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An style (in writing) that is typically complex, discusses intangible qualities like good and evil, and seldom uses examples to support its points.

absurd hero

Their outlook is this: determined to continue living with passion even though life appears to be meaningless.


As an adjective describing style, this word means dry and theoretical writing. When a piece of writing seems to be sucking all the life out of its subject with analysis.


Refers to the stressed portion of a word.


An adjective meaning "appealing to the senses."


A story in which each aspect of the story has a symbolic meaning outside the tale itself.


The repetition of initial consonant sounds.


A reference to another work or famous figure.

classical allusion

A reference to Greek and Roman Mythology such as, The Iliad.

topical allusion

Refers to a current event.

popular allusion

Refers to something from popular culture, such as a reference to a television show or a hit movie.


Derived from Greek, It means, "misplaced in time."


A comparison. Usually analogies involve two or more symbolic parts, and are employed to clarify an action or a relationship.


The deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several successive verses, clauses, or paragraphs.


A short narrative, story.


The word, phrase, or clause that determines what a pronoun refers to.


When inanimate objects are given human characteristics.


Occurs when an action produces far smaller results than one had been led to expect.


A protagonist who is markedly unheroic: morally weak, cowardly, dishonest, or any number of unsavory qualities. The character lacks the qualities of the hero: skill, grace, honesty, courage, truth.


Short and usually witty saying.


A figure of speech wherein the speaker talks directly to something that is nonhuman, or absent.


A terse, witty, instructive saying; a maxim.


The use of deliberately old-fashioned language.


The original model from which something is developed or made; in literary criticism, those images, figures, character types, settings, and story patterns that are usually shared by people across cultures.


A speech (usually just a short comment) made by an actor to the audience, as though momentarily stepping outside of the action on stage.

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