51 terms

IB English Commentary - Literary Techniques

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Accent/Stress
refers to the stressed portion of a word. An accent is used to place emphasis on a word.
Allegory
A description that has a second, usually moral meaning.
Alliteration
is the repetition of initial (at the beginning) CONSONANT sounds (if it's a vowel repetition, you would call it assonance. Assonance includes any repetition of a vowel sound in any part of the word. It usually occurs in the middle of words).
Allusion
refers to an event from an external content. It is understandable only to those with prior knowledge of the reference in question (as the writer assumes the reader has).
Apostrophe
Something that addresses an object or person or idea who is not present as though he/she/it could reply.
Antithesis
The juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas to create a feeling of balance (e.g Too black for heaven, and yet too white for hell)
Assonance
The repetition of vowel sounds may also add to euphony.
Aubade
Poetry referring to either the dawn, a love song or about parting lovers.
Ballad
A form of poetry in a specific meter meant to be sung. There is always a repeating refrain and it is always narrative in form. See below for more information.
Blank verse
Iambic Pentameter that doesn't rhyme. (Much of Shakespeare's plays for example were written in blank verse.)
Caesura
A cut or break in a line, could be a comma or a semicolon.
Cacophony
Harsh sounding and generally unpleasant.
Consonance
The repetition of consonant sounds NOT in the beginning of a word (which would be alliteration). Enforces relation.
Continuous Form
Lines follow each other without any type of structural organization except by blocks of meaning.
Didactic Poetry
Poetry with a directly morally teaching purpose.
Euphony
Pleasant sounding.
Extended Figure
An apostrophe, simile, metaphor, etc. which is developed throughout a poem.
Imagery
Language which appeals to each of the five senses.
Visual imagery
Sight. The most frequent type.
Aural or auditory imagery
Sound.
Olfactory imagery
Smell.
Gustatory imagery
Taste.
Tactile imagery
Touch, tangibility.
Organic imagery
Human sensations, hunger for example.
Irony
Dramatic or otherwise, conveying an aspect that is intrinsically unexpected or self-contradictory.
Metaphor
A comparison between two unlike things without using the words "like" or "as".
Onomatopoeia
Words which are written to mimic a sound. (SHAZAM! SPLAT! PLOP!)
Paradox
A statement which appears to contradict itself but makes sense (usually in an abstract sense).
Personification
Animals and inanitimate objects are given human characteristics.
Phonetic Intensive
A word whose sound emphasizes its meaning.
Prose
Language which is not in meter.
Refrain
A repeated line, phrase, sentence, etc. which appears throughout a poem.
Rhetorical Poetry
Poetry written in superfluous language with the intention of being overdramatic.
Scansion
The process of measuring verse.
Simile
The comparison of two subjects using "like" or "as" or something similar
Tone
The writer's attitude toward the subject.
Anaphora
Repetition of the same word or words from the beginning of sentences, lines, or phrases.
Ars Poetica
A poem about poetry
Conceit
The comparison of two dissimilar things. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day"
Dramatic monologue
Narrator speaks to himself. The speaker is not the author.
Epiphany
A realization or comprehension of the essence of something.
Feminine Rhyme
Two syllable (Disyllabic) rhyme consisting of stressed syllable followed by unstressed
Incantation
Use of words to create an archaic effect. (Opening scene of Macbeth and the Weird Sisters)
Incremental repetition
Repetition of succeeding stanzas with small substitutions of changes.
Masculine rhyme
Monosyllabic rhymes.
Metonymy
Substitutes the name of one thing with something closely associated with it.
Synecdoche
Substitutes a part of one thing to represent the whole, or vice versa.
Pathetic fallacy
A reflection of the action/events through nature/weather. (A thunderstorm during the creation of Frankenstein's monster sequence)
Persona
The character created by the narrator.
Synaesthesia
A blending of sensations.
Trope
A way of extending the meanings of words beyond the literal.