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Literary devices

This list is made for you to practise your lite rary vocabulary

TermDefinition
alliteration the repetition of the first sound in words
alliteration Alice's aunt ate apples and acorns around August. Better butter makes a batter better.
allusion a literary, mythological, or historical reference that the author assumes the reader will recognize
allusion "When she lost her job, she acted like a Scrooge, and refused to buy anything unnecessary.
allusion "He was a Good Samaritan yesterday when he helped the lady start her car."
assonance vowels are repeated in words that are close to each other
assonance "Men sell the wedding bells."
assonance the same vowel sound of the short vowel "-e-" repeats itself in almost all the words
anaphora the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses
anaphora "I want my money right now, right here, all right?"
metaphor a comparison between two unlike things
metaphor Her voice is music to his ears.
simile comparing two things usually formed with 'like' or 'as'
simile Her cheeks are red like a rose.
hyperbole a figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion, make a point, or evoke humor
imagery when the writer or speaker uses their descriptions to appeal to the senses of the reader of listener
consonance repetition of consonant sounds within words
enjambment a line break in the middle of a sentence to either emphasize a point or to create dual meanings
rhyme when the end or final sound of two or more words are identical
rhythm when the arrangement of words creates an audible pattern or beat when read out loud
onomatopoeia when the words sound like what they mean
idiom an accepted phrase or expression having a meaning different from the literal
personification representing an abstract quality or idea as a person or creature
meter a pattern of stressed or unstressed syllables in poetry
allegory a story, play, or picture in which characters or settings are used as symbols or abstract ideas
slant rhyme two words that have close but not exact correspondence of sounds
internal rhyme rhyme that occurs within a line, rather than at the end
diction a writer's or speaker's choice of words
oxymoron an expression in which two words that contradict each other are put next to another
cacophony loud, harsh, or disagreeable sounds
blank verse poetic form with no rhymes usually written in iambic pentameter
free verse poetic form that does not have a regular meter or rhyme scheme
ballad a type of poem that is meant to be sung and is both lyric and narrative in nature
colloquial language informal language; language that is "conversational"
euphemism an indirect, less offensive way of saying something that is considered unpleasant
elegy a sad or mournful poem, especially one mourning the dead
irony a contrast between what is expected and what actually exists or happens
foil two characters that highlight each other by their differences
foreshadowing the use of hints and clues to suggest what will happen later in a plot
juxtaposition placing two elements side by side to present a comparison or contrast
monologue a speech made by one actor or speaker
ode a poem usually addressed to a person, object or event that has triggered deep feelings in the poet
paradox an apparently contradictory statement that actually contains some truth
pun a play on words, often achieved through the use of words with similar sounds but different meanings
rhetorical question a question asked for an effect, not actually requiring an answer
sarcasm harsh words intended to hurt someone
satire a literary work that ridicules or criticizes a human vice through humor or derision
symbol something that stands for or represents something else
understatement saying less than one means, for effect
wit intellectually amusing language that surprises and delights
stream of consciousness a style of writing which reproduces the flow of thoughts in the human mind
sonnet fourteen-line poem usually written in iambic p. and which has one of several rhyme schemes
epiphany a moment of sudden realization or insight
epitaph an inscription on a tombstone or monument in memory of the person buried there
atmosphere the emotional mood created by a literary work
Created by: Miss DD
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