English Literary Terms
Terms in this set (25)
Comparing two unlike things, using the words like or as. 'His feet were as big as boats.'
Comparing two unlike things directly, without the use of like or as.
Assigning human qualities to non-human things.
Successive words (more strictly, stressed syllables) begin with the same consonant sound or letter.
A fricative sound is one that is forced through a narrow opening of the lips. Examples include sounds made by the letters "c," "f," "s," "v," "z".
Characterized by, or producing a hissing sound like that of (s) or (sh).
A reference to a previous work or historical event as a comparison.
Imagery is when the description evokes a striking or detailed picture in the reader's mind. Often devices, such as metaphors, similes and personification create imagery.
Contradictory terms are combined. 'A deafening silence' or 'mournful optimist'.
Words that imitate sounds.
An expression of exaggeration.
An understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite, as in 'this is no small problem.'
The attribution of human emotions or characteristics to inanimate objects or to nature; for example, angry clouds; a cruel wind.
The overall feeling the poem creates. Mood can be playful, sad, lonely, angry or joyful.
The tone of a piece of literature is the speaker's or narrator's attitude towards the subject.
Words with a humorous double meaning, a "play on words."
Indicating (through character or plot development) an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually stated.
Description of one kind of sense impression by using words that normally describe another. 'It tastes like purple.'
An understatement. Litotes is a form of Meiosis. "It isn't very serious. I have this tiny little tumour on the brain." The Catcher in the Rye.
When a word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated. 'The crown fell and the kingdom fell into despair' Here the 'crown' represents the king or queen.
A metaphor which is drawn out beyond the usual word or phrase to extend throughout a stanza or an entire poem, usually by using multiple comparisons between the unlike objects or ideas.
The set of associations implied by a word in addition to its literal meaning.
Language (in particular adjectives or adverbs) that relate to or refer to emotions.
Using an object to represent an idea. A symbol means what it is and also something more. A lion is often used to symbolise royalty.
A "plosive" sound is made by stopping the air altogether for an instant on pronunciation. Examples of this include sounds made by the letters "b," "d," "k," "p," and "t."