"Literary Terms To Know" Vocabulary
Terms in this set (26)
the repetition of initial consonant sounds. Example: "night's dank dew to dry"
a short speech delivered by an actor in a play, expressing the character's thoughts. Example: Romeo's balcony scene aside "Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?"
poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter lines. Example: "I know not how to tell thee who I am./My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself"
the inclusion of humorous scenes or characters in a serious drama. Example: Act II Scene 4 when Nurse is picked on by Mercutio.
a pair of rhyming lines, usually of the same length and meter. Example: "Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow/That I shall say good night till it be morrow."
its rhythmical pattern. This pattern is determined by the number and types of stresses, or beats, in each line. Example: "ba-BOOM, ba-BOOM"
a speech by one character in a play, story, or poem. Example: Mercutio's "Queen Mab" speech
a phrase consisting of words that seem the opposite in meaning. Examples: "feather of lead" "sick health" and "loving hate"
a type of figurative language in which a nonhuman subject is given human characteristics. Example: ""Now old desire doth in his deathbed lie"
a play on words based on different meanings of words that sound alike. Example: "coals...colliers...choler...collar"
a regular pattern of rhyming words in a poem. The rhyme scheme of a poem is indicated by using different letters of the alphabet for each new rhyme. Example: the rhyme scheme for a Shakespearean sonnet is ABABCDCDEFEFGG.
a figure of speech in which like or as is used to make a comparison between two basically unlike ideas. Example: "It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night/As a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear.."
a long speech expressing the thoughts of a character alone or on stage. Example: Friar Lawrence's long speech at the beginning of Act II Scene 3 about plants and herbs.
a fourteen-line lyric poem, usually written in rhymed iambic pentameter. The English, or Shakespearean, sonnet consists of three quatrains and a couplet. Examples: the Prologues to Acts I and II.
a work of literature, especially a play, that results in a catastrophe for the main character. Example: Romeo and Juliet
Scanning involves marking the stressed and unstressed syllables. Example: "two HOUSEholds BOTH aLIKE in DIGniTY"
a character who is contrasted with another character. Example: in Act I Scene 1, Benvolio, a peacemaker, is contrasted with Tybalt who is always looking for a fight.
Language that appeals to one or more of the five senses. Example: "For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;/Being tasted, stays all senses with the heart"
a figure of speech in which one thing is spoken of as though it were something else. Example: "It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!"
a casual reference in literature to a person, place, event, or another passage of literature, often without explicit identification. Allusions can originate in mythology, biblical references, historical events, legends, geography, or earlier literary works. Example: "Young Abraham Cupid, he that shot so true when King Cophetua loved the beggar maid!"
a poetic line of five iambic feet (10 syllables). Example: "Two households, both alike in dignity."
a unit or foot of poetry that consists of a lightly stressed syllable followed by a heavily stressed syllable. Some words in English naturally form iambs, such as behold, restore, and amuse.
the introductory remarks of Act I and Act II in Romeo and Juliet
four lines of poetic verse
repeating identical or similar vowels (especially in stressed syllables) in nearby words. Example: "Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest!"
a special type of alliteration in which the repeated pattern of consonants is marked by changes in the intervening vowels--I.e., the final consonants of the stressed syllables match each other but the vowels differ. Example: "How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night,/Like softest music to attending ears!"
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