A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect, as in I could sleep for a year or This book weighs a ton.
--(theater) irony that occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play. For instance, in the play "School for Scandal" the main character does not know that his wife is behind the door and can hear him insult her.
a kind of literary or artistic work. For instance science fiction, historical fiction, poetry, and drama are different genres of writing.
A work of fiction in which unseen scientific technology and fantasy are mixed. Examples include 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the Time Machine. Sci-fi is not to be confused with fantasy like Lord of the Rings
A work of fiction which contains historical facts and some exaggerations. Henry V is an example
A story which is not true and which involves supernatural beings, like Greek and Roman gods
In general a work meant to be performed on stage by actors. A more particular meaning is a serious play, not necessarily a tragedy
A form of drama (play) concerned with the fortunes and misfortunes of human beings of title, power and position. They almost always end in disaster, especially for the main character. Examples include Hamlet and Julius Caesar
A form of drama (play), not a poem or novel, focusing on humor
A narrative about the fortunes and misfortunes of a hero who, having experienced various adventures of a more or less supernatural kind, lives happily ever after. Historically these were told orally. Examples include Snow White and Hansel and Gretel
Almost exclusively told orally. They include legends, fables, tall tales, ghost stories, and fairy stories, often about local characters. Paul Bunyon is an example
A short narrative in prose or verse which points out a moral. Non-human creatures or inanimate things are normally the characters. Animal Farm is an example
First Person Point of View
The narrator is one of the characters, and he/she is telling the story. The narrator, "I," can tell reader about his/her thoughts but not the thoughts of other characters
Third Person Limited/Objective Point of View
The narrator is not a character in the story but is an outsider. The narrator in this case tells us what is happening but does not have access to the thoughts of other characters
Third Person Omniscient Point of View
The narrator is again an outsider, not a character in the story. He/she has the ability to see into the minds of the characters and know their thoughts
One of two or more words that have the same sound and often the same spelling but differ in meaning, such as bank (embankment) and bank (place where money is kept)
The feeling that a work of literature evokes (brings out).
The reflection of a writer's attitude. It tells the reader how the author feels about the subject
The situation one expects is the opposite of what happens
a humorous play on words. "I decided that becoming a vegetarian was a missed steak."
"The word...is commonly used to describe an original pattern or model from which all other things of the same kind are made....They appear in literature as...stereotyped characters" (Cengage Learning 1).
"A theme, character type, image, Metaphor, or other verbal element that recurs throughout a single work of literature or occurs in a number of different works over a period of time. For example, the various manifestations of the color white in Herman Melville's Moby Dick is an example of this literary term (Cengage Learning 1).
"...usually have only one or two predominant traits; they can be summed up in a sentence or two" (Arp 163).
"...are complex and many sided; they have the three-dimensional quality of real people" (Arp 163-164).
"...remains essentially the same person from the beginning of the story to the end" (Arp 164).
"...undergoes some distinct change of character, personality, or outlook. The change may be a large or small one; it may be positive or negative; but it is something significant and basic, not some minor change of habit or opinion" (Arp 165).
"The central character in a conflict, whether sympathetic or unsympathetic as a person" (Arp 104).
"Any force arranged against the protagonist—whether persons, things, conventions of society, or the protagonist's own character traits" (Arp 104).
The central idea of any given story, which may be stated directly or indirectly. For example, in Othello it is jealousy. Normally it can be summed up in one or two words.
The lesson one can learn from a story
A person, object, or event that suggests more than its literal meaning
A comparison between two dissimilar things that stresses the similarities between them.
A comparison between two dissimilar things using like or as. "I was sleeping like a log."
"The technique of arranging events and information in a narrative in such a way that later events are prepared for or shadowed forth beforehand. A well constructed novel, for instance, will suggest at the very beginning what the outcome may be; the end is contained in the beginning, and this gives structural and thematic unity" (Cuddon 326).
"The quality in a story or play that makes the reader eager to discover what happens next and how it will end....[it] can readily be created for most readers by placing anybody on a...window ledge....In "The Most Dangerous Game," the author initiates [it]...when Rainsford discovers an enormous chateau with a leering gargoyle knocker...and confronts a bearded giant pointing a long-barreled revolver straight at his heart" (Arp 105-106).
A figure of speech in which inanimate objects or abstractions are endowed with human qualities or are represented as possessing human form, as in "Hunger sat shivering on the road" or "Flowers danced about the lawn" (dictionary.com).
The repetition of the same sounds or of the same kinds of sounds at the beginning of words or in stressed syllables, as in "on scrolls of silver snowy sentences" (Hart Crane).
A passing or casual reference; an incidental mention of something, either directly or by implication.
The formation or use of words such as buzz or murmur that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to (dictionary.com).