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Literary Terms

Literary Criticism terms from Harmon's Handbook to Literature, 12th edition

TermDefinition
hyperbole exaggeration
synecdoche a part signifies the whole or the whole signifies the part
tragic flaw flaw in tragic hero that causes his/her downfall
trope the use of a word in a sense other than the literal
soliloquy speech delivered while the speaker is alone, calculated to inform the audience of what is passing in the character's mind
monologue composition giving the discourse of one speaker; represents what someone would speak aloud in situation with silent listeners
metonymy substitution of the name of an object closely associated with a word for the word itself
apostrophe someone (usually but not always absent), some abstract quality, or a nonexistent personage is directly addressed as though present
acatalectic metrically complete; applied to lines that carry out the basic metrical and rhythmic patterns of a poem
accent emphasis given to a syllable in articulation
accidental any element of text not essential to the meaning of the words; most commonly, includes capitalization, spelling, punctuation
accismus a pretended refusal that is insincere or hypocritical
alliteration repetition of initial identical consonant sounds or any vowel sounds in successive or closely associated syllables
allusion a figure of speech that makes brief reference to a historical or literary figure, event, or object
anachronism assignment of something to a time when it was not in existence
anacrusis term denoting one or more extra unaccented syllables at the beginning of a verse before the regular rhythm of the line makes its appearance
anadiplosis the last word or phrase of one sentence or line is repeated at the beginning of the next
analogy a comparison of two things, alike in certain aspects; something unfamiliar is explained by being compared to something more familiar
anaphora the same expression is repeated at the beginning of two or more lines, clauses, or sentences
Created by: MzHaze
 

 



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