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cosmic irony

when a writer uses God, destiny, or fate to dash the hopes and expectations of a character or humankind in general

dramatic irony

irony that occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience/reader but not by the characters in the play/story

structural irony

pervasive irony created by a structural feature such as a naive protagonist whose viewpoint is consistently wrong, shared by neither author nor reader

pathetic fallacy

faulty reasoning that inappropriately ascribes human feelings to nature or nonhuman objects


a (usually long) dramatic speech intended to give the illusion of unspoken reflections


a (usually long) dramatic speech by a single actor


a short speech, delivered to the audience or to another character, that others onstage are not supposed to hear


the appearance of truth

in media res

Latin for "in the midst of things," i.e. beginning an epic poem in the middle of the action.


repetition or variations of an image or idea in a work used to develop theme or characters

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