Literary Terms Handbook
Terms in this set (30)
A speech, passage, or event coming before the main speech or event
A character who is in most ways opposite to the main character (protagonist) or one who is nearly the same as the protagonist. The purpose of the foil character is to emphasize the traits of the main character by contrast only
A figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, or attitudes
A comparison without using like or as
A comparison using "like" or "as"
A humorous play on words
A common meter in poetry consisting of an unrhymed line with five feet or accents, each foot containing an unaccented syllable and an accented syllable.
Iambic pentameter lines rhymed in pairs.
a sonnet consisting three quatrains and a concluding couplet in iambic pentameter with the rhyme pattern abab cdcd efef gg
Unrhymed iambic pentameter
A long speech expressing the thoughts of a character alone on stage
A long speech made by one performer or by one person in a group.
A device in which a character in a drama makes a short speech which is heard by the audience but not by other characters in the play
A reference in literature, or in visual or performing arts, to a familiar person, place, thing, or event.
A narrative device, often used at the beginning of a work that provides necessary background information about the characters and their circumstances.
Events leading up to the climax
turning point or crisis
Point of a decisive change in the direction of the action
Most exciting moment of the story; turning point
Events after the climax, leading to the resolution
End of the story where loose ends are tied up
Irony that occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play.
A statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.
A serious form of drama dealing with the downfall of a heroic or noble character
In Greek drama, the group of citizens who stand outside the main action on stage and comment on it.
Something out of place in time
an adjective or descriptive phrase expressing a quality characteristic of the person or thing mentioned.
a word humorously misused
A word that imitates the sound it represents.
Repetition of consonant sounds
A figure of speech that combines opposite or contradictory terms in a brief phrase.