Repetition of consonant sounds.
Common examples of alliterations include the
tongue-twisters "Round and round the rugged
rock the ragged rascal ran," and "Peter Piper
picked a peck of pickled peppers."
Alliteration can serve as a mnemonic device. As
alliterative phrases are often memorable, they are
frequently used in news headlines, corporate
business names, literary titles, advertising,
buzzwords, nursery rhymes, poetry, and tongue
An indirect reference to another literary work or
famous person, place or event.
Martin Luther King Jr. alluded to the Gettysburg
Address in starting his "I Have a Dream" speech
by saying 'Five score years ago..."; his hearers
were immediately reminded of Abraham
Lincoln's "Four score and seven years ago",
which opened the Gettysburg Address. King's
allusion effectively called up parallels in two
Point by point comparison.
Often used to explain the unfamiliar with
For example, the branching of a river
system is often explained by comparing it
to a tree.
Usually the principal character in
opposition to the protagonist.
May be a group, an institution or force.
If a student is determined to express
him/herself with wardrobe, the school
faculty and rules may be seen as an
The repition of vowel sounds within nonrhyming
Hear the mellow wedding bells. — Edgar Allan
Poe, "The Bells"
The crumbling thunder of seas — Robert Louis
I'm hunched over emotions just flows over these
cold shoulders are both frozen you don't know
me. - Eminem
Poem that tells a story.
is a narrative poem, usually set to music; thus, it
often is a story told in a song. Any story form
may be told as a ballad, such as historical
accounts or fairy tales in verse form. It usually
has foreshortened, alternating four stress lines
("ballad meter") and simple repeating rhymes,
often with a refrain.
the legends of Robin Hood and the pranks of
Puck were disseminated through broadsheet
ballads; are often typical or humorous.
True account of a person’s life told by someone
(from the Greek words bios meaning "life", and
graphein meaning "write") is a genre of literature
and other forms of media
A biography is more than a list of impersonal
facts like birth, education, work, relationships
and death. It also delves into the emotions of
experiencing such events.
Unrhymed poetry written in iambic pentameter.
a type of poetry, distinguished by having a
regular meter, but no rhyme.
The major achievements in English blank verse
were made by William Shakespeare, who wrote
much of the content of his plays in unrhymed
iambic pentameter, and Milton, whose Paradise
Lost is written in blank verse.
Moment when the reader’s interest and
emotional intensity reach the highest point.
Ex: The murder of Desdemona in
Shakespeare's Othello is the point of
Attitudes and feelings associated with a word.
Ex: The word water may symbolize or mean life
even though literally water is a liquid.
The connotative meaning is a subjective cultural
and/or emotional coloration in addition to the
explicit or denotative meaning of any specific
word or phrase in a language
Rhymed pair of lines.
Some cultures have decorative traditions
associated with them.
Traditionally, Western couplets are dumb rhyme,
although not all couplets rhyme (a poem may use
white space to mark out couplets as well).
Couplets with a meter of iambic pentameter are
called heroic couplets. The Poetic epigram is also
in the couplet form. Couplets can also play a role
in more complex rhyme schemes.
i.e. Shakespearean sonnets end with a couplet.
Form of language as it is spoken in a particular
A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος,
dialektos) is a variety of a language characteristic
of a particular group of the language's speakers.
In popular usage, the word "dialect" is sometimes
used to refer to a lesser-known language (most
commonly a regional language), especially one
that is unwritten or not standardized.
Conversation between two or more
(sometimes spelt dialog) a reciprocal
conversation between two or more entities
A literary dialogue comprises a little drama
without a theater, and with scarcely any
change of scene.
Prose that have imaginary elements.
the word fiction is derived from the Latin fingere,
"to form, create", works of fiction need not be
entirely imaginary, and may include real people,
places, and events; may be in either written or
Although not all fiction is necessarily artistic,
fiction is largely perceived as a form of art and/or
Character who provides a striking contrast to
The author may use the foil to set up situations in
which the protagonist can show his or her
character traits. The term refers to the practice of
putting polished foil underneath a gemstone to
make it shine more brightly.
"foil" in literature comes from the play Hamlet by
Writers use of hints or clues to indicate
events and situations that will occur later in
a literary device in which an author drops
subtle hints about plot developments to
come later in the story.
i.e. when a character displays a gun or
knife early in the story.
Poetry with no regular rhyme, pattern or
a term describing various styles of poetry
that are not written using strict meter or
rhyme, but that still are recognizable as
'poetry' by virtue of complex patterns of
one sort or another that readers will
perceive to be part of a coherent whole.
Figure of speech truth is exaggerated for
emphasis or humor.
It may be used to evoke strong feelings or
to create a strong impression, and is not
meant to be taken literally.
It is often used in poetry and is a literary
device as well as a referendum.
Expression that has meaning different from the
meaning of its individual words.
meaning cannot be deduced from the literal
definitions and the arrangement of its parts, but
refers instead to a figurative meaning that is
known only through common use.
students of a new language must learn its
idiomatic expressions the way they learn its other
vocabulary. In fact many natural language words
have idiomatic origins, but have been sufficiently
assimilated so that their figurative senses have
Descriptive words and phrases that re-create
Any the five senses (sight, touch, smell, hearing,
Essentially, imagery is any series of words that
engage one of the five senses (especially sight).
