Advertisement Upgrade to remove ads


repetition of initial or medial consonants in two or more adjacent words. Used sparingly, this device provides emphasis. Overused, it sounds silly.


the juxtaposition of contrasting ideas, often in parallel structure. The contrast may be in words or in ideas or both. When used well, antithesis can be very effective, even witty.


the repetition of similar vowel sounds, preceded and followed by different consonants, in the stressed syllables of adjacent words.


repetition of the last word of one clause at the beginning of the following clause.


repetition of the same word or groups of words at the beginnings of successive clauses. This device produces a strong emotional effect, especially in speech. It also establishes a marked change in rhythm.


repetition at the end of a clause of the word that occurred at the beginning of the clause. Like other schemes of repetition, this often produces or expresses strong emotion.


the use of exaggerated terms for the purpose of emphasis or heightened effect.


implied comparison between two things of unlike nature.


similarity of structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases, or clauses. This basic principle of grammar and rhetoric demands that equivalent things be set forth in coordinate grammatical structures: nouns with nouns, infinitives with infinitives, and adverb clauses with adverb clauses.

Rhetorical question

asking a question, not for the purpose of eliciting an answer but for the purpose of asserting or denying something obliquely


explicit comparison between two things of unlike nature (like or as)


a passing or casual reference; an incidental mention of something, either directly or by implication


something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time


a digression in the form of an address to someone not present, or to a personified object or idea, as "O Death, where is thy sting?"


inversion of the natural or usual word order. This deviation can emphasize a point or it can just sound awkward. It is most effective if the author rarely writes awkwardly, because when set among well-structured sentences it emphasizes the inverted phrase


a coming of age novel

Blank Verse

unrhymed Iambic Pentameter / Patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables


involving ludicrous or mocking treatment of a solemn subject


a word or phrase appropriate to conversation and other informal situations


a special variety of a language


the ordinary form of spoken or written language, without metrical structure, as distinguished from poetry or verse

Double Entendre

a word or expression capable of two interpretations with one usually risqué

Dramatic Irony

irony that is inherent in speeches or a situation of a drama and is understood by the audience but not grasped by the characters in the play.


the presentation of earlier memories

Frame Story

an outer narrative that contains a larger, more significant narrative embedded in it


figurative description or illustration; rhetorical images collectively.


a story where a plot is existent


a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature or writing


a type of novel which recounts the tales of a likable rogue


pertaining to the mind or to mental phenomena as the subject matter of psychology.


the humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning; a play on words.

Quest Narrative

a story in which the central character is searching for a person, location, or abstract value


harsh or bitter derision or irony.


the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.

Situational Irony

irony involving a situation in which actions have an effect that is opposite from what was intended, so that the outcome is contrary to what was expected.


broad comedy characterized by boisterous action


the act of talking while or as if alone.


a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing

Stream of Consciousness

the reader sees what characters think about in a random association of ideas


something used for or regarded as representing something else

Verbal Irony

irony in which a person says or writes one thing and means another, or uses words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of the literal meaning.


fall of a good, believable and consistent character caused by error or frailty in the protagonist that arouses pity and terror in the audience

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 above and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

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

NEW! Voice Recording