Literary Terms

Allegory
An allegory is a symbolism device where the meaning of a greater, often abstract, concept is conveyed with the aid of a more corporeal object or idea being used as an example.
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Alliteration
Alliteration is a literary device where words are used in quick succession and begin with letters belonging to the same sound group.
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Analogy
An analogy is a literary device that helps to establish a relationship based on similarities between two concepts or ideas.
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Anastrophe
Anastrophe is a form of literary device wherein the order of the noun and the adjective in the sentence is exchanged.
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Caesura
This literary device involves creating a fracture of sorts within a sentence where the two separate parts are distinguishable from one another yet intrinsically linked to one another.
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Chiasmus
Chiasmus is a figure of speech containing two phrases that are parallel but inverted to each other.
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Circumlocution
Circumlocution is a form of writing where the writer uses exaggeratedly long and complex sentences in order to convey a meaning that could have otherwise been conveyed through a shorter, much simpler sentence.
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Consonance
Consonance refers to repetition of sounds in quick succession produced by consonants within a sentence or phrase.
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Deus ex Machina
It refers to the incidence where an implausible concept or character is brought into the story in order to make the conflict in the story resolve and to bring about a pleasing solution.
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Diction
Diction is the distinctive tone or tenor of an author's writings. Diction is not just a writer's choice of words it can include the mood, attitude, dialect and style of writing.
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Foreshadowing
The literary device foreshadowing refers to the use of indicative word or phrases and hints that set the stage for a story to unfold and give the reader a hint of something that is going to happen without revealing the story or spoiling the suspense.
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Hubris
In writing and literature hubris is generally considered a "tragic flaw" and it is saved for the protagonist.
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Hyperbole
A hyperbole is a literary device wherein the author uses specific words and phrases that exaggerate and overemphasize the basic crux of the statement in order to produce a grander, more noticeable effect
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Internal Rhyme
In literature the internal rhyme is a practice of forming a rhyme in only one lone line of verse.
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Irony
The use of irony in literature refers to playing around with words such that the meaning implied by a sentence or word is actually different from the literal meaning.
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Juxtaposition
Juxtaposition is a literary device wherein the author places a person, concept, place, idea or theme parallel to another.
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Onomatopoeia
The term 'onomatopoeia' refers to words whose very sound is very close to the sound they are meant to depict.
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Oxymoron
Oxymoron is a significant literary device as it allows the author to use contradictory, contrasting concepts placed together in a manner that actually ends up making sense in a strange, and slightly complex manner.
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Pathetic Fallacy
Pathetic fallacy is a type of literary device whereby the author ascribes the human feelings of one or more of his or her characters to nonhuman objects or nature or phenomena.
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Personification
Personification is one of the most commonly used and recognized literary devices. It refers to the practice of attaching human traits and characteristics with inanimate objects, phenomena and animals.
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Stream of consciousness
The phrase 'stream of consciousness' refers to an uninterrupted and unhindered collection and occurrence of thoughts and ideas in the conscious mind.
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Tragedy
In literature, the concept of tragedy refer to a series of unfortunate events by which one or more of the literary characters in the story undergo several misfortunes, which finally culminate into a disaster of 'epic proportions'.
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Euphemism
Euphemism is the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be harsh, blunt, or offensive.
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Antagonist
A character or force against which another character struggles.
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Catharsis
The purging of the feelings of pity and fear that, according to Aristotle, occur in the audience of tragic drama. The audience experiences catharsis at the end of the play, following the catastrophe.
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Climax
The turning point of the action in the plot of a play or story. The climax represents the point of greatest tension in the work.
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Comic relief
The use of a comic scene to interrupt a succession of intensely tragic dramatic moments. The comedy of scenes offering comic relief typically parallels the tragic action that the scenes interrupt.
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Dramatic monologue
A type of poem in which a speaker addresses a silent listener. As readers, we overhear the speaker in a dramatic monologue.
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Fourth wall
The imaginary wall of the box theater setting, supposedly removed to allow the audience to see the action.
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Soliloquy
A speech in a play that is meant to be heard by the audience but not by other characters on the stage. If there are no other characters present, the soliloquy represents the character thinking aloud.
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Subplot
A subsidiary or subordinate or parallel plot in a play or story that coexists with the main plot. Example: The story of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern forms a subplot with the overall plot of Hamlet.
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Assonance
The same vowel sound is repeated but the consonants are different; he passed her a sharp, dark glance, shot a cool, foolish look across the room.
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Colloquial
Language that is used in speech with an informal meaning; 'chill', 'out of this world', 'take a rain check'.
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Dissonance
A discordant combinations of sounds; the clash, spew and slow pang of grinding waves against the quay.
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Enjambment
A device used in poetry where a sentence continues beyond the end of the line or verse.
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Hyperbole
Exaggerating something for literary purposes which is not meant to be taken literally; we gorged on the banquet of beans on toast.
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Monologue
An uninterrupted monologue can show a character's importane or state of mind.
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Pathos
Language that evokes feelings of pity or sorrow.
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Repetition
The repetition of a word or phrase to achieve a particular effect.
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Symbolism
Often objects, colours, sounds and places work as symbols.
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Tone
The writer's tone or voice or atmosphere or feeling that pervades the text. Dfferent elements of writing can help to create this; long sentences or verses., with assosance, tend to create sad moods.
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Alliteration is a literary device where words are used in quick succession and begin with letters belonging to the same sound group.

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An analogy is a literary device that helps to establish a relationship based on similarities between two concepts or ideas.

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Anastrophe is a form of literary device wherein the order of the noun and the adjective in the sentence is exchanged.

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This literary device involves creating a fracture of sorts within a sentence where the two separate parts are distinguishable from one another yet intrinsically linked to one another.

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