Literary and Rhetorical Terms 14

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Symbol

A concrete object, scene, or action which has deeper significance because it is associated with something else, often an important idea or theme in the work.

Synaesthesia

The intermingling of sensations i.e. "perfume soft as aboes, green as meadows"

Synecdoche

Greek for "taking together", synecdoche is a metaphor of substitution like metonymy; however, rather than substituting something associated with the subject, a part of the subject is substituted for the whole, or the whole for the part e. g. "all hands on deck" or "he drives a nice set of wheels"

Syntax

The way in which words, phrases, and sentences are ordered and connected.

Tercet

A stanza of three lines linked by rhyme

Terza Rima

The measure adopted by Dante for his Divina Commedia, consisting of a series of interlocking tercets in which the second line of each one rhymes with the first and third lines of the one succeeding, thus: aba, bcb, cdc

Theme

The cental idea of a literary work.

Third Person Point of View

In this form of narration, the narrator is someone outside the story who refers to all characters in the story by name or as "he" "she" or "they". There are generally considered to be two types of third person narration: omniscient- in which the narrator knows everything about the characters that needs to be known, including their innner thoughts, feelings, motives, etc.; limited- in which the narrator tells the story in third person, but has access to the thoughts, feelings, etc. of only one character.

Tone

Refers to the author's attitude toward the subject, and often sets the mood for the piece

Tongue-in-Cheek

Expressing a thought in a way that appears to be sincere, but is actually joking or ironic

Tragedy

Typically, a form of drama concerned with the fortunes and misfortunes, and, ultimately, the disasters, that befall human beings of title, power, and position. In tragedy, the characters' traits of excellence, nobility, and virtuousness are insufficient to save them from self-destruction or destruction brought upon them.

Tragic Flaw

Traditionally, a defect in a hero or heroine that leads to his or her downfall.

Tragicomedy

A play in which the action, though apparently leading to a catastrophe, is reversed to bring about a happy ending.

Transcendentalism

Literary, philosophical, and religious movement of the Antebellum period that purports the divinity of each individual conscience and that each human is animated by the same divinity; paid particular attention to the unspoiled natural world, believing that God is best revealed in man when man is in nature; likewise believed that truth can be discovered through intuition and trusting the inner voice

Transition/Segue

The means to get from one portion of a poem or story to another smoothly. e. g. to move from setting to setting, viewpoint to viewpoint, or to a different time period.

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