Skip Nav

List of literary terms

Navigation menu

❶This page was last changed on 13 September , at

Related Questions

Expert Answers

Teachers and educators often tell classrooms of pupils anecdotes about famous people. The anecdotes are not always flattering, but are usually revealing of character and invariably amusing.

Here is an example of an anecdote about Winston Churchill:. Winston Churchill was very fond of his pet dog Rufus. He ate in the dining room with the family on a special cloth and was treated with utmost respect. When enjoying movies, Rufus had the best seat in the house; on Winston Churchill's lap. Churchill is believed to have said to Rufus: I'll tell you about it later. 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.

When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon it might have been one small step for a man but it was one giant leap for mankind. Welcome to the website dedicated to literary devices literary terms. Here you will find a list literary devices literary terms with definitions and examples. Please feel free to post your thoughts and vote on your favorite literary device. 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.

Usually a rhetoric device, an allegory suggests a meaning via metaphoric examples. Faith is like a stony uphill climb: Alliteration is a literary device where words are used in quick succession and begin with letters belonging to the same sound group.

Whether it is the consonant sound or a specific vowel group, the alliteration involves creating a repetition of similar sounds in the sentence. Alliterations are also created when the words all begin with the same letter. The Wicked Witch of the West went her own way. An allusion is a figure of speech whereby the author refers to a subject matter such as a place, event, or literary work by way of a passing reference. It is up to the reader to make a connection to the subject being mentioned.

Amplification refers to a literary practice wherein the writer embellishes the sentence by adding more information to it in order to increase its worth and understandability. When a plain sentence is too abrupt and fails to convey the full implications desired, amplification comes into play when the writer adds more to the structure to give it more meaning. Original sentence- The thesis paper was difficult. After amplification- The thesis paper was difficult: 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. In a play, an aside is a speech that the actor says in a way that the other characters are supposed not to hear it. It usually shows the person's inner thoughts. Similar to the function of the ancient Greek chorus. A group of people that experience a work of art or literature.

A song or poem that tells a story in short stanzas and repeated simple words. A poet hired by a patron such as a ruler or nobleman to write or sing about the patron's ancestors and to praise the patron's own works. A form of nonfiction in which a writer tells the life story of a different person. Poetry that does not rhyme. Most of Shakespeare 's plays are in blank verse. Milton 's Paradise Lost is also written in blank verse. Latin expression which means "seize the day".

Literary works with a carpe diem theme are about seizing the moment because life is uncertain. A person or an animal who is part of the action of a literary work.

The main character is the one the work focuses on. The person with whom the main character has the most conflict is the antagonist. They are the enemy of the main character, who is usually called a protagonist. Characterization is the manner in which an author develops characters and their personalities. Characters can be presented by description. They can also be presented through their speech, thoughts, or actions. A way of thinking in literature and other arts which especially focuses on the importance of reason, balance, clearness and neat, orderly form, like the arts of Greece and Rome.

A struggle between two forces against each other. It can be internal or external. When a conflict happens inside a character, it is called internal conflict. Rochester, whom she loves, or if she should go away. An external conflict is usually a conflict that is easy to see, happening between the protagonist and antagonist. Conflict is one of the most important elements of narrative literature.

Two statements that do not seem to agree with one another. Here, the main character usually "wins" or "loses". After the climax, there is a denouement falling action. The real, direct meaning of a word, like a " dictionary definition". For example, the word " dog " denotes a mammal from the family Canidae with four legs that is often kept as a pet.

Looking at and thinking about opinions or ideas logically, often by questions and answers. Using material that is not related to the subject of the work. Henry Fielding often used digression in his novels. A story written to be performed by actors. The person who writes the play writes dialogue for the characters to speak and directions for costumes , lighting , setting, and the character's movements. A poem or speech in which an imaginary character speaks to a silent listener.

A solemn, formal poem about death , often for a dead person or thing. It often begins with "In Memory of Ellipses are used often in everyday life as well as in literature. They usually look like this It is usually used in leaving out or not using words. An epic is a long narrative poem.

The subject is usually serious, like something that was an important influence to a culture or nation. A piece of writing at the end of a work of literature, especially in drama. It is usually different from the whole work and is used to end it.

A short nonfiction work about a special subject from the writer's point of view. Essay comes from the Old French word essai , meaning "a trial, try, or attempt". Foreshadowing is a literary device by which an author hints what is to come. It is used to avoid disappointment, and sometimes used to arouse readers. A short poem about simple everyday life, sometimes written in a pastoral about shepherd life or sentimental style.

Irony means to say something while meaning a different, contradictory thing. Kigo is a term Japanese poetry meaning the requirement of using a seasonal word or phrase in haiku and renku. A plot means the events that make up a story. It is important how the events connect to each other. The path of the way the events connect make up the plot of a story or book. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Acrostic [ change change source ] A form of writing where the first letter of each line, paragraph, or verse spells out a word or a message.

Allegory [ change change source ] A story or picture with two or more different meanings — a literal meaning and one or more symbolic meanings. Alliteration [ change change source ] The repeating of consonant sounds. Allusion [ change change source ] A figure of speech which refers indirectly to a situation, and leaves the reader or audience to make the connection. Analogy [ change change source ] New words, ideas, or pronunciations become like the pattern of older or more familiar ones.

Antagonist [ change change source ] The character who the main character has the most conflict with.

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

rows · Literary Terms and Criticism. Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN Edward Quinn. A Dictionary of Literary And Thematic Terms. Checkmark Books, ISBN Lewis Turco. The Book of Literary Terms: The Genres of Fiction, Drama, Nonfiction, Literary Criticism, and Scholarship. Univ. Press of New England, ISBN

Privacy FAQs

Anastrophe is a form of literary device wherein the order of the noun and the adjective in the sentence is exchanged. In standard parlance and writing the adjective comes before the noun but when one is employing an anastrophe the noun is followed by the adjective.

About Our Ads

Video: Literary Devices: Definition & Examples This lesson studies some of the more common literary devices found in literature. Devices studied include allusion, diction, epigraph, euphemism, foreshadowing, imagery, metaphor/simile, personification, point-of-view and structure. This webpage contains an alphabetical glossary of literary terms and their definitions. It focuses particularly on the material I most frequently teach (classical and medieval literature, the history of the English language, and science fiction narratives).

Cookie Info

Reading and Literature – A Glossary of Literary Terms 3 Character: One of the people (or animals) in a story. Climax: The high point in the action of a story. Conflict: A problem or struggle between two opposing forces in a story. There are four basic conflicts: • . Literary Terms; Poetry Lesson. Genre is an important word in the English class. We teach different genres of literature such as poetry, short stories, myths, plays, non-fiction, novels, mysteries, and so on. When we speak about a kind of literature we are really speaking about a genre of literature.