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the beginning of two or more words in close connection with the same letter, or rather the same sound


an indirect or subtle reference to another character or work of literature


a foot with two weak stresses followed by one strong stess


a direct address to an absent listener or to the reader


the repetition of the same or similar vowel sounds within a passage

blank verse

unrhymed iambic pentameter


the positive or negative overtones of a word, as opposed to its denotation


the repetition of a pattern of consonants with changes in the intervening vowels


a two-line pair of rhymed iambic pentameter lines


a foot with one strong stress followed by two weak stresses


the dictionary definition of a word


the choice of spoken or written language or levels of language, such as harsh or soothing, or formal, informal, or colloquial

dramatic monologue

a speech delivered to the audience or to another character, in which the speak typically reveals his or her true feelings or character


in poetry, the running over of a line from one verse or stanza into the next without stopping at the end of the line


the substitution of a pleasant or neutral word for an unpleasant one, such as "passing away" for "dying"


two complementary techniques used either to overstate a point for emphasis or downplay a point, again often for emphasis

figurative language

language that communicates meanings beyond the literal level of what is being expressed, used to create effects, emphasize ideas, and evoke emotions


a group of stresses

free verse

verse that does not contain regular patterns of rhythm and rhyme, and thus achieves a rhythm more like that of everyday speech. although it lacks conventional meter, it may contain various rhythmic and sound effects such as repetition


the literary term for exaggeration, the overstating of something for emphasis


a foot with one weak stress, followed by one strong stress


the descriptive words and phrases a writer uses to re-create sensory experiences by referring to "concrete" objects, scenes, actions, or states


refers to a contrast between apperance and actuality

dramatic irony

readers know more about a situation or a character in a story than the characters do

situational irony

a contrast between what is expected to happen and what actually does happen

verbal irony

someone states one thing and implies another meaning

lyric poem

a poem that typically stresses the speaker's innermost emotions, as opposed to his or her ideas


an implied comparison which asserts one thing as the equivalent of another


the repetition of a regular rhythmic unit in poetry. each unit is known as a foot, consisting of one stressed syllable and two unstressed syllables


the substitution of a thing associated with a thing for the thing itself


the first eight lines of a sonnet


the use of words whose sounds echo their meanings


two qualities that are normally considered impossible to exist together


the fictional character created by an author, not to be confused with the author himself or herself


a stanza of four lines in a poem, or a grouping of four lines in a sonnet. sonnets are typically composed of three of these and a couplet


the appropriate reinforcement of ideas by phrasing similar ideas in similar grammatical form


words when the sounds of their accented syllables and all succeeding sounds are identical, such as amuse and confuse

internal rhyme

rhyme within lines of poetry

end rhyme

rhymes between the last words in lines of poetry

approximate rhyme

rhymes that are close but not exact

exact rhyme

accented syllables and sounds are identical

rhyme scheme

the pattern of end rhyme in a poem, assigning a letter of the alphabet to each line, and starting with a


the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry


the last six lines in a sonnet, sometimes composed of a quatrain and a couplet


a comparison between two different objects using "like" or "as"


an address within a dramatic piece in which a character converses with himself or herself, revealing his or her thoughts to the audience without addressing another person on stage


14 lines of rhymed iambic pentameter, usually about love, with one of two rhyme schemes: abab cdcd efef gg or abba abba cde cde (or) abba abba cdcd ee


the person telling the poem/narrating


something that stands for, represents, or denotes something else, especially a material object taken to represent something immaterial or abstract


substitution of a part for the whole or the whole for a part


the implied emotional attitude or point of view of a writer or speaker as conveyed by his or her diction and imagery


a foot with one strong stress followed by one weak stress


a foot with two strong stressed


giving human traits to non-human objects


a verse of three feet


a verse of four feet


a verse of five feet


a verse of six feet


a verse of seven feet


a verse of eight feet

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