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Literary Terms for Ms. Rosa's class.


an indirect reference by casually mentioning something that is generally familiar (ex. Mythology, the Bible, History)


lines that are whispered to the audience or to another character on stage (not meant to be heard by all the characters on stage)

Blank Verse

a form of unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter, lines that ideally have five unstressed syllables each followed by a stressed syllable. However, the pattern is not perfect. (very common in all of Shakespeare's plays)


the final event is a drama (a death in a tragedy or a marriage in a comedy)

A drama

a play


a light play with a happy ending

Comic Relief

a bit of humor injected into a serious play to relieve the heavy tension of tragic events

Dramatic Irony

occurs when the audience knows something that the character on stage is not aware


an implied comparison between two different things; indentifying a person or object as the thing to which is being compared


a figure of speech whereby the name of a thing is substituted for the attribute, which it suggests (ex. The pen (power of literature) is mightier than the sword (force))


enemy, agent of retribution (the person who punishes)


giving the quality of life to inanimate things

Poetic Justice

the operation of justice in a play with fair distribution of reward for good deeds and punishment for wrong doings


an expressed comparison between two different things using 'like' or 'as'


a single character on stage thinking out loud (a way of letting the audience know what is in the character's mind)


a serious play having an unhappy ending (ex. Romeo and Juliet)

Tragic Flaw

a character trait that leads one to his/her own downfall or destruction

Dynamic character

a character who grows emotionally, learns a lesson, or alters his or her behavior

Round Character

a character, relatively complex and fully developed

Static character

a character who is simple with few emotions, and labeled as flat


main character


person or thing opposing the main character

Situational irony

contrast between what a character expects to happen and what actually happens

verbal irony

when someone says one this but means another

third-person limited

narrator who knows only the thoughts of one character

third-person omniscient

narrator who knows the thoughts of all the character


a genre that describe something that really happened


a genre that describes something that is fake or did not really happen

The four types of conflict

man vs. man, man vs. world, man vs. self, man vs. nature

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