english literart terms for ALEVEL AND GCSE

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Rhetorical Devices

Intertwined with syntax, rhetoric exerts another powerful influence on Elizabethan writing. Rhetoric in its original sense means "the art or study of using language effectively and persuasively."

Alliteration: repetition of the same sound beginning several words in sequence.

            Let us go forth to lead the land we love. J. F. Kennedy, Inaugural

            "When to the sessions of sweet silent thought...." (Sonnet ***)


Anacoluthon: lack of grammatical sequence; a change in the grammatical construction within the same sentence.

            Agreements entered into when one state of facts exists -- are they to be maintained regardless of             changing conditions? J. Diefenbaker


Anadiplosis: ("doubling back") the rhetorical repetition of one or several words; specifically, repetition of a word that ends one clause at the beginning of the next.

            Men in great place are thrice servants: servants of the sovereign or state; servants of fame; and servants  of business. Francis Bacon


            "My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,

            And every tongue brings in a several tale,

            And every tale condemns me for a villain."1 (Richard III, V, iii)

Anaphora: the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses or lines.

            We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas       and oceans,we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend   our island, whatever the cost       may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing           grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never             surrender. Churchill.


            "Mad world! Mad kings! Mad composition!" (King John, II, i)


Anastrophe: transposition of normal word order; most often found in Latin in the case of prepositions and the words they control. Anastrophe,a form of hyperbaton,occurs whenever normal syntactical arrangment is violated for emphasis:

            The helmsman steered; the ship moved on; yet never a breeze up blew. Coleridge, The Rime of the             Ancient Mariner The verb before the subject-noun (normal syntax follows the order subject-noun, verb):

            Glistens the dew upon the morning grass.


Anthimeria: substitution of one part of speech for another

            "I'll unhair thy head." (Antony and Cleoptra, II, v)


Antistrophe: repetition of the same word or phrase at the end of successive clauses.

            In 1931, ten years ago, Japan invaded Manchukuo -- without warning. In 1935, Italy invaded Ethiopia --             without warning. In 1938, Hitler occupied Austria -- without warning. In 1939, Hitler invaded             Czechoslovakia -- without warning. Later in 1939, Hitler invaded Poland -- without warning. And now             Japan has attacked Malaya and Thailand -- and the United States --without warning. FranklinD.  Roosevelt.


Antithesis: opposition, or contrast of ideas or words




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