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Arts and Humanities
definitions and examples of literary devices
Terms in this set (33)
figure of speech that makes a comparison between two seemingly unlike things
a figure of speech that uses like or as to compare seemingly unlike things
a figure of speech in which an animal, object, a force of nature, or an idea is given human characteristics.
descriptive language that speaks to one or more of the 5 senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, sound)
a figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion, make a point, or evoke humor
a reference to a well-known character, place, or situation from history, music, art, or another work of literature
the repetition of constant sounds, generally at the beginning of words
the use of a word or phrase that imitates or suggests the sound of what it describes
repetition of a word or phrase
any person, animal, place, object, or event that exists on a literal level within a work but also represents something on a figurative level
a significant word, phrase, image, description, idea, or other element that is repeated throughout a literary work and is related to the theme.
the contrast between appearance and reality
the outcome is something other than what is anticipated
stating something other than the literal meaning
the contrast between what the characters know and what the reader knows
the moral or lesson taught throughout the story
the author's attitude toward the material
the dictionary definition of a word; the literal meaning
the associations connected to a word; the figurative meaning
It is better to try your hardest than to live with the regrets of inaction.
I hope my mom doesn't kill me when she finds out.
Verbal Irony- example
Of course I don't mind that you lowered my pay.
Dramatic Irony- example
The reader knows the killer is in the shed, the characters in the story don't.
The trees danced in the breeze.
from forth the fatal loins
She was as beautiful as Aphrodite.
He had Herculean strength.
Time is money.
She breathed in and out, in and out, to steady her nervous for the big test.
Situational Irony- Example
The princess walks out of the castle as the prince arrives to save her.
Recommended textbook explanations
myPerspectives: English Language Arts, California (Grade 9, Volume 1)
Collections: Grade 10
Holt McDougal Literature: American Literature Grade 11(Common Core)
Florida Collections: Grade 6
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