36 terms

Language A Literary Terms

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metaphor
implied comparison NOT using the words "like" or "as"
simile
comparison using the words "like", "as" or "than"
alliteration
repetition of initial consonant sounds
allusion
a reference to something literary, mythological, or historical that the author assumes the reader will recognize
antithesis
involves a direct contrast (usually structurally parallel word groupings) generally for the purpose of contrast (e.g., sink or swim)
caesura
a pause separating phrases within lines of poetry--an important part of poetic rhythm
assonance
the repetition of vowel sounds followed by different consonants in two or more stressed syllables (e.g., weak and weary)
cacophony
a harsh, unpleasant combination of sounds or tones
consonance
the repetition in two or more words of final consonants in stressed syllables. (e.g., hid head)
diction
specific word choice
dramatic irony
the words or actions of a character in a play that carry a meaning unperceived by the character but understood by the audience
foil
a character who is presented as a contrast to a second character so as to point to or show to advantage some aspect of the second character
foreshadowing
the use in a literary work of clues that suggest events that have yet to occur
hyperbole
a deliberate exaggeration or overstatement
irony
literary techniques that involve differences between appearance and reality, expectation and result, or meaning and intention
juxtaposition
literary device in which normally unassociated ideas, words, or phrases are placed closely or next to one another to show comparison or contrast.
meiosis
understatement, the opposite of hyperbole
mood
the feeling created in the reader by a literary work or passage
paradox
a statement that seems contradictory or absurd but that expresses the truth (e.g., The more you know, the more you don't know.)
personification
a type of figurative language in which a nonhuman subject is given human characteristics (e.g. The trees are dancing in the wind.)
rhetorical shift
a change from one tone, attitude, etc. to another
sarcasm
a type of irony in which a person appears to be praising something but is actually insulting it.
satire
a style of writing that uses humor - sometimes gentle and sometimes biting - to criticize people, ideas, or institutions in hopes of improving them
situational irony
In this type of irony, an event occurs that directly contrasts the expectations of the characters, the reader, or the audience. (e.g., deep sea diver drowning in the bathtub)
stereotype
commonly held and oversimplified mental pictures or judgments of a person, a race, an issue, etc.
symbol
anything that stands for or represents something else, an object that serves as a symbol has its own meaning, but it also represents abstract ideas
syntax
the physical arrangement of words in a sentence
tone
the writer's attitude toward his or her audience and subject
theme
a central message or insight into life revealed through the literary work
tragic flaw
a defect in the tragic hero that causes his downfall
verbal irony
a type of irony in which words are used to suggest the opposite of what is meant
point of view
the perspective from which a story is told
parallelism
the repetition of a grammatical structure
archetype
A detail, image, or character type that occurs frequently in literature and myth
motif
a distinctive feature or dominant idea in an artistic or literary composition
Enjambment
A run-on line of poetry in which logical and grammatical sense carries over from one line into the next