Simile - Drawing comparisons between two unrelated things, places, people, and concepts. Marked sometimes by the use of the words "such as", "like", or "as".
"Nana said, "Like a compass needle that points north, a man's accusing finger always finds a woman. Always. You remember that Mariam."" (Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns)
This quote from Khaled Hosseini's, A Thousand Splendid Suns, is a good example of simile because Miriam's mother uses it effectively to make a point in her warning.
Assonance - This literary device refers to repetition of sounds produced by vowels within a sentence or phrase.
"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light....
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
(Dylan Thomas', Do Not Go Gentle into the Good Night)
The author purposely uses words like age, rave, day in the first stanza and blaze, gay, rage in the fifth stanza that create assonance so that the pace of the lines slow down. This slowing of pace creates a somber mood, which is perfect for this poem since it's subject is death.
Consonance - This literary device refers to repetition of sounds in quick succession produced by consonants within a sentence or phrase. The repetitive sound is often found at the end of a word.
"Great, or good, or kind, or fair,
I will ne'er the more despair;
If she love me, this believe,
I will die ere she shall grieve;
If she slight me when I woo,
I can scorn and let her go;
For if she be not for me,
What care I for whom she be?"
(George Wither, Shall I Wasting in Despair)
The use of this literary devices is seen in the poem when the author writes using letters letters r, d, and f. He uses these letters and others to create a kind of easy flow throughout his poem, almost making it sound like a song.
Meter - Recurring patterns of sounds in a poem. The four types of meter are iambic, trochaic, anapestic, and dactylic.
iambic: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by"
(The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost)
Trochaic: "Shadows pointed towards the pithead:
In the sun the slagheap slept.
Down the lane came men in pitboots
Coughing oath-edged talk and pipe-smoke"
(The Explosion by Philip Larkin)
Anapestic: "'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse"
('Twas the Night before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore)
Dactylic: "Just for a handful of silver he left us,
Just for a riband to stick in his coat—
Found the one gift of which fortune bereft us,
Lost all the others she lets us devote"
(The Lost Leader by Robert Browning)
Robert Frost has used iambic meter in these two lines of his poem, The Road Not Taken, using words like "diverged" and "took" so that, to the ears and minds of readers, it can almost sound like a heart beat.
a good example of trochaic meter because of it's use of stressed syllables in words like "oath" and "coughing" to honor the men who had died in a tragic mining accident.
The author uses this type of meter, stressing words like "night" and "creature", to create a fun, happy rhythm for readers as they pour over this delightful book
He uses this type of meter by stressing syllables in words like "handful and "doled" to create a rhythmic effect that helps readers understand the speaker of the poem's emotions as he describes what he dealt with due to the "leader's" betrayal.
Rhythm - Number of metrical feet in a line of poetry. There are three types of rhythm, tetrameter, pentameter, and hexameter.
Tetrameter: "Come live with me and be my love "
(The Passionate Shepherd to His Love BY Christopher Marlowe)
Pentameter: "But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun."
(William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)
Hexameter: "Up there on the mountain road, the fireworks
blistered and subsided"
(Blue Ridge by Ellen Bryant Voigt)
This type of rhythm just means that a line in a poem is four metrical feet long. Which Marlowe's first line follows true with this as it stresses words like "live" and "love" as has the narrator try speak to his beloved, to try to convince her to be his forever more.
One of the main characters, Romeo, speaks this line, stressing words like "soft" and "Juliet", to describe her as beautiful as the "sun", so bright with life and warmth that it is hard to look and look away.
In these two lines, the metrical pattern actually alternates from a pentameter to a hexameter to shows the speaker of this poem observation of the fireworks, and secretly showing her disinterest to watching the fireworks by describing, and stressing the syllables of the words, as "blistered" and "subsided".
Apostrophe - An apostrophe is a figure of speech that a writer or a speaker uses to detach himself from reality and address an imaginary character in their speech .
"Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me"
(Donne 1 - 4).
