Literary terms

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  • Created on: 08-04-13 19:29
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Term Definition
Alliteration The occurrence of the same letter or sound at the
beginning of words that are neighbouring or close to
each other. E.g. Betty Botta bought some butter.
Assonance A rhyming of vowel sounds in neighbouring or close
words. E.g. Poetry is old, ancient, goes back far. It is
among the oldest of living things. So old it is that no
man knows how and why the first poems came." The
assonance is the long `O' sound.
Blank Verse A verse without rhyme, especially one that uses the
iambic pentameter. Blank verse is often unobtrusive
and the iambic pentameter form often resembles the
rhythms of ordinary speech.
Cacophony Harsh, discordant sounds. Opposite of euphony. E.g. My
stick fingers click with a snicker.
Caesura A break in a line of poetry often indicated by
punctuation and by a metrical (using poetic metre)
Cliché A sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or
common thought or idea, that has lost originality,
ingenuity, and impact by long overuse.
Connotation The various secondary meanings and overtones of a
word that which it suggests and implies rather than
Consonance The repetition of consonant sounds in words that are
neighbouring or close together, where the sound
usually occurs at the end of words. E.g. He struck a
streak of bad luck. The `ck' sound is consonance.
Couplet A pair of rhymed lines, of any metre.
Ellipsis The omission of part of a grammatical structure. E.g.
`You going out?' ­ the verb `Are' is missing causing a
more casual and informal tone.
Enjambment The continuation of a syntactic unit from one line of
verse into the next line without a pause.
Euphemism The substitution of an agreeable or less offensive
expression in place of one that may offend or suggest
something unpleasant to the listener. E.g. `She's gone
to powder her nose.' instead of `She's gone the toilet.'
Euphony Soothing pleasant sounds. Opposite of cacophony. E.g.
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosomfriend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatcheves run
The writer has used euphony in this stanza.

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Etymology The study of the history and origin of words, and their
changing forms and meanings.
Figurative Language Whenever you describe something by comparing it with
something else, you are using figurative language. E.g.
similes, metaphors and personification.
Foreshadowing The use of hints or clues to suggest what will happen
later in literature.
Free Verse A nonrhyming verse, also with a free metrical form.…read more

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Onomatopoeia The use of a word to describe or imitate a natural
sound or the sound made by an object or an action.
Example: snap crackle or pop.
Oxymoron A figure of speech that uses opposite words in close
proximity for effect. E.g. found missing.
Parody To imitate (a composition, author, etc.) for purposes of
ridicule or satire.
Pathetic Fallacy Assuming that there is an equation between human
mood and the external world. E.g.…read more

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