21 terms

Rhetorical Device definitions

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rhetorical question
This is asked just for effect, or to lay emphasis on some point being discussed, when no real answer is expected. It may have an obvious answer, but the questioner asks it to lay emphasis to the point.
analogy
A comparison in which an idea or a thing is compared to another thing that is quite different from it. This makes it is easier for readers to comprehend a new idea, which may have been difficult for them to understand otherwise.
simile
A figure of speech that makes a comparison, showing similarities between two different things, with the help of the words "like" or "as."
extended metaphor
Also known as a conceit or sustained metaphor, is an author's exploitation of a single metaphor or analogy at length through multiple linked tenors, vehicles, and grounds throughout a poem or story.
parallelism
The use of components in a sentence that are grammatically the same; or similar in their construction, sound, meaning, or meter.
Symbolism
The use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities, by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense.
allusion
A brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance.
Anecdote
Defined as a short and interesting story, or an amusing event, often proposed to support or demonstrate some point, and to make the audience laugh.
hyperbole
Derived from a Greek word meaning "over-casting," is a figure of speech that involves an exaggeration of ideas for the sake of emphasis.
onomatopoeia
Defined as a word which imitates the natural sounds of a thing. It creates a sound effect that mimics the thing described, making the description more expressive and interesting.
alliteration
Derived from Latin's "Latira". It means "letters of alphabet". It is a stylistic device in which a number of words, having the same first consonant sound, occur close together in a series.
imagery
To use figurative language to represent objects, actions, and ideas in such a way that it appeals to our physical senses, and we can SEE it in our minds.
metonymy
A figure of speech that replaces the name of a thing with the name of something else with which it is closely associated.
archetype
In literature, this is a typical character, an action, or a situation that seems to represent universal patterns of human nature.
aphorism
A statement of truth or opinion expressed in a concise and witty manner. The term is often applied to philosophical, moral, and literary principles.
paradox
Means "contrary to expectations, existing belief, or perceived opinion." It is a statement that appears to be self-contradictory or silly, but which may include a latent truth.
Satire
A technique employed by writers to expose and criticize foolishness and corruption of an individual or a society, by using humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule. It intends to improve humanity by criticizing its follies and foibles
anaphora (repetition)
In writing or speech, the deliberate repetition of the first part of the sentence in order to achieve an artistic effect.
consonance
assonance
The first is repetitive sounds produced by consonants within a sentence or phrase. This repetition often takes place in quick succession, such as in "pitter, patter."
The second takes place when two or more words, close to one another repeat the same vowel sound, but start with different consonant sounds.
syntax
A set of structural rules in a language. It dictates how words from different parts of speech are put together in order to convey a complete thought.
Juxtaposition
A literary technique in which two or more ideas, places, characters, and their actions are placed side by side for the purpose of developing comparisons and contrasts. In literature, juxtaposition is a useful device for writers to portray their characters in great detail, to create suspense, and to achieve a rhetorical effect.