Glossary of Literary terms glossary

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The repetition of same or similar sounds.
Ghastly, gaunt, ungainly bird
a surface narrative carries a secondary symbolic or metaphorical meaning
like the lion in narnia represents Christ : christian allegory
example \" heaven is just a sin away \"
conflicting meanings in work
water,water, everywhere
last sentence tennyson the days that are no more in tears, idle tears

addressing or speaking to a thing or object who is not present.
Deliberate repetition of internal vowel sounds to create rythm or mood.
tide and mine
Blank verse
unrhymed iambic pentameter
a pause, comma or break within a line of poetry
the great ones in poetry
main character
the opponent could be society, nature, person
lacks heroic traits flawed
A persona
fictional character , could be the alter ego of the author or to distinguish between the author and the work
a foil
char. who acts a a contrast to another character.Horatio is a foil to Hamlet
Dynamic character
one who changes in some important way as a result of the plot
static character
does not change much in the story
A round character
has more dimensions to his personality, more complex
a flat character
one or two character traits, nosy neighbour, loyal sidekick
the substitution of a mild or less negative word for a harh or blunt one.
\"passed away \" instead of \" died\"
Free Verse
poetry that is not rhymed or metered
tragic, epic, gothis, novel, comedy, essay , biograpy, lyric poem
overstatement, exaggeration.
I could eat a horse
Name of one thing is used for another suggests or is closely related to.
gray hair meaning age and wisdom
daily bread represents food in the prayer

use of a word hizz, buzz, fizz, ticktock
living death, silent scream, pretty ugly, alone together.
Statement often metaphorical
in death there is life,Deep down he is really very shallow
short story that teaches a moral or alesson in how to lead a good life
Paralell structure
repetition of words that have similar grammatical structure se paper
Time`s cruel hand,
Immortality moaned in pain
Rhetorical question
asked for an effect not actually requiring an answer
Internal rhyme
occurs in the middle of the line
in mist or cloud on mast or shroud
a literary mode based on critiscism on society and people through ridicule
Figure of speech that refers to a subject matter from an earlier time.
It’s no wonder everyone refers to Mary as another Mother Teresa in the making; she loves to help and care after people everywhere-In the example the auther uses the mention of Mother Teresa to indicate the sort of qualities that Mary has.

Anagrams are an extremely popular form of literary device wherein the writer jumbles up parts of the word to create a new word. From the syllables of a phrase to the individual letters of a word, any fraction can be jumbled to create a new form. Anagram is a form of wordplay that allows the writer to infuse mystery and a little interactive fun in the writing so that the reader can decipher the actual word on their own and discover a depth of meaning to the writing.
An anagram for "debit card" is "bad credit". As you can see, both phrases use the same letters. By mixing the letters a bit of humor is created.

lending a human quality, emotion or ambition to a non-human object or being..
The raging storm brought with it howling winds and fierce lightning as the residents of the village looked up at the angry skies in alarm.

the author penning the story, poem or prose steps away from the text and speaks out to the reader. Example:
This technique is used to reveal some crucial elements of the story to the reader .

a complex literary device wherein the intended meaning is not stated clearly and is instead conveyed through covert, indirect means. Connotations leave a little o the meaning unstated so that the reader can decode it for himself.
And once again, the autumn leaves were falling.

This phrase uses ‘autumn’ to signify something coming to an end.

The repetition of sounds produced by consonants type of alliteration set apartby only the consonants repeated, aka the opposite of assonance
Sing sweet songs for suzy.

Flashback is used to create a background to the present situation, place or person.
Back in the day when Sarah was a young girl…

foreshadowing gives the reader a hint of what is going to happen without revealing the story or spoiling the suspense. Example:
“He had no idea of the disastrous chain of events to follow”. In this sentence, while the protagonist is clueless of further developments, the reader learns that something disastrous and problematic is about to happen to/for him.

You can tell the difference of hubris and just regular arrogance or pride by the fact that the character has seemed to allow reality slip away from them. The character may have just gained a huge amount of power and the false belief that they are “untouchable”OR STUPID LOGIC . In writing and literature hubris is generally considered a “tragic flaw” and it is saved for the protagonist. .
A classic example of hubris is featured in Macbeth. Macbeth, the protagonist, overfilled with arrogance, allows his hubris to think you would be able to kill the valiant Duncan without penalty so he can claim the throne of Scotland for himself. Obviously murder is highly frowned upon, so this eventually leads to Macbeth’s demise as well.

The meaning is actually different from the literal meaning derived.The context reveals the true meaning. Example:
, “Oh! What fine luck I have!”. The sentence on the surface conveys that the speaker is happy with their luck but the true meaning is are extremely unhappy

A COMPARATIVE literary device that places a person, concept, place, idea or theme parallel to another. The purpose is to highlight the contrast between the two and compare them. This literary device is usually used for etching out a character in detail, creating suspense or lending a rhetorical effect.
In Paradise Lost, Milton has used juxtaposition to draw a parallel between the two protagonists, Satan and God, who he discusses by placing their traits in comparison with one another to highlight their differences.Can be used to show growth in character


‘motif’ is any element, subject, idea or concept that is constantly present through the entire body of literature. Motifs are very noticeable and play a significant role in defining the nature of the story, .
In all the famed fairytales, the motif of a ‘handsome prince’ falling in love with a ‘damsel in distress’

the author ascribes the human feelings of one or more of his/her characters to non-human objects or nature or phenomena. It is a type of personification,Example:
The softly whistling teapot informed him it was time for breakfast.

The rhyme scheme is the practice of rhyming words placed at the end of the lines in the prose/ poetry. Rhyme scheme refers to the order in which particular words rhyme. If the alternate words rhyme, it is an “a-b-a-b” rhyme scheme, which means “a” is the rhyme for the lines 1 and 3 and “b” is the rhyme affected in the lines 2 and 4.
Roses are red (a)

Violets are blue (b)

Beautiful they all may be (c)

But I love you (b)

The above is an “a-b-c-b” rhyme scheme

Similes are marked by the use of the words ‘as’ or ‘such as’ or ‘like’.
He is like a mouse in front of the teacher.

stanza is a single, related chunk of lines in poetry. The most basic kind of stanza is usually 4 lines per group, with the simplest rhyme scheme “a-b-a-b” being followed.
“The greedy paddy cat,

Chased after the mice;

She got so round and fat,

But it tasted so nice”

. Symbol is using an object or action that means something more than its literal meaning.
The phrase “a new dawn” does not talk only about the actual beginning of a new day but also signifies

The theme of any literary work is the base topic or focus that acts as a foundation for the entire literary piece. Example:
The main theme in the play Romeo and Juliet was love with smaller themes of sacrifice, tragedy, struggle, hardship, devotion and so on.

The tone of a literary work is the perspective or attitude that the author adopts with regards to a specific character, place or development. Tone can portray a variety of emotions ranging from solemn, grave, and critical to witty, wry and humorous.
Verisimilitude is an interesting literary device wherein the quality of seeming truthfulness or verity is ascribed to a person, notion, concept, statement or event. The quality of the stated seeming to be true and correct and accurate is referred to as verisimilitude.
The bestseller ‘Diary of Anne Frank’ lent verisimilitude to the suffering of the Jewish people during the Holocaust.

didactic (di-DAK-tik): literature or art that is instructional or informative. The Bible is didactic because it offers guidance in moral, religious, and ethical matters
figurative language forces the reader to make an imaginative leap in order to comprehend an author's point. It usually involves a comparison BY METAPHOR OR SIMILE

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