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Alliteration

repetition of initial or medial consonants in two or more adjacent words. Used sparingly, this device provides emphasis. Overused, it sounds silly.

Antithesis

the juxtaposition of contrasting ideas, often in parallel structure. The contrast may be in words or in ideas or both. When used well, antithesis can be very effective, even witty.

Assonance

the repetition of similar vowel sounds, preceded and followed by different consonants, in the stressed syllables of adjacent words.

Anadiplosis

repetition of the last word of one clause at the beginning of the following clause.

Anaphora

repetition of the same word or groups of words at the beginnings of successive clauses. This device produces a strong emotional effect, especially in speech. It also establishes a marked change in rhythm.

Epanalepsis

repetition at the end of a clause of the word that occurred at the beginning of the clause. Like other schemes of repetition, this often produces or expresses strong emotion.

Hyperbole

the use of exaggerated terms for the purpose of emphasis or heightened effect.

Metaphor

implied comparison between two things of unlike nature.

Parallelism

similarity of structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases, or clauses. This basic principle of grammar and rhetoric demands that equivalent things be set forth in coordinate grammatical structures: nouns with nouns, infinitives with infinitives, and adverb clauses with adverb clauses.

Rhetorical question

asking a question, not for the purpose of eliciting an answer but for the purpose of asserting or denying something obliquely

Simile

explicit comparison between two things of unlike nature (like or as)

Allusion

a passing or casual reference; an incidental mention of something, either directly or by implication

Anachronism

something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time

Apostrophe

a digression in the form of an address to someone not present, or to a personified object or idea, as "O Death, where is thy sting?"

Anastrophe

inversion of the natural or usual word order. This deviation can emphasize a point or it can just sound awkward. It is most effective if the author rarely writes awkwardly, because when set among well-structured sentences it emphasizes the inverted phrase

Bildungsroman

a coming of age novel

Blank Verse

unrhymed Iambic Pentameter / Patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables

Burlesque

involving ludicrous or mocking treatment of a solemn subject

Colloquialism

a word or phrase appropriate to conversation and other informal situations

Dialect

a special variety of a language

Prose

the ordinary form of spoken or written language, without metrical structure, as distinguished from poetry or verse

Double Entendre

a word or expression capable of two interpretations with one usually risqué

Dramatic Irony

irony that is inherent in speeches or a situation of a drama and is understood by the audience but not grasped by the characters in the play.

Flashbacks

the presentation of earlier memories

Frame Story

an outer narrative that contains a larger, more significant narrative embedded in it

Imagery

figurative description or illustration; rhetorical images collectively.

Narrative

a story where a plot is existent

Parody

a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature or writing

Picaresque

a type of novel which recounts the tales of a likable rogue

Psychological

pertaining to the mind or to mental phenomena as the subject matter of psychology.

Pun

the humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning; a play on words.

Quest Narrative

a story in which the central character is searching for a person, location, or abstract value

Sarcasm

harsh or bitter derision or irony.

Satire

the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.

Situational Irony

irony involving a situation in which actions have an effect that is opposite from what was intended, so that the outcome is contrary to what was expected.

Slapstick

broad comedy characterized by boisterous action

Soliloquy

the act of talking while or as if alone.

Stereotype

a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing

Stream of Consciousness

the reader sees what characters think about in a random association of ideas

Symbol

something used for or regarded as representing something else

Verbal Irony

irony in which a person says or writes one thing and means another, or uses words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of the literal meaning.

Tragedy

fall of a good, believable and consistent character caused by error or frailty in the protagonist that arouses pity and terror in the audience

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