English Literary Terms
Terms in this set (25)
A story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.
Repetition of the same or very similar consonant sounds in words that are close together.
Reference to a statement, a person, a place, or an event from literature, history, religion, mythology, politics, sports, science, or pop culture,
Comparison made between two things to show how they are alike in some respects. Similes are a kind of analogy; however, an analogy usually clarifies something, while a simile shows imaginatively how two different things are alike in some unusual way.
A very typical example of a certain person or thing. The original idea from which things are based or copied.
Character who is used as a contrast to another character. A writer uses a foil to accentuate and clarify the distinct qualities of two characters. He or she intensifies the qualities of another character.
The use of clues to hint at events that will occur later in a plot. It is used to build suspense, and sometimes, anxiety in the reader or viewer.
Figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion or to create a comic effect. Also called an overstatement. Writers often use it to intensify a description or to emphasize the essential nature of something.
Language that appeals to the senses. Most images are visual. They create pictures in the reader's mind by appealing to the sense of sight. Images can also appeal to the sense of sounds, touch, taste, or smell, or even to several senses at once.
Contrast or discrepancy between expectation and reality - between what is said and what is really meant, between what is expected to happen and what really does happen, or what appears true and what is really true.
When a writer says one thing but really means something completely different
This occurs when there is a contrast between what would seem appropriate and what really happens or when there is a contradictions between what we expect to happen and what really does take place.
This occurs when the audience or reader knows something important that the character in the play or story does not know.
The act of positioning close together (or side by side) to emphasize connections and differences.
Figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things, in which one thing becomes another thing w/o the use of the word like, as or resembles.
Does not directly tell us that one thing is something else. Instead, it uses words that suggest the nature of the comparison.
It is developed over several lines of writing or even throughout an entire work
A metaphor that has been used so often that we no longer realize it is a figure of speech - we simply skip over the metaphorical connection it makes.
A distinctive feature or dominant idea in a literary composition.
Statement or situation that seems to be a contradiction, but reveals the truth. In literature, these are meant to make readers stop and think. They often express aspects of life that are mysterious, surprising, or difficult to describe.
Kind of metaphor in which a nonhuman thing or quality is talked about as if it were human.
Type of writing that ridicules something - a person, a group of people, humanity at large, an attitude or failing, a social institution - in order to reveal a weakness. It often involves exaggeration. Most of these are an attempt to convince us of a point of view or to persuade us to follow a point of action. They do this by pointing out how the opposite point of view or action is ridiculous or laughable.
Figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things, using a word such as like, as, resembles, or than.
Person, place, thing, or event that stands fr itself and for something beyond itself as well. There are some of these that most people know, but authors also create new symbols that can only be understood from their context.
Attitude a writer takes toward the audience, a subject, or a character. It is conveyed through the author's choice of words and details.