The author talks about death, an abstract idea that can not be seen physically nor able to respond, as a person. He writes about how death is "proud", "arrogant", and "thinks he can boss people around because he has the power to kill people". Although in reality, as John Donne describes it, death has no power over anyone whatsoever.
Allusion - a brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance. It does not describe in detail the person or thing to which it refers. It is just a passing comment and the writer expects the reader to possess enough knowledge to spot the allusion and grasp its importance in a text
"Learnéd Faustus, to find the secrets of astronomy
Graven in the book of Jove's high firmament
Did mount him up to scale Olympus' top,
Where, sitting in a chariot burning bright,
Drawn by the strength of yoked dragons; necks,
He views the clouds, the planets, and the stars"
. In this piece, the author alludes to many different pieces from ancient Greek myths. For example, when the main character talks about himself scaling up to Olympus' top, he is referring to the Greek mythology of Mount Olympus, the home of many Greek gods and goddesses.
Heroic Couplet - a literary device which can be defined as having two successive rhyming lines in a verse and has the same meter to form a complete thought. It is marked by a usual rhythm, rhyme scheme and incorporation of specific utterances
"O, no, poor suff'ring Heart, no Change endeavor,
Choose to sustain the smart, rather than leave her;
My ravish'd eyes behold such charms about her,
I can die with her, but not live without her:
One tender Sigh of hers to see me languish,
Will more than pay the price of my past anguish" (Dryden 1-6).
The author uses this literary device to help convey his complete thoughts about love. The tone Dryden uses is a mixture of intense, mournful, lovesickness, foreshadowing, and much more. The author uses the speaker in this "love" poem to describe about difficulties of love in the past and how he can not keep away from this woman is so madly in love with.
Rhythm - The use of words to convey a meaning opposite of the literal meaning (Mr. Majeski The Magnificent).
1) Cosmic Irony - "When the goddess Hera discovered that Zeus had seduced Alcmena and fathered Hercules, she was furious. Hera was fiercely jealous of Zeus's lovers and children and pursued them mercilessly" (http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Go-Hi/Hercules.html 16-18).
2) Dramatic Irony - ""I think thou dost. And for I know thou 'rt full of love and honesty and weigh'st thy words before thou giv'st them breath" (Shakespeare 70).
3) Verbal Irony - ""I rather recommend buying the children alive and dressing them hot from the knife, as we do roasting pigs"" (Swift 16).
4) Satire - "Whether the nymph shall break Diana's law, or some frail china jar receive a flaw, or stain her honor, or her new brocade" (Pope 348).
Cosmic Irony is when fate, destiny, or the gods/goddesses control and toy with human hopes and expectations. When I read this, I knew that the Greek myth of Hercules was the perfect example of this type of irony. As soon as Hercules was born, Hera had "toyed" with his life many times over the course of his lifetime. She has tried to kill him with two poisonous snakes when he was a baby, caused him to go mad and kill his entire family, and other forms of sufferings and punishments. You could say that it was poor Hercules destiny to suffer a life of torment from the goddess Hera.
The piece of dialogue from William Shakespeare's play, Othello, is a good example of dramatic irony. In this quote, Othello is putting his faith into Lago as being an "honest man". Unknown to Othello, however, Lago is actually plotting against him. Although the audience knows all about his evil plot, Othello just has no clue, until it is too late.
Verbal Irony is a type of irony that whatever is expressed is the complete opposite of what is actually meant. This outspoken quote in Jonathan Swift's novel, A Modest Proposal, is a really good example of this irony. The author talks about ghastly things in his book like killing children the same way as they do with pigs so that he could point out that the government should not treat Irish people like animals. For we are all human beings deserving of the same respect and equality.
Satire is a form of verbal irony that is used by writers to criticize and expose corruption and foolishness of an individual or society. The quote from Alexander Pope's, The Rape of the Lock, is a good example of satire. The author uses this literary device to criticize the upper middle class of eighteenth century England. He especially criticized the vanity of young "fashionable" gentlemen and ladies, and the frivolity of their actions. Like Belinda, when she thought her virtue was equal to a China jar being broken.
