30 terms

Literary Terms

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Action
what happens in a story: the events or conflicts.
Allusion
a reference in literature to a familiar person, place, thing, or event.
Analogy
a comparison of two or more similar objects, suggesting that if they are alike in certain respects, they will probably be alike in other ways as well.
Anecdote
a short summary of a funny or humorous event.
Antagonist
the person or thing working against the protagonist, or hero, of the work.
Characterization
the method an author uses to reveal or describe characters and their various personalities.
Climax
the high point, or turning point, in a story-usually the most intense point.
Conflict
the problem or struggle in a story that triggers the action.
Context
the set of facts or circumstances surrounding an event or a situation in a piece of literature.
Denouement
the final solution or outcome of a play or story.
Falling Action
the action of a play or story that works out the decision arrived at during the climax.
Figurative Language
language used to create a special effect or feeling.
Figure of Speech
a literary device used to create a special effect or feeling by making some type of interesting or creative comparison.
Hyperbole
an exaggeration, or overstatement.
Metaphor
a comparison of two unlike things in which no word of comparison is used.
Personification
a literary device in which the author speaks of or describes an animal, object, or idea as if it were a person.
Simile
a comparison of two unlike things in which a word of comparison is used.
Foreshadowing
giving hints and clues of what is to come later in a story.
Imagery
the words or phrases a writer selects to create a certain picture in the reader's mind.
Irony
using a word or phrase to mean the exact opposite of is literal or normal meaning.
Narration
writing that relates an event or a series of events.
Point of View
the vantage point from which the story is told
Protagonist
the main character or hero of the story.
Resolution
the portion of the story where the problem is solved.
Rising Action
the series of conflicts or struggles that build a story toward a climax.
Satire
a literary tone used to ridicule or make fun or human vice or weakness.
Setting
the time and place in which the action of a literary work occurs.
Soliloquy
a speech delivered by a character when he or she is alone on stage.
Theme
the statement about life a particular work is trying to get across to the reader.
Tone
the overall feeling, or effect, created by a writer's use of words.