Shakespearian Literary Terms
Literary terms used in studying Shakespeare
the repetition of a leading vowel or consonant sound in a phrase
an implied or indirect reference to a person, event, or thing or to a part of another text
address to an absent or imaginary person or thing
a literary device in that an actor speaks to the audience; he/she is not heard by the other characters who are on stage with him or her
unrhymed iambic pentameter
a humorous or farcical interlude in a serious literary work or drama, especially a tragedy, intended to relieve the dramatic tension or heighten the emotional impact by means of contrast
a fanciful poetic image, especially an elaborate or exaggerated comparison (metaphor) that gets developed beyond the initial mention of it.
when the audience knows something about what is happening that the characters do not
character who changes, grows or develops during the literary work
character in conflict with other characters or society
character who shows only one side or one characteristic of his or her personality
a character who interacts with another character with very different qualities for the purpose of emphasizing those differences. This is a juxtaposition of unlike characters.
to present an indication or a suggestion of what will happen later on
exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect
poetic rhythm co nsisting of 10 beats in a pattern of unstressed, then stressed syllables.
character in conflict with self
Incongruity (difference) between what might be expected and what actually occurs
putting two unlike things close together to emphasize the differences between them
a figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another - a comparison of two unlike things
substitution of a term naming an object closely associated with the word in mind for the word itself
in a drama, a long speech made by one person, often monopolizing a conversation.
the feeling or atmosphere of a literary work
incongruous or contradictory terms are combined
a seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true
inanimate objects or abstractions are endowed with human qualities or are represented as possessing human form
a phrase that deliberately exploits confusion between similar-sounding words for humorous or rhetorical effect
two consecutive lines of iambic pentameter that rhyme
character who shows multiple characteristics of his or her personality
two essentially unlike things are compared, often in a phrase introduced by like or as
a speech of a character in a play while the speaker is alone, to show the audience what the character is thinking.
character who does not change or develop during the literary work