78 terms

Literary Devices

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Terms in this set (...)

Allegory
a story that offers both a literal and figurative interpretation. The story is symbolic on every level: characters, plot, theme
Allusion
a reference to something in history, literature, culture, society...
Alliteration
repetition of consonant sounds
Apostrophe
addressing something that is dead, not human, or nor present
Anachronism
The placing of a person, event, or thing outside of its historical era. Most often purposeful
Archetype
Narratives, designs, patterns, or character types often found in literature.
Assonance
repetition of vowel sounds
Connotation
the implied meaning of a word
Denotation
the literal meaning of a word
Diction
word choice
Exposition
The conflict, setting, and characters
Rising Action
The action builds on the exposition
Complications
Events that are added to build on the tension
Climax
The point of the highest tension; the turning point
Falling Action
Immediately follows climax- immediate consequences
Denouement
The final scene where the plot ends
Epithet
A descriptive phrase used to describe a person or thing-often used in place of it.
Figurative language
Language that is used in a non-literal way for added meaning and effect (for example, similes, metaphors, personification)
Foreshadow
To hint at future events
Genre
A term that denotes a type of literature or literary form
Hyperbole
a great exaggeration
Imagery
use of sensory details to describe something
Dramatic Irony
When the audience/readers know something the character doesn't
Verbal Irony
When the literal meaning is the opposite of the implied
Situational Irony
When a scene or story ends that opposite way one would expect
Juxtaposition
An intentional placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.
Implied Metaphor
When an indirect comparison is made between two different things
Named Metaphor
A direct comparison between two different things
Meter
A recognized pattern of beats and stresses in verse-rhythm
Mood
The feeling or atmosphere of a work
Motif
A specific element, event, things that reoccurs through a specific work for added meaning.
Onomatopoeia
Writing out the sound something makes
Oxymoron
Contradictory terms are used in conjunction:
Paradox
A STATEMENT that appears to be untrue or impossible, but upon reflection or in context is true.
Pun
A play on a word's multiple meaning
Personification
Giving non human things human qualities
Repetition
Reusing the same words, phrases, passages for emphasis
Rhyme
Repeating the same stressed vowel sounds.
Satire
Poking fun at a social institution, person, ideology in hopes of changing it or at the least exposing its flaws.
Simile
A comparison of two different things by showing similarities (uses like, as, seems, appears...)
Symbol
A tangible thing that represents an intangible one. Pay attention to how people treat symbols-it reveals how they feel about what is represents.
Syntax
The order of words
Tone
author's attitude towards the subject matter
Understatement
Deemphasizing something in hopes of drawing attention to it
Allegory
The Lord of the Rings (Novel)
Allusion
He has a Napoleonic quality about him
Alliteration
Beowulf boldly brandished his battle sword
Apostrophe
O shy Sun, why won't you shine on me? (NOT Alliteration)
Anachronism
Shakespeare has a clock striking in the scene prior to Julius Caesar's death, despite clocks not having been invented yet
Archetype
A hero is strong, virtuous, and steadfast.
Assonance
The May day made the fields sway in a spray of lilacs and a faint scent of hay.
Connotation
Guardians of the Galaxy is a really "cool" movie.
Denotation
Hoth, the frozen planet, is quite "cool"
Epithet
"The Trojan Warrior", "King of Ithaca"
Foreshadow
The pounding rain that sounds like footsteps in A Tale of Two Cities predicts the storming of the Bastille.
Genre
Verse, epics, novels, short stories, dramas
Hyperbole
There were a million people at the party
Imagery
I bit into the soft, ripe, fuzzy, juicy nectarine
Dramatic Irony
We know Macbeth will kill Duncan-Duncan is blissfully unaware
Verbal Irony
"This shouldn't be too difficult," he said before lifting up a car
Situational Irony
If the good guys are killed in the beginning of the story...
Juxtaposition
A comedic scene following a tragic one; a description of beauty in a scene of horror
Implied Metaphor
"She barked at me"
Named Metaphor
"She's a dog"
Meter
"The curfew tolls the knell of parting day" (read out loud)
Motif
Storms often occur throughout Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.
Onomatopoeia
ssssss went the snake
Oxymoron
Deafening silence
Paradox
"I was a coward. I went to war."
Pun
"I am reading a book about anti-gravity. It's impossible to put down."
Personification
The wind whispered my name
Repetition
I was scared. I was lonely, I was responding without thinking. I was 19 years old.
Rhyme
In mist or cloud,
on mast or shroud,
it perched for vespers nine,
and glimmered in the white moonshine.
Satire
Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon, Daily Show, John Oliver
Simile
She is as any goddess would be.
Symbol
The flag represents freedom. I can burn the flag, spit on it, or wave it proudly.
Tone
When Tim O'Brien compares the American government to a guy with a jelly-roll belly-you sense how he feels about the country's war policy and the politicians who make it.
Understatement
Describing the firebombing massacre in Dresdan, Germany (in WW2) as a "bad day." (25,000 were killed)