A Novel of Incident - A novel of incident is where the focus of the novel is the course and outcome of the plot.
""I wanted the ideal animal to hunt," explained the general. "So I said, 'What are the attributes of an ideal quarry?' And the answer, of course, 'It must have courage, cunning, and, above all, it must be able to reason."
"But no animal can reason," objected Rainsford.
"My dear fellow," said the general, "there is one that can."
"But you can't mean—" gasped Rainsford.
"And why not?"
"I can't believe you are serious, General Zaroff. This is a grisly joke"" (Connell 332 -344).
I believe that the author used this literary device in his novel to, not only make it scary, but thrilling as well. Especially since readers will not know who has won in this dangerous game of cat and mouse until the end of the story.
Round Character - A round character in a novel, play or story is a complex personality. Like real people, he/she has depth in his feelings and passions. It is the character with whom the audience can sympathize, associate or relate to, as he seems a character they might have seen in their real lives
"My own home life had never even remotely resembled the one depicted in Family Ties, which was probably why I loved the show so much. I was the only child of two teenagers, both refugees who'd met in the stacks where I'd grown up, I don't remember my father. When I was just a few months old, he was shot dead while looting a grocery store during a power blackout" (Cline 15).
Wade Watts is the main character of the story, and in the beginning, readers will find that they can kind of associate or relate to Wade. This is because he has a complex personality with depth of his feelings and passions, like real people. He is an overweight nerd who loves playing videogames, and he is especially obsessed with solving Halliday's contest. However, we can also sympathize with this character due to him telling readers his tragic backstory of him becoming an orphan after his father got shot, and a couple years later, his mom dies from a drug overdose.
Low Comedy - Low comedy, in association to comedy, is a dramatic or literary form of entertainment with no primary purpose but to create laughter by boasting, boisterous jokes, drunkenness, scolding, fighting, buffoonery, and other riotous activity
""You're a fat fool, William," said Bert, "as I've said afore this evening." "And you're a lout!" "And I won't take that from you, Bill Higgins," says Bert, and puts his fist in William's eye" (Tolkien 35).
I believe the author did this, not only to put some comedy into his story, but to also create an escape route for his main character Bilbo. Since the only way he was able to escape was when the three, comical, trolls were occupied with their fight.
Farce - "A farce is a literary genre and the type of a comedy that makes the use of highly exaggerated and funny aimed at entertaining the audience
"Antipholus of Syracuse: Where England?
Dromio of Syracuse: I looked for the chalky cliffs, but I could find no whiteness in them; but I guess it stood in her chin, by the salt rheum that ran between France and it.
Antipholus of Syracuse: Where Spain?
Dromio of Syracuse: Faith, I saw it not; but I felt it hot in her breath.
Antipholus of Syracuse: Where America, the Indies?
Dromio of Syracuse: Oh, sir, upon her nose all o'er embellished with rubies, carbuncles, sapphires, declining their rich aspect to the hot breath of Spain; who sent whole armadoes of caracks to be ballast at her nose" (Shakespeare Act 3, Scene 2, Page 6).
I believe Shakespeare created this over exaggerated conversation about Nell and her gross body to give the audience who is watching this play joyful entertainment, and possibly give them the urge to laugh hysterically.
Flashback - Flashbacks are interruptions that writers do to insert past events in order to provide background or context to the current events of a narrative
""But this is touching, Severus," said Dumbledore seriously. "Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?" "For him?" shouted Snape. "Expecto Patronum!" From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe. She landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears. "After all this time?" "Always," said Snape" (Rowling 687-688).
I believe the author used the literary device, flashbacks, to, not only give the main character the chance to understand a vital part of his own history, but also provide readers with background or context to the current events of the narrative and insight into a character's motivation.