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50 Literary Devices Definitions
Literary Devices used in English I and for all four years of English
Terms in this set (50)
A work in which the characters and events are to be understood as representing other things.
The repetition of initial consonant sounds in neighboring words.
A reference to another work of literature, person, or event
A comparison of two different things that are similar in some way making it easier to understand.
A character or force in conflict with the hero or main character
Someone in a book, play or story
A method an author uses to let readers know more about the characters and their personal traits.
the most intense, exciting, or important point of something; a culmination or apex.
An opposition between or among character or forces, motivates the action of the plot.
A final part of a story or drama in which everything is made clear and no questions or surprises remain.
The language of a particular district, class, or group of people; technique of characterization
The words spoken by characters in a book, movie or play or a section of a work.
A writer's or speaker's choice of words
The author tells the audience what the personality of the character is.
The part of the story that sets up the basic facts of the past, setting and characters.
The events following the climax of the story leading to the denouement.
First Person Point of View
A narrator that uses "I" or "We" to tell a story; can be reliable or unreliable.
A character whose personality and attitude is opposite the personality and attitude of another character.
A warning, indication, suggestion of something usually unpleasant that is going to happen.
Deliberate and obvious exaggeration used for effect.
An expression with a non-literal meaning; usually a common or colloquial expression.
Descriptive or figurative language (metaphors and similes) that evokes visual or sensory experiences.
The author shows the character's personality through the thoughts, words and actions of the character and/or others.
The comparison of two unlike things in which no words of comparison (like or as) are used.
An arranged pattern of rhythm in a line of verse.
The atmosphere or emotional condition created by the piece, within the setting.
An important and sometimes recurring theme or idea in a work of literature.
A story, actual or fictional, expressed orally or in writing.
A character who tells the story and who refers to himself as "I".
Imitation of sounds in words (i.e. hiss, buzz, rustle).
A statement, proposition or situation that seems to be absurd or contradictory, but in fact is or may be true.
An object or abstract idea given human qualities or human form.
The story or sequence of events in something such as a novel, play or movie.
Main character or hero in a story
The point in literary work when the conflict is resolved.
The pattern of rhyming lines in a poem on in a verse of a poem.
The events leading up to the climax of the story, complicating the plot and building tension.
A literary tone used to ridicule or make fun of human vice or weakness.
The context in time and place in which the action of a story occurs.
A comparison of two unlike things using like or as
A number of lines of verse forming a separate unit within a poem.
Word choice and expression of an author's unique voice.
Representing something abstract with something concrete. (using objects to stand for ideas).
The subject or distinct and unifying idea of a piece of writing or work of art; broad enough to cover the entire scope of a literary work.
Third Person Limited Point of View
The narrator uses "he" or "she" knows only the thoughts and feelings of a character.
Third Person Omniscient Point of View
A method of storytelling in which the narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all the characters in the story.
The apparent emotional state or "attitude" of the speaker/author/narrator.
The fluency, rhythm, and liveliness in writing that make it unique to the author.
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