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Literary Terms

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Ann Karwowski

on 11 September 2012

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Transcript of Literary Terms

Literary Terms Allegory A tale in verse or prose in which characters, actions, or settings represent abstract ideas or moral qualities. An allegory is a story with two meanings, one literal and one symbolic. Alliteration The repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of a word. Alliteration is used to help create a mood, to emphasize words, to unify a passage, to reinforce a meaning, and to impart a pleasant sound. Allusion A reference to an historical or literary person, place, or event with which the reader is assumed to be familiar. Understanding the allusion gives the reader deeper insight into the work. Anaphora A repetition of a word or word group at the beginning of successive sentences, clauses, paragraphs, or poetic lines. Anaphora is used by writers to unify a work and to create a dramatic effect that calls attention to certain ideas.
Mad world! Mad kings! Mad composition!

— William Shakespeare, King John, II, i Antithesis Figure of speech in which sharply contrasting words, phrases, clauses, or sentences are juxtaposed. Antithesis is used to emphasize a point.
Ex: "Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul."

merit-claim to respect and praise; excellence; worth Juxtaposed-To place side by side, especially for comparison or contrast. Apostrophe Figure of speech in which a thing, an abstract quality, or an absent or imaginary person is addressed as if present and able to understand. It is used for emotional effect. Bildungsroman A novel that concentrates on the spiritual, moral, psychological, or social development and growth of the protagonist usually from childhood to maturity. Sometimes it is referred to as a "Coming of Age Story." Conflict:The struggle between the opposing forces. Five basic forms of conflict are: Chorus (cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr (cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr copy paste branches if you need more.... Characterization The technique employed by writers to develop characters. Five methods: 1) Narrator's description of a character's physical appearance or personal traits
2) Character's thoughts or comments
3)Character's actions
4)Other characters' thoughts and comments
5)Other characters' actions In ancient Greece, a chorus was a group of male singers and dancers who participated in religious festivals and dramatic performances as actors, commenting on the deeds of the characters and interpreting the significance of events within the play for the audience. 1) Person versus Person
2) Person versus Society
3) Person versus Nature
4) Person versus Technology
5) Person versus Self Epigraph A short inscription that writers insert such as a quotation, poem, or other selection at the beginning of a work or each chapter. The author uses the epigraph to set the tone of the work, to suggest a theme, or as a literary reference point (to link it with other works of literature) Epistolary Novel A novel consisting of letters written by a character or several characters. Frankenstein

Mary Shelley A scene in a short story, novel, or play that interrupts the action to show an event that happened at some earlier point in time. Foil A character who provides a striking contrast to another character. A foil can call attention to certain traits possessed by a main character or simply enhance a character by contrast. The use of hints, or clues, to suggest what will happen later in a short story, novel, play, or narrative poem. Hyperbole A figure of speech in which the truth is exaggerated for emphasis or humorous effect. Imagery Words or phrases that create pictures or images in the reader's mind. (cc) image by rocketboom on Flickr (cc) image by quoimedia on Flickr Irony
The contrast between appearance and actuality, or between expectation and reality. Often has the effect of surprising the reader or the viewer or of creating humorous or satirical effects. Situational Irony

When something happens that is entirely different than what is expected. Verbal Irony

A writer/character says one thing, but means something entirely different. Dramatic Irony

The reader or audience understands meanings that one or more characters do not. Metaphor

An implied comparison Motif A recurring feature (such as a name, an image, or a phrase) in a work of literature. Onomatopoeia The use of echoic words who pronunciations suggest their specific meanings. Oxymoron A figure of speech that combines opposite or contradictory ideas or terms.
Ex: wise fool, sweet sorrow, jumbo shrimp Paradox An apparent contradiction or illogical statement Parallelism The use of phrases, clauses, or sentences that are similar or complementary in structure Pathetic Fallacy A type of often accidental or awkward personification in which a writer ascribes the human feelings of his or her characters to inanimate objects or non-human phenomena surrounding them in nature. Personification Figure of speech in which human qualities are attributed to an object, an animal, or an idea. It allows the writer to communicate emotions and sensory images to the reader in a concise way Point of View The perspective from which the story is told. Three major forms: 1) First person: narrator tells the story using "I" and "me" 2) Third person limited: narrator is outside of the story and sees what only one character sees 3) Third person omniscient: narrator is outside the story and sees into the minds of all characters Setting The time and location in which the action of a narrative takes place Style They way in which a piece of literature is written. Style refers not to what is said, but how it is said. Thematic Nomenclature The name of a character or place has thematic or symbolic significance Theme The dominant idea that a writer is trying to convey to his readers in a work of literature Tone The attitude that a writer takes towards his or her subject. The tone may be bitter, angry, comic, objective, casual, passionate, etc.
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