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Literary Devices

Stylistic Devices (Rhetorical Devices, Figures of Speech)

TermDefinition
Alliteration Repetition of initial consonant sound. The initial consonant sound is usually repeated in two neighbouring words (sometimes also in words that are not next to each other). Alliteration draws attention to the phrase and is often used for emphasis.
Allusion Indirect reference to a person, event or piece of literature Allusion is used to explain or clarify a complex problem. Note that allusion works best if you keep it short and refer to something the reader / audience is familiar with
Anaphora Auccessive clauses or sentences start with the same word(s)The same word or phrase is used to begin successive clauses or sentences. Thus, the reader's / listener's attention is drawn directly to the message of the sentence.
Antithesis Contrasting relationship between two ideas. Antithesis emphasises the contrast between two ideas. The structure of the phrases / clauses is usually similar in order to draw the reader's / listener's attention directly to the contrast.
Hyperbole Deliberate exaggeration. Used sparingly, hyperbole effectively draws the attention to a message that you want to emphasise.
Litotes Form of understatement. Litotes is a form of understatement which uses the denied opposite of a word to weaken or soften a message.
Metaphor Figurative expression. Metaphor compares two different things in a figurative sense. Unlike in a simile (A is like B.), “like” is not used in metaphor (A is B.).
Metonymy Figurative expression, closely associated with the subject.Metonomy (unlike metaphor) uses figurative expressions that are closely associated with the subject in terms of place, time or background.
Created by: Mese