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English Regents - Literary Device Review
Some flashcards to help you review for the English Regents Exam. This will make writing your Critical Lens a lot easier!
Terms in this set (58)
The repetition at close intervals of initial identical consonant sounds. Or, vowel sounds in successive words or syllables that repeat.
An indirect reference to something with which the reader is expected to be familiar. Allusions are usually literary, historical, Biblical, or mythological.
—"images" of character, plot pattern, symbols recur in literature and evoke profound emotional responses in the reader because they resonate with an image already existing in our unconscious mind, e.g. death, rebirth.
A dramatic convention by which an actor directly addresses the audience but it is not supposed to be heard by the other actors on the stage.
Repetition of a vowel sound within two or more words in close proximity. "Fake" and "lake" denote rhyme; "lake" and "fate" demonstrate assonance.
The method an author uses to develop characters in a work. In direct characterization, the author straightforwardly states the character's traits. With indirect characterization, those traits are implied through what the character says, does, how the character dresses, interacts with other characters, etc.
Humorous speeches and incidents in the course of the serious action of a tragedy; frequently comic relief widens and enriches the tragic significance of the work.
A term used to describe fiction or nonfiction that teaches a specific lesson or moral or provides a model or correct behavior or thinking.
Introduction to setting, characters, and conflict; often provides background
A character constructed around a single idea or quality; a flat character is immediately recognizable.
A character whose traits are the opposite of another and who thus points up the strengths and weaknesses of the other character.
a literary form or type; classification. e.g. tragedy, comedy, novel, essay, poetry.
Overwhelming pride or insolence that results in the misfortune of the protagonist of a tragedy. It is the particular form of tragic flaw that results from excessive pride, ambition, or overconfidence.
Conscious exaggeration used to heighten effect. Not intended literally,
The use of images, especially in a pattern of related images, often figurative, to create a strong unified sensory impression.
When a reader is aware of a reality that differs from a character's perception of reality (dramatic irony)/ The literal meaning of a writer's words may be verbal irony. Generally speaking, a discrepancy between expectation and reality.
A comparison of two things, often unrelated. A figurative verbal equation results where both "parts" illuminate one another.
An atmosphere created by a writer's word choice (diction) and the details selected. Syntax is also a determiner of mood because sentence strength, length, and complexity affect pacing.
The lesson drawn from a fictional or nonfictional story. A heavily didactic story.
A frequently recurrent character, incident, or concept in literature.
A rhetorical antithesis. Juxtaposing two contradictory terms, like "wise fool" or "deafening silence."
A short story from which a lesson may be drawn.
A seemingly contradictory statement or situation which is actually true. This rhetorical device is often used for emphasis or simply to attract attention.
Figurative Language in which inanimate objects, animals, ideas, or abstractions are endowed with human traits or human form—e.g. "The mountain stared ominously into my soul..."
System of actions represented in a dramatic or narrative work.
Point of View
The perspective from which a fictional or nonfictional story is told. First-person, third-person, or third-person omniscient points of view are commonly used.
Chief character in a dramatic or narrative work, usually trying to accomplish some objective or working toward some goal.
A play on words that are identical or similar in sound but have sharply diverse meanings.
A character drawn with sufficient complexity to be able to surprise the reader without losing credibility.
A work that reveals a critical attitude toward some element of human behavior by portraying it in an extreme way.
A type of verbal irony in which, under the guise of praise, a caustic and bitter expression of strong and personal disapproval is given.
Locale and period in which the action takes place.
A figurative comparison of two things, often dissimilar, using the connecting words: "like," "as," or "then."
When a character in a play speaks his thoughts aloud —usually by him or herself.
The choices in diction, tone, and syntax that a writer makes. In combination they create a work's manner of expression.
A thing, event, or person that represents or stands for some idea or event.
A central idea of a work of fiction or nonfiction, revealed and developed in the course of a story or explored through argument.
A writer's attitude toward his or her subject matter revealed through diction, figurative language, and organization of the sentence and global levels.
Representations of serious actions which turn out disastrously.
Tragic error in judgment; a mistaken act which changes the fortune of the tragic hero from happiness to misery; also known as hamartia.
Deliberately representing something as much less than it really is —e.g. "Last week I saw a woman flayed, and you will hardly believe how much it altered her appearance."
When the reader is aware of a discrepancy between the real meaning of a situation and the literal meaning of the writer's words.
Character who undergoes changes during the course of a literary work; he/she is not the same at the beginning and the end of a work.
Character who remains the same throughout the story; he/she is no different at the end than he/she was at the beginning. He/she doesn't learn, grow, or change
When what is expected or intended and what actually occurs differ, including missed meetings, mix-ups, and comedic happenings
The contrast between a character's limited understanding of his situation in some particular moment of the unfolding action and what the audience, at the same instant, understands the character's situation actually to be.
Man versus Man
Theme in literature where there is a disagreement between two individuals, two small groups, or two large groups over an issue of importance
Man versus Self
Type of Internal conflict where an individual is torn about what to do in a given situation
Man versus Society
Theme in fiction in which a main character's, or group of main characters', main source of disagreement is social traditions, practices, or concepts.
Man versus God
Theme in literature where the individual questions the existence, justice, or mercy of God.
Man versus Technology
Theme in literature where technology is a source of evil and trouble for humans
Man versus Nature
theme in literature that places a character against forces of nature, like flood and fire
The adversary of the hero or protagonist of a drama or other literary work; he/she often seeks out evil, greed, and injustice.
Tying up of loose ends; what happens to characters after the story
Ultimate working out of problem; it often contains a death or a marriage
Conflict starts to get worked out; story is working towards a conclusion
Moment of highest tension where a critical decision must be made
Characters and conflicts develop leading to the climax
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