to things that are not human
comparison using like or as
something that stands for something else
the emotional mood created by the entirety of a literary work, established partly by the setting and partly by the author's choice of objects that are described
the manner in which something is expressed in words
the fallacy of attributing human feelings to inanimate objects.
Stream of Consciousness
a literary genre that reveals a character's thoughts and feeling as they develop by means of a long soliloquy
A double in any sense or a ghostly double of a living person that haunts its living counterpart. (Samuel Beckett, Heller's characters, repitition, redundancy, overkill)
form of literature in which irony, sarcasm, and ridicule are employed to attack human vice and folly
so distorted or strange as to appear bizarre or comical
These are phrases in which usual semantic rules for combining meaning do not apply.
coming of age
Silver Fork Novel
a style of writing on which the rich and beautiful are focused
Novel of Crime and Detection
a form of plot in which there is a looming presence of crime
a style of writing about thieves, robbers, and criminals
A novel in which supernatural horrors and an atmosphere of unknown terrors pervades the action
important or noble characters speak in...
characters of less importance or lower rank speak in...
ordinary speech with no regular pattern of accentual rhythm. Lines of text do not all have the same number of syllables nor is there any discernible pattern of stresses. If you are unsure if a passage is in prose or in blank verse, look for the following visual clue: a long passage in prose is typically printed in your text like an ordinary paragraph with right and left justification. The lines of print extend from left to right margin with no "hard return" in the middle of a sentence. Standard rules of capitalization are followed: only proper nouns (names and place names), the pronoun "I" and the first letter of a new sentence are capitalized.
usually in rhymed couplets, i.e. two successive lines of verse of which the final words rhyme with another. The rhyme pattern of verse in rhyming couplets is conventionally represented aa bb cc etc., with the letters a, b, and c referring to the rhyming sound of the final word in a line. (A single rhymed couplet may also appear at the end of a speech or scene in blank verse, in which case it is called a capping couplet.) When the two lines of a rhyming couplet are in iambic pentameter, they are called heroic couplets.
something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time, esp. a thing or person that belongs to an earlier time
a digression in the form of an address to someone not present, or to a personified object or idea
a confused use of words in which an appropriate word is replaced by one with similar sound but (often ludicrously) inappropriate meaning
...occurs when a line is divided between two or more characters.
dramatic dialogue in which two characters rapidly exchange single lines partly echoing one another's previous utterances. It frequently intensifies the mood of the scene, whether tragic or comic.
a recognizable rhythm in a line of verse consisting of a pattern of regularly recurring stressed and unstressed syllables.
the combination of a strong stress and the associated weak stress (or stresses) that make up the recurrent metric unit of a line of verse.
a particular type of metric "foot" consisting of two syllables, an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable ("da DUM"); the opposite of a "troche." An unstressed syllable is conventionally represented by a curved line resembling a smile (a U is as close as I can get here). A stressed syllable is conventionally represented by a / . Thus, an iamb is conventionally represented U / .
A ten-syllable line consisting of five iambs is said to be in iambic pentameter ("penta" = five). Its stress pattern (five pairs of unstressed/stressed syllables) is conventionally represented U /U / U /U / U / Example: "The course of true love never did run true" (MND I.i.134). As you read this line aloud, listen for the stress pattern: da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM (i.e. the COURSE of TRUE love NEver DID run TRUE) the rhythm and metre in which poets and playwrights wrote in Elizabethan England. It is a metre that Shakespeare uses.
A major division in the action of a play. The ends of acts are typically indicated by lowering the curtain or turning up the houselights. Playwrights frequently employ acts to accommodate changes in time, setting, characters onstage, or mood. In many full-length plays, acts are further divided into scenes, which often mark a point in the action when the location changes or when a new character enters.
The character, force, or collection of forces in fiction or drama that opposes the protagonist and gives rise to the conflict of the story.
In drama, a speech directed to the audience that supposedly is not audible to the other characters onstage at the time.
a person presented in a dramatic or narrative work
is the process by which a writer makes that character seem real to the reader.
A work intended to interest, involve, and amuse the reader or audience, in which no terrible disaster occurs and that ends happily for the main characters.
A humorous scene or incident that alleviates tension in an otherwise serious work.
A characteristic of a literary genre (often unrealistic) that is understood and accepted by audiences because it has come, through usage and time, to be recognized as a familiar technique. For example, the division of a play into acts and scenes is a dramatic convention, as are soliloquies and asides. flashbacks and foreshadowing are examples of literary conventions.
A turning point in the action of a story that has a powerful effect on the protagonist. Opposing forces come together decisively to lead to the climax of the plot. See also plot.
A type of informational diction. Dialects are spoken by definable groups of people from a particular geographic region, economic group, or social class. Writers use dialect to contrast and express differences in educational, class, social, and regional backgrounds of their characters. See also diction.
Derived from the Greek word dram, meaning "to do" or "to perform," the term drama may refer to a single play, a group of plays ("Jacobean drama"), or to all plays ("world drama"). Drama is designed for performance in a theater; actors take on the roles of characters, perform indicated actions, and speak the dialogue written in the script. Play is a general term for a work of dramatic literature, and a playwright is a writer who makes plays.
creates a discrepancy between what a character believes or says and what the reader or audience member knows to be true.
The list of characters in a play; also the characters in a play
In fiction, when a character suddenly experiences a deep realization about himself or herself; a truth which is grasped in an ordinary rather than a melodramatic moment.
The introduction early in a story of verbal and dramatic hints that suggest what is to come later.
A sequence of words printed as a separate entity on the page.
A long speech delivered by one person who forgets or neglects the others who are there,
The main character of a narrative; its central character who engages the reader's interest and empathy.
In drama, a scene is a subdivision of an act. In modern plays, scenes usually consist of units of action in which there are no changes in the setting or breaks in the continuity of time. According to traditional conventions, a scene changes when the location of the action shifts or when a new character enters.
The written text of a play, which includes the dialogue between characters, stage directions, and often other expository information.
A dramatic convention by means of which a character, alone onstage, utters his or her thoughts aloud. Playwrights use soliloquies as a convenient way to inform the audience about a character's motivations and state of mind.
A playwright's written instructions about how the actors are to move and behave in a play. They explain in which direction characters should move, what facial expressions they should assume, and so on.
A story that presents courageous individuals who confront powerful forces within or outside themselves with a dignity that reveals the breadth and depth of the human spirit in the face of failure, defeat, and even death. Tragedies recount an individual's downfall; they usually begin high and end low.