Sequence of events that follow the climax and end in Resolution.
Ex: In Romeo and Juliet, it's after they kill themselves, and parents find bodies, etc.
A character or group of characters who challenge or oppose the protagonist (s).
A static character who doesn't undergo change or substantial growth in a work of fiction.
Ex: Mister Collins from Pride and Prejudice.
Juxtaposition of contrasting ideas or balanced phrases.
Ex.: It was the best of times, it was the worse of time.
Major character who encounters conflict and is change by it.
Ex: Huckleberry Finn.
Character who contrasts to the primary character to illuminate specific traits in that character.
Ex: Don Quixote and Sancho Panza; Hamlet and Fortinbras (or Laertes); Dr. Xavier + Magneto; Scar and Mufasa
A main character who is deeply flawed and lacks the qualities of a true hero.
Ex: Holden Caufield or Severus Snape
An abrupt shift from a serious tone to a lesser one, or a decline in the plot that is not as big as expected.
Ex: Pirate story - treasure chest empty :(
A related series of events in a literary plot that build toward the point of great interest.
Ex: When the 3 little pigs choose to build their houses our of poor materials
A dramatic sketch performed by one actor.
Ex: The to be or not to be speech in Hamlet
A light dramatic composition marked by broadly satirical comedy and an improbable plot.
Ex: Oscar Wilde's, The Importance of Being Earnest
An unforeseen hindrance to a course of action that makes whatever is trying to be accomplished becomes more difficult than before.
ex. Dr. Johnson had to perform open heart surgery on Dr. Caffery, but his excessive drinking complicated the procedure.
The highest point of drama or action in a literary work.
ex. The climax of The Lion King is when Simba faces Scar in the last battle, ra.
Abrupt comic moments in a tragedy inserted to relieve the tension of the tragedy.
ex. Hamlet provided comic relief when he took time out of his day to clean a large quantity of dirty cats.
The resolution of a story's conflict.
Ex: Hamlet's (according to Nic(k)) has a great denouement. Established literary scholars would disagree.
Conversation between multiple characters.
Ex: Shakespeare's "unrealistic formal dialogue" (Bares 2011).
Story involving conflict between characters.
Ex: The drama involving Wood and Caffery.
Irony produced by a situation in which the audience knows something that the characters don't.
Ex: In Romeo and Juliet, the audience knows that Juliet isn't actually dead...
Words spoken by a character to the audience, unheard by other characters onstage.
Ex: In Hamlet, when characters talk about how Hamlet is nuts before addressing him directly (Polonius).
The way an author presents/develops characters.
Ex.: The impatient girl always misbehaves with her calm and quiet brother.
A point in a story when the conflict reaches its highest tension and must be resolved.
Ex: In MEAN GIRLS, when the burn book is released...
A sudden realization.
Ex: In Catcher in the Rye, when Phoebe is on the carousel and Holden realizes "something," and changes for the better.
A literary character who remains basically unchanged throughout the work.
Ex: Cinderella's stepmother.
A character of a type quickly recognized quickly recognized by the reader/viewer, and requiring no development by the writer.
Ex: The Greek god Zeus, damsel in distress, the rake.
A literary work in which the protagonist falls to disaster through a combination of personal failing and circumstance with which he cannot deal.
Ex: Romeo and Juliet.
To come into opposition or to clash.
Ex: In Mean Girls, the two Asian girls are in conflict over the physical education teacher.
The defect of a character that cause the downfall of the protagonist of a tragedy (the tragic hero).
Ex: In Mean Girls, Cady's desire to be a plastic causes her downfall. Hamlet's desire for revenge, his craziness, his failure to ACT.
The purging of emotions, especially through art, such as the tragedy. Aristotle: "the proper purgation of pity and fear."
Ex: When watching, you cry along with the main character.
See Tragic Flaw
When the writer uses words to create mental images of some sort.
Ex: Ominous imagery at the beginning of Hamlet.
A play emphasizing theatrical effects and strong emotion.
Ex: Soap operas
Person who writes plays.
A character in a novel or play.
The final piece of a puzzle of a work of literature that causes all of the pieces to fall into place.
Ex: Scooby Doo, Detective Shows
To allude to an event to come in a work of literature.
Ex: Some claim that the Old Testament foreshadows the new.
The quality in a literary work evoking emotions of pity and sorrow.
Ex: Gertrude's speech describing the death of Ophelia.
A long speech delivered to oneself - a monologue.
Ex: Hamlet's famous "To be, or not to be" soliloquy.
Saying what you don't mean
Ex: He was a holy man (wink wink).
A ludicrous descent from the exalted or lofty to the commonplace; anticlimax.
Un-rhymed verse, especially in iambic pentameter.
Ex. The small dog has no place to call its home
Let us bring him back to our place to stay
Speech too pompous for an occasion; pretentious words.
Ex. Nick makes a speech on why he is the most intelligent in the class after just making a D on the test.