Diction that describes intangible things (ideas, emotions) or which denotes general qualities of persons or things. It is the diction of analysis and commentary, the opposite of concrete language.
Using character and/or story elements symbolically to represent an abstraction in addition to the literal meaning. (Eg. Characters representing hope or freedom usually deals with moral truth or a generalization about human existence).
Repetition of initial consonant sounds.
Direct or indirect reference to something which is commonly known, such as an event, book, myth, place, or work of art. Allusions can be historical, literary religious, topical or mythical.
Allowing multiple meanings to exist.
Assignment of something to a time when it was not in existence.
In ancient Greek drama, a startling discovery; moment of epiphany; time of revelation when a character discovers his true identity. (Like in Oedipus Rex.).
Similarity or comparison between two different things or the relationship between them.
Repetition of a word, phrase or clause at the beginning of word groups occurring one after the other (Eg.At the time, at the place, at the moment).
Short narrative detailing an interesting episode or event.
Rival, opponent, or enemy of the protagonist.
Rhetorical device in which details of lesser importance are placed where something greater is expected, or in which the importance of items in a series is decreased rather than increased.
A statement in which two opposing ideas are balanced (Eg. give me liberty or give me death; I am tall; you are short).
Brief statement of known authorship which expresses a general truth or moral principle.
Figure of speech that directly addresses an absent or imaginary person or a personified abstraction, such as liberty or love. It is an address to someone or something that cannot answer. (Eg. Lady MacBeth speaking to darkness).
Image, descriptive detail, character type that evokes a universal response.
Dramatic convention by which an actor speaks directly to the audience or to another character but is not supposed to be heard by the actors on stage (Eg. MacBeth).
Repetition of vowel sounds but not consonant sounds (Eg. fleet feet sweet by sleeping geeks).
Use of words or phrases in a series without connectives such as 'and' or 'so' (One cause, one country, one heart).
Emotional mood created by the entirety of a literary work.
Joyful song about dawn and its beauty; morning serenade.
Form of narrative poetry with set rhythm, rhyme scheme, and refrain.
Poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter.
Insincere or overly sentimental quality of writing/speech intended to provoke pity.
Literary work, film, or stage production that mocks a person, a place, a thing, or an idea by using wit, irony, hyperbole, sarcasm, and/or understatement.
A combination of harsh, unpleasant sounds, unused consciously for effect.
Pause in verse dictated by a sense or natural speech rather than meter.
Complete works of an author.
Major division of an epic poem.
The exaggeration or even distortion of personal qualities to ridiculous effect, in drawing, and in also in literary characterization.
Seize the day.
List of people, things, or attributes.
A purification of emotions.
Creation of imaginary persons so that they seem lifelike.
Technique of using light and dark imagery in a literary work.
Pattern in which the second part is balanced against the first but with the parts structurally reversed (Eg. Flowers are lovely, love is flowerlike; Susan walked in, and out rushed Mary).
Expression so often used that its freshness and clarity have worn off.
Highest point of interest or action in a story.
Use of slang or informalities in speech or writing -- give a work a conversational familiar tone -- include local or regional dialects.
Humorous play that has a happy ending.
Ballad composed by a known author.
Ballad composed by an anonymous author.
Author explicitly presents the character.
Actions and emotions of character allow reader to make assumptions.
Character who does not change much in the course of a story.
Character who changes as a result of the story's events.
Comedy of Manners
Comedy that ridicules the manners (way of like, social customs, etc.) of a certain segment of society.
Lyric poem of lament, regret and sadness which may explain the speaker's mood, describe it's cause, discuss remedies, and appeal for help.
Extended metaphor or surprising analogy between seemingly dissimilar objects; displays intellectual cleverness as a result of the unusual comparison being made - may be a brief metaphor or the framework of the entire poem.
Diction of specificity, referring to a particular persons or things. Passages are rich in detail and imagery, creating striking particularity and sensuous detail - opposite of abstract language.
Struggle or clash between opposing characters or opposing forces.
Emotional implication and associations of words - may be private and personal, group (national, linguistic, racial), or universal.
Two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme.
Dictionary definition of a word, devoid of emotion, attitude or color.
Outcome or resolution of the plot, occurring after the climax.
Duex es machina
Literary device in which divine intervention is necessary to get the protagonist out of a sticky situation or untangle an ugly plotline.
Way of speaking that is particular to a certain region or a certain group of people.
Writer's word choice.
Works designed to teach or instruct , especially moral or ethical principles.
Harsh, inharmonious, or discordant sounds.
Trivial or bad poetry.
In folklore, the spirit double of a living person.
Statement that is deliberately ambiguous, one of whose meaning is risque or suggestive.
Literature written to be performed.
Poem that reveals a "soul in action" through the speech of one character in a dream situation - the character is speaking to an identifiable buy silent listener at a dramatic moment in the speaker's life.
List of the characters in a play.
Poetry which includes elements of drama.
Tone of lamentation or commemoration for the dead.
Formal lament, either for a dead person, or as an expression of a tragic sense of life.
Omission of a word or a phrase which is grammatically necessary but can be deduced from the context. (Some people prefer cats; others, dogs)
Continuation of the sense and grammatical construction of a line on the next verse or couplet occurs in run-on lines and offers contrast to end-stopped lines.
Long story told in the elevated language of poetry which relates the great deeds if a larger-than-life hero which embodies the values of a particular society.
Brief, pithy, and often paradoxical saying expressing a universal truth in a few words.
Quotation at the beginning of a poem, short story, book chapter, or other piece of literature which introduces or refers to the larger themes of the piece.
Novel in which a character (or characters) tells the story through letters (epistles) sent to a friend, relative, etc.
Lyric poem in honor of a bride, bridegroom, or both
Point at which the essential nature of something is suddenly perceived. (Intuitive gasp of reality)
Inscription used to mark burial places
Less offensive substitutes for a generally unpleasant word or comment ("earthly remains" rather than corpse)
Interjection to lend emphasis; sometimes, a profanity
in plot, the background information
Metaphor developed at great length in a literary work
Humorous tale popular in medieval times - often bawdy, dealing familiarly with clergy, ridiculing womanhood, and easily understandable.
Brief story that leads to a moral, often using animals as characters
Author of fables.