Literary Terms

STUDY
PLAY
Metaphor
A comparison between two things
ex: You are the wind beneath my wings.
Simile
A comparison between two things using "like" or "as"
ex: She was as quiet as a mouse.
Hyperbole
A deliberate exaggeration
ex: He's so stupid, he thought a quarterback was a refund!
Fiction
Not true/a made up story
Nonfiction
A true story or account
Foreshadow
A hint of what is to come later in the story
Climax
The most exciting part of the story; the turning point
Pun
A play on words
Alliteration
Repeating consonant sounds at the beginning of words
Flashback
When a character remembers something that happened earlier or before the story started
Setting
When and where a story takes place
Protagonist
The main character- usually, but not always, the good guy
Antagonist
A character that goes against the main character - usually the bad guy
Dynamic Character
A character that changes
Static Character
A character that does not changed
Round
A character that we know a lot about
Flat
A character that we do not know a lot about
1st Person POV
The narrator is a part of the story. "I" is used.
2nd Person POV
The reader is the narrator and character in the story. "You" is used.
3rd Person Limited POV
The narrator is not a part of the story and knows one character's thoughts and actions "He", "She", "It" are used a lot along with people's names.
3rd Person Omniscient
The narrator is not a part of the story and knows everyone's thoughts and actions "He", "She", "It" are used a lot along with people's names.
Situational Irony
When something unexpected happens (sometimes this is just called "irony")
Dramatic Irony
When the reader knows something that the character does not
Verbal Irony
What is said and what is meant are two different things
Free Verse
A style of poetry that has no set rhyme or meter
Rhyme Scheme
Tracking the rhyming sounds of the last line in a poem by assigning letters
Imagery
Describing something using the five senses
Unreliable Narrator
A narrator that cannot be trusted to tell what is really happening
Onomatopoeia
A sound spelled out
Conflict
A struggle between a character and: another character, society, self or nature
Paradox
An apparent contradiction that is actually true
Symbolism
Using one thing to represent something else
Archetype
A symbol that remains the same in all time periods and cultures
Allegory
A story where everything is symbolic
Oxymoron
A phrase that has two seemingly opposite words side by side
Dialect
Spelling words as they are pronounced, not how they should be spelled
Mood
The way the writer makes you feel
Tone
The way the writer feels about something
Epic
A long poem about a hero
Personification
Giving something that is not human, human qualities
Allusion
A reference to another story, historical event, movie, song, TV show, etc.
Theme
A main idea of a story
Soliloquy
When one character is on stage revealing their innermost thoughts
Couplet
Two lines of poetry that are back to back and rhyme
Aside
When a character says something on stage, but other people on stage cannot hear what was said