Some good english devices

Some good key words to learn to sharpen your analysis

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  • Created on: 20-04-13 20:07
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English devices:
Adjacency pairs ­ Branch of linguistics in which conversation is taken in turns i.e. greeting
and then another greeting (Hi! Oh, hey!)
Allegory ­ Symbolic representation e.g. the blindfolded man with scales is an allegory of
Alliteration: `Slippery snake slid slowly'
Analogy ­ Comparison of two different things that are similar in some way
Anaphora: Repetitive nature of a poem i.e `I have a dream..'
Anecdote: A brief narrative that focuses on a particular event or incident
Antithesis: A statement/argument where two opposing ideas are balance
Assonance: Recurrent vowel sounds (creature, sleeps, sweet)
Caesura: A pause in the middle of a line
Connotation: Association that comes along with a particular word
Diction: The style of speaking or writing as a dependent choice on words. Often used to
described poets; poetic diction.
Dramatic Irony: Where the audience or reader are aware something important in the
play/story but the characters aren't aware.
Double Entendre: A figure of speech that can be devised to be understood in either of two
ways for example `To Serve Man' could be interpreted as in serving a man food or serving
Enjambment: When a sentence in a poem flows on to the next line
Euphemism ­ A term in a sentence that may be considered offensive is replaced by
something less explicit/vulgar e.g. `the old in-out' from A Clockwork Orange
Exposition: When the author/playwright interrupts the story/play to give some background
info i.e. context
Extended Metaphor: When a poet exploits a metaphor or analogy at length through a
End-stopped lines: Typical form of a sentence opposite to enjambment.
Figurative Language: When you describe something by comparing it to something else i.e.
in simile form; `as busy as a bee' or in metaphor form; `you are what you eat'.

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Foreshadowing/Foreboding: When the author/playwright or character(s) imply that there
will be a negative event in the future
Hyperbole: a form of exaggeration usually used in poetry and sometimes prose
Iambic Pentameter: A line (usually in poetry) that has ten syllables in each lines but the
alternate syllable is stressed: Duh-DUH duh DUH duh DUH duh DUH duh DUH e.g. I READ a
Imperative: Word, sentence etc.…read more

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Pun: Standard play on words
Refrain: A verse or phrase that is repeated at intervals throughout a sonnet, song or poem,
usually after a chorus or stanza.
Rhyming couplets: A two line lines of the same length that rhyme and complete one
thought. There is no limit to the length of line.
Satire ­ A form of literature in which irony, sarcasm, and ridicule are employed to attack
human vice and folly
Sestet: 7 lined verse
Simile: Making a comparison between someone or something e.…read more

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Modernism: Post war modern thought, character or practice. The development of modern
society and rapid growth of cities.
Post-modernism: A movement where novelists wrote to reinvigorate the powers of
language by dislodging it from conventional constraints. Post-modernism can also be seen
as the primary emblem for our fractured current existence. This movement reconceptualises
previously held notions of society.…read more


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