A logical fallacy in which the personal character of the speaker is questioned rather than the substance of his or her argument or position.
The repetition of consonants in words close together, particularly at the beginning of a word.
The character or force that opposes the protagonist.
A word, phrase, or clause substituted by a pronoun that determines the meaning of the pronoun.
A group of works that are generally accepted as representing the best of a broad category of art (e.g., the canon of British literature).
The information the reader gets about a character in a work of fiction. Characterization can be direct or indirect. Indirect characterization is when authors leave it up to the reader to infer what a character is like based on clues they provide in the text.
The highest point of interest or suspense in the story; the most intense moment of conflict.
An elaborate, sustained metaphor in which two vastly different subjects are linked via a unifying idea or theme.
In literature, a struggle between opposing forces; conflict drives the plot of a story.
When there's a difference between what a character thinks is true and what the audience knows to be true.
Long story focused on a hero whose journeys reflect the values and aspirations of an entire nation.
Adjective phrase emphasizing a quality of someone or something. For example: "lily-livered" coward.
Rhetoric that uses the personal character or reputation of the speaker or writer to convince an audience.
The gradual release of tension following the climax of a story.
A character who highlights, by contrast, the qualities of another character.
An error or mistake made by tragic heroes that leads to their downfall, sometimes translated as "tragic flaw."
A doctrine, attitude, or way of life in which humanity and its capabilities are the central concern; typically characterized by an emphasis on reason over superstition.
A line of poetry of five unstressed-stressed speech pairings; Shakespeare's meter of choice.
Language that appeals to the senses, creating mental pictures of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings, or actions; can also refer to visual symbolism (e.g., a rose as a symbol for love).
in medias res
Beginning in the middle of a narrative, entering in the midst of something.
A form of a verb that usually appears with the word to and acts as a noun, adjective, or adverb.
In the broadest sense, recognizing an ambiguity between what is and what appears to be.
The body of written works of a language, period, or culture.
Rhetoric that uses logic to persuade an audience.
A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that means one thing is used to represent another thing in order to suggest a similarity between the two.
The rhythm of a piece of poetry, determined by the number and length of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line.
A lesson or principle expressed in a fable or story.
A statement or situation in which two seemingly contradictory elements are simultaneously true.
Rhetoric that uses an appeal to emotions to persuade an audience.
Original documents with cultural or historical value that depict a firsthand account of notable events or a way of life. Primary sources include diaries, logs, letters, and autobiographies. Artifacts such as photographs, drawings, and articles of clothing are also primary sources.
From the Greek for "first combatant" or "primary actor," this character's struggles represent the driving force of the plot.
A fictitious name, such as one that a writer might adopt. It is easy to remember, as pseudo means "false," "fake," or "almost," and nym refers to "name." Nome de plum is another phrase for this, as nome again refers to "name" and plum indicates writing, as it refers to a quill or writer's tool.
The art of using language persuasively.
Base or central components of words.
Broadly, a form of writing that highlights the folly and hypocrisy of a person, group, or society through clever, often disguised criticism.
Texts by authors who were not eyewitnesses to the events described. Secondary sources interpret information from primary and other secondary sources.
When events in a story contradict the expectations of the audience, characters, or both.
A logical form composed of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion; if the major and minor premises are true, the conclusion must be true.
The central idea or argument expressed in a work of fiction.
The narrator's attitude toward the characters and events in a story; can refer to the author's attitude toward the reader as well.