GCSE English Keywords

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  • Created by: Abigail
  • Created on: 09-09-12 12:59

Alliteration - the repetition of the same consonant sound, especially at the beginning of several consecutive words in the same line e.g. ‘Five miles meandering in a mazy motion’.

Aside – words spoken by a character on stage that are not intended to be heard by the other characters present

Assonance – the repetition of similar vowel sounds e.g. ‘There must be Gods thrown down and trumpets blown’, showing the paired assonance of ‘must’ and ‘trum...’ and ‘thrown’ and ‘blown’

Atmosphere – the pervading feeling created by a description of the setting, or the action e.g foreboding, happiness

Audience – the people being communicated to

Aural imagery – images created through sound, by the use of techniques such as alliteration, assonance and onomatopoeia

Autobiography – an account of a person’s life written by him or herself

Biography – a written account or history of the life of an individual

Blank verse – unrhymed poetry that adheres to a strict pattern in that each line is an iambic pentameter (a ten-syllable line with five stresses). It is close to the rhythm of speech or prose

Characterisation – the variety of techniques that writers use to create and present their characters, including description of their appearance, their actions, their speech and how other characters react to them

Climax – The most important event in the story or play

Connotation – an association attached to a word or phrase in addition to its dictionary definition.

Denouement – near the ending of a play, novel, or drama, where the plot is resolved

Direct speech – the words that are actually spoken

Drama – a composition intended for performance before an audience

Dramatic incitement – the incident which provides the starting point for the main action of the play

Dramatic Irony – a situation in a play, the irony of which is clear to the audience but not to the characters e.g in Twelfth Night, where Olivia and Orsino do not know that ‘Cesario’ (Viola) is really a girl disguised as a boy

Episode – a scene within a narrative that develops or is connected to the main story

Exposition – the opening of the play which introduces characters and sets the scene

Fact – something which has been established as true and correct

Fiction – a story that is invented, not factual, though it may be based on events that actually happened

Form – the way a poem is structured or laid out

Free Verse – a form of poetry not using obvious rhyme patterns or a consistent metre

Iambic Pentameter – a line of verse containing five feet, each foot having an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable

Imagery – the use of words to create a picture or image in the reader’s mind

Imperatives – commands

Interior monologue – similar to a soliloquy, a character talking to him or herself



Thomas Lawrence


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