Such images can be created by using figures of
speech such as similes, metaphors,
personification, and assonance. Imagery helps the
reader picture what is going on.
A special kind of contrast between appearance
and reality-usually one in which reality is the
opposite from what it seems.
Irony may also arise from a discordance between
acts and results, especially if it is striking, and
seen by an outside audience.
Tragic (or dramatic) irony occurs when a
character on stage or in a story is ignorant, but
the audience watching knows his or her eventual
fate, as in Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet.
Short poem in which a single speaker expresses
personal thoughts and feelings.
refers to either poetry that has the form and
musical quality of a song, or a usually short poem
that expresses personal feelings, which may or
may not be set to music.
lyric poetry in the Western tradition is the 14-line
sonnet, either in its Petrarchan or its
Shakespearean form, lyric poetry appears in a
variety of forms. Ballades and villanelles are
other forms of the lyric.
Figure of speech that compares not using
like or as.
is a rhetorical trope defined as a direct
comparison between two or more
seemingly unrelated subjects.
More generally, a metaphor describes a
first subject as being or equal to a second
subject in some way.
Feeling that the writer creates for the
describes the relationship of a verb with
reality and intent.
Many languages express distinctions of
mood through morphology, by changing
(inflecting) the form of the verb.
Poem tells a story.
In its broadest sense, it includes epic poetry;
some would reserve the name narrative poetry
for works on a smaller scale and generally with
more direct appeal to human interest than the
Many scholars of Homer, from Quintus
Smyrnaeus forward, have concluded that his tales
of the Iliad and Odyssey were composed from
compilations of shorter narrative poems that
related individual episodes (suitable for evening
word or a grouping of words that imitates the
sound it is describing, suggesting its source
object, such as "click," "buzz," or "bluuuh," or
animal noises such as "oink", "quack", or
The word is a synthesis of the Greek words
"onoma" (name) and "poio" (verb meaning "to
create") thus it essentially means "name
Statement that seems to contradicts itself but is
The word paradox is often used interchangeably
and wrongly with contradiction; but whereas a
contradiction asserts its own opposite, many
paradoxes do allow for resolution of some kind.
Sometimes the term paradox is used for
situations that are merely surprising. The birthday
paradox, for instance, is unexpected but perfectly
Human qualities are attributed to an object,
animal or idea.
These attributes may include sensations,
emotions, desires, physical gestures, expressions,
and powers of speech, among others.
Personification is widely used in poetry and in
other art forms. Personification can also be used
in English to emphasize a conversational point.
The central character or hero whom the audience
indentifies with – good guy.
Protagonists cannot exist in a story without
opposition from a figure or figures called
antagonist(s). Classically in literature, characters
with good will are unusually the protagonists,
however, not all characters who assist the
protagonist are required to be simple
Play on words.
figure of speech, or word play which consists of a
deliberate confusion of similar words within a
phrase or phrases for rhetorical effect, whether
humorous or serious.
A pun can rely on the assumed equivalency of
multiple similar words (homonymy), of different
shades of meaning of one word (polysemy), or of
a literal meaning with a metaphor.
Ideas or customs are ridiculed for the purpose of
chiefly literary and dramatic, in which human or
individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings
are held up to censure by means of ridicule,
derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods,
sometimes with an intent to bring about
It is used in graphic arts and performing arts as
Time and place of action.
The term is relevant for various forms of
literary expression, such as short stories,
novels, dramas, and screenplays.
For example, many of William Faulkner's
novels are set in the early 20th Century in
Yoknapatawpha County, a fictional county
in the American South.
Speech in which a character speaks
Also known as a monologue.
It is a common feature in drama, animated
cartoons, and film.
Grouping of two or more lines. Paragraph or
In modern poetry, the term is often equivalent
with strophe; in popular vocal music, a stanza is
typically referred to as a "verse" (as distinct from
the refrain, or "chorus").
stanzas can be identified and grouped together
because they share a rhyme scheme or a fixed
number of lines (as in distich/couplet, tercet,
quatrain, cinquain/quintain, sestet).
A person, place, activity or object that stand for
For example, in the United States and Canada, a
red octagon is a symbol for the traffic sign
Common examples of symbols are the symbols
used on maps to denote places of interest, such as
crossed sabers to indicate a battlefield. Red could
symbolize anger or blood, a caged bird could be
used to symbolize someone’s freedom or
thoughts being held hostage.
Main idea in a work of literature.
Broad idea in a story, or a message or
lesson conveyed by a work. This message
is usually about life, society or human
Themes are the fundamental and often
universal ideas explored in a literary work.
Themes are usually implied rather than
Attitude a writer takes toward a subject. Intended
to shape the reader’s emotional response may
reflect writer’s feelings.
a literary technique, that is a part of composition,
that encompasses the attitudes toward the subject
and toward the audience implied in a literary
Tone may be formal, informal, intimate, solemn,
somber, playful, serious, ironic, condescending,
or many other possible attitudes.
Writer’s unique use of language that allows a
reader to “hear” a personality.
Voice is a combination of a writer's use of syntax,
diction, punctuation, character development,
dialogue, etc., within a given body of text (or
across several works). Voice can also be referred
to as the specific fingerprint of an author, as
every author has a different writing style.