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a short moral story (often with animal characters)


a reference to something literary, mythological, or historical that the author assumes the reader will recognize


the character who works against the protagonist in the story


a protagonist who lacks the characteristics that would make him a hero (or her a heroine)


an original model on which something is patterned

Comic relief

A humorous scene or speech intended to lighten the mood


the final resolution of the main complication of a literary or dramatic work

Dynamic character

one whose character changes in the course of the play or story


a moment of sudden revelation or insight


a transition (in literary or theatrical works or films) to an earlier event or scene that interrupts the normal chronological development of the story

Flat character

a character who embodies a single quality and who does not develop in the course of a story


the use of hints and clues to suggest what will happen later in a plot


incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs

Naive narrator

narrator, such as a child, who does not understand the full implications of the narrative


an artistic movement in 19th century France

Omniscient narrator

a narrator who is able to know, see, and tell all, including the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters

Point of view

the perspective from which a story is told


the main character

Round character

this character is fully developed - the writer reveals good and bad traits as well as background


arrangement of scenery and properties to represent the place where a play or movie is enacted

Stock character

the stereotyped character in which he is immediately known from typical characters in history

Stream of consciousness

a literary genre that reveals a character's thoughts and feeling as they develop by means of a long soliloquy


something that stands for something else


a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary or artistic work


the primary position taken by a writer or speaker


the quality of something (an act or a piece of writing) that reveals the attitudes and presuppositions of the author

Unreliable narrator

a narrator whose account of events appears to be faulty, misleadingly biased, or otherwise distorted

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