Create an account
ad hominem argument
an argument attacking an individual's character rather than his or her position on an issue
a reference to something literary, mythological, or historical that the author assumes the reader will recognize
A concise statement that expresses succinctly a general truth or idea, often using rhyme or balance
a figure of speech in which one directly addresses an absent or imaginary person, or some abstraction
a detail, image, or character type that occurs frequently in literature and myth and is thought to appeal in a universal way to the unconscious and to evoke a response
a sentence in which words, phrases, or clauses are set off against each other to emphasize a contrast
a statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed ("Susan walked in, and out rushed Mary")
a sentence with two or more coordinate independent clauses, often joined by one or more conjunctions
a sentence in which the main independent clause is elaborated by the successive addition of modifying clauses or phrases
reasoning in which a conclusion is reached by stating a general principle and then applying that principle to a specific case
a variety of speech characterized by its own particular grammar or pronunciation, often associated with a particular geographical region
a situation that requires a person to decide between two equally attractive or equally unattractive alternatives
the omission of a word or phrase which is grammatically necessary but can be deducted from the context
a long narrative poem written in elevated style which presents the adventures of characters of high position and episodes that are important to the history of a race or nation
a saying or statement on the title of a page of a work, or used as a heading for a chapter or other section of a work
a term used to point out a characteristic of a person. Homeric ones are often compound adjectives that become an almost formulaic part of a name. They can be offensive or abusive but are not so by definition.
a sentence expressing strong feeling, usually punctuated with an exclamation mark
a story that concerns an unreal world or characters; it may be merely whimsical, or it may present a serious point
a character who embodies a single quality and who does not develop in the course of a story
the presentation of material in such a way that the reader is prepared for what is to come later in the work
an expression in a given language that cannot be understood from the literal meaning of the words in the expression; or, a regional speech or dialect.
the use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning; or, incongruity between what is expected and what actually occurs
a narrative handed down from the past, containing historical elements and usually supernatural elements
light verse consisting of 5 lines of regular rhythm in which the first, second, and fifth lines (each consisting of 3 ft) rhyme, and the 3rd and 4th lines (each consisting of 2 ft) rhyme
a narrator who presents the story as it is seen and understood by a single character and restricts info to what is seen, heard, thought, or felt by that one character
deviating from normal rules or methods in order to achieve a certain effect (intentional sentence fragments)
a type of understatement in which an idea is expressed by negating its opposite (describing a particularly horrific scene by saying, "It was not a pretty picture")
a mistaken substitution of one word for another word that sounds similar (The food is malicious).
substituting the name of one object for another object closely associated with it (the pen [writing] is mightier than the sword [war/fighting]).
a character's incentive or reason for behaving in a certain manner; that which compels a character to act.
a traditional story presenting supernatural characters in episodes that help explain natural events
an inference that does not follow logically from the premises (literally does not follow)
a narrator who is able to know, see, and tell all including the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters
a restatement of a text in a different form or in different words, often for the purpose of clarity
a strong verbal denunciation. The term comes from the orations of Demosthenes against Philip of Macedonia in the fourth century
Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.
Having trouble? Click here for help.
We can’t access your microphone!
Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again
Reload the page to try again!Reload
Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom
Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom
It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.
Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.
For more help, see our troubleshooting page.
Your microphone is muted
For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.
Star this term
You can study starred terms together