How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

55 terms

Literary Elements

STUDY
PLAY
Character
______ is a person or an animal that takes part in the action of a literary work.
Protagonist
The ______ is the central character. It's the character for whom the audience pulls for.
Antagonist
The _____ is the force in conflict with the protagonist. It may be society, nature, or fate as well as another person.
Major
A _______ character is the most important character in a story, poem, or play.
Minor
A _____ character is one who takes part in the action but is not the focus of attention.
Flat
A ____ character is not fully developed. We know only one side of the character.
Round
A ____ character is fully developed, with many traits, bad and good shown in the story.
Static
A _____ character is one who does not experience a basic change in character through the events in the story.
Dynamic
A _____ character is one who experiences a basic change in character through the events in the story.
Plot
_____ is the sequence of related events in a story.
Exposition
______ is an introduction to the characters, setting, and basic situation.
Conflict
______ is the struggle between opposing forces in the story.
Rising Action
__________ is a series of events that build from the conflict.
Personification
_______ is a type of figurative language in which a non human subject is given human characteristics.
Simile
A ______ is a figure of speech that uses like or as to make a direct comparison between two subjects.
Comic Relief
________ is an interruption in a narrative, designed to break the emotional intensity of the narrative.
Aphorism
_______ is a brief, sometimes clever saying that expresses a princple, truth, or observation about life.
Jargon
______ is technical language that is often hard to understand.
Genre
_____ is a class or category of writing.
Evidence
_____ is the details, examples, facts, statistics, or expert opinions that support any general statement or claim.
Climax
The ____ is the high point of the story. It is the moment of greatest tension.
Falling Action
The ______ or denouement is the events that follow the climax. These events close the story.
Resolution
______ is the final outcome. It gives the sense that the end of the story is complete.
Hyperbole
______ is an exaggerated statement used to heighten effect. It is not used to mislead the reader, but to emphasize the point.
Cliché
A _____ is an expression that has become tired from overuse and that therefore deadens rather than enlivens writing.
Sarcasm
______ is bitter language meant to hurt or ridicule.
Onomatopoeia
_______ is the use of words that sound like their meaning.
Oxymoron
An _____ is a figure of speech in which two contradictory words or phrases are combined into one expression.
Assonance
______ is repetition of vowel sounds in a phrase.
Consonance
______ is repetition of consonant sounds anywhere in the words.
Alliteration
______ is the repetition of initial consonants.
Rhyme
______ is the repetition of a stressed sound, usually the final syllable.
Explicit
______ refers to information stated openly in the text.
Implicit
_______ refers to information that is not directly stated, but which the reader can infer.
Inference
An ______ is a conclusion drawn from information presented.
Motif
______ is a recurring idea, object, or event.
Denotative
The ____ meaning of a word is the dictionary definition. Many words have more than one denotative meaning.
Connotative
The ______ meaning of a word refers to the fellings and associations created by the word. Words can have positive, negative, or neutral connotations.
Idiom
An _____ is a word or phrase peculiar to a particular language and different from the denotative meaning of the words.
Diction
______ is word choice. Authors choose words that have certain associations or feelings attached to them in order to make their attitudes toward the subject clear to the reader.
Detail
_____ refers to the things that happen and the factual information that appears in the passage. When an author tells the reader that the main character saw a purple butterfly in the garden, the fact that the butterfly is purple is a detail.
Imagery
_______ is a term that refers to the writer's use of sound, sight, smell, touch, and taste in a work of literature.
Mood
____ is the overall feeling that the work evokes in the reader.
Tone
______ is the writer's attitude toward his or her audience or subject.
Theme
_____ is a message about life that the plot and characters of a story convey to its reader.
Author's Style
______ is created by a writer's use of language, such as rhythm, word and phrase choice, and methods of organization.
Setting
The _____ is the time and place where the story takes place.
Character's Traits
A _______, or qualities, can affect his or her thoughts, decisions, and actions.
Point of View
_________ is the perspective from which a story is told.
First Person
_________ point of view is the perspective of a character in the story.
Third Person
_________ point of view is the perspective of a narrator outside the story.
Omniscient Third Person
In _________ point of view, the narrator reveals what every character in the story is thinking and feeling.
Limited Third Person
In _________ point of view, the narrator reveals only a single character's thoughts and feelings.
Epiphany
_______ is when a character suddenly experiences a deep realization about him or herself.
Metaphor
A _______ is an implied comparison between two unlike things.