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lit. device- a reference to something literary, mythological, or historical that the author assumes the reader will recognize.


a line spoken by an actor to the audience but not intended for others on the stage

carpe diem

"Seize the day"; a Latin phrase implying that one must live for the present moment, for tomorrow may be too late.

direct characterization

the method of character development in which the author simply tells what the character is like.

indirect characterization

the writer reveals information about a character and his personality through that character's thought, words, and actions.


the point in a story or play in which the internal and external conflicts reach the greatest intensity.


lit. device- a fanciful expression, usually in the form of an extended metaphor or surprising analogy between seemingly dissimilar objects.


two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme.


lit. device- repetition of consonant sounds within words.

internal conflict

a struggle between opposing needs, desires, or emotions within a single character.

external conflict

a character struggles against some outside force: another character, society as a whole, or some natural force.


the final resolution of the main complication of a literary or dramatic work.


lit. device- the usage of vocabulary that is characteristic of a specific group of people.

Elizabethan drama

genre of theatre originating in England during the latter half of the 16th Century, being written and performed chiefly during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It includes the works of William Shakespeare (his historical plays and comedies as well as his tragedies).


introductory material which gives the setting, creates the tone, presents the characters, and presents other facts necessary to understanding a story.

falling action

events in a literary or dramatic work after the climax, leading to the denouement.

figurative language

writing or speech that is not intended to carry literal meaning and is usually meant to be imaginative and vivid (metaphors, similes, etc.)


lit. device- the use of hints and clues to suggest what will happen later in a plot.

iambic pentameter

a common meter in poetry consisting of an unrhymed line with five feet or accents, each foot containing an unaccented syllable and an accented syllable.


lit. device- the use of language to evoke a picture or a concrete sensation of a person, thing, place, or experience.


lit. device- incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs. witty language used to convey insults or scorn.


lit. device- a figure of speech comparing to unlike things without using like or as.


a rhythmic group of eight lines of verse.


a long, lyrical poem that is addressed to an object or person.


a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.


rewriting or restating another person's ideas or thoughts into your own words.


lit. device- figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, attitudes, or abilities.



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