Create an account
A literary technique whereby the author uses his own direct comments or those of a narrator to inform the audience about how to understand, interpret, and value a character.
A literary technique whereby the author informs his audience about a character by giving details of his looks, manners, actions, etc., or by telling us what other characters think of him, thus subtly guiding the reader's understanding, interpretation, and evaluation of that character.
A character who, though often significantly alike to another character in some ways, is strongly contrasted with him in other areas in order to highlight the differences between the two.
A situation which arises out of the customary practices of the culture in which a story, play or poem is set.
A type of irony whereby some event occurs, or some character acts, in a way that is unexpected, unintentional, unsuitable, or unideal, and may even be the opposite of these things.
A figure of speech in which the writer or speaker "addresses someone absent or something nonhuman as if it were resent or human and could respond to the address".
A short narrative poem, usually sung, and most often arranged in quatrain stanzas of four lines each with a rhyme pattern either of abab or abcb, that tells ofvivid events in a community, such as tales of love and death. Ballads are a type of oral and folk literature and are often "composed" over time by a whole community.
A plot device whereby the author hints at a future outcome but does not fully reveal it.
A novel set in a significantly older historical period than the one in which it is produced. The author theoretically portrays this older era with historical accuracy.
A poem that has the form and (or) musical quality of a song, being written to be sung or accompanied by music.
A kind of plot in which the events are arranged in patterns, which often means that they are repeated or grouped in threefold arrangements.
A literary device whereby goodness succeeds or is rewarded, and evil fails or is punished.
Originally a Greek theatrical term meaning "first struggler," now applied to the most central character in a story; the character whom a story is about, especially if that story is a novel or play.
A type of irony whereby a situation in which a speaker or character finds himself is incongruous or is the inversion of what is expected, intended, suitable, or ideal.
Any person, place, thing, event, or idea in a work of literature that in addition to its meaning in that work also stands for something more outside of it.
The era(s), year(s), season(s), day(s), and (or) particular hour(s) in which a story, play, or poem is set.
Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.
Having trouble? Click here for help.
We can’t access your microphone!
Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again
Reload the page to try again!Reload
Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom
Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom
Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.
For more help, see our troubleshooting page.
Your microphone is muted
For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.
Star this term
You can study starred terms together