Quick revise

Alliteration – repetition of the initial consonant sounds of words: “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”

Allusion – a reference to something well-known that exists outside the literary work – the reference is often indirect and relies on audience knowledge and understanding

Antagonist - character that is the source of conflict in a literary work

Aside – a dramatic device in which a character makes a short speech intended for the audience but not heard by the other characters on stage

Assonance – repetition of vowel sounds followed by different consonant sounds: “Anna’s apples,” “the pond is long gone”

Characterization- The manner in which an author develops characters and their personalities. Direct characterization=author description/Indirect characterization= character’s appearance, speech, thoughts, actions and what other characters think of the character

  • Character Types:
    • Flat:one-dimensional or one-sided
    • Round:multidimensional
    • Static: character remains unchanged emotionally or psychologically throughout the story
    • Dynamic: character undergoes emotional or psychological change

Conflict - struggle between two or more opposing forces (person vs. person; nature; society; self; fate/God. ETC…)

Dialogue - direct speech between characters in a literary work

Diction - word choice to create a specific effect

Figurative Language –language that represents one thing in terms of something dissimilar (non-literal language).  Includes simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole, and symbolism

Flashback - the method of returning to an earlier point in time for the purpose of making the present clearer

Foreshadowing - hint of what is to come in a literary work

Genre – type or category to which a literary work belongs

Hyperbole – extreme exaggeration to add meaning

Idiom - a combination of words that has a meaning that is different from the meanings of the individual words themselves. It can have a literal meaning in one situation and a different idiomatic meaning in another situation. It is a phrase which does not always follow the normal rules of meaning and grammar.

Imagery – language that appeals to the five senses


  • Dramatic…  when the reader or audience knows something a character does not
  • Situational…   when there is a disparity between what is expected and what actually occurs
  • Verbal…   when the speaker says one thing but means the opposite

Metaphor – an implied comparison between dissimilar objects without the use of like or as:   “Her talent blossomed”

Motif - a recurring feature of a literary work that is related to the theme

Onomatopoeia – use of a word whose sound imitates its meaning: “hiss”

Oxymoron – phrase that consists of two words that are contradictory: “living dead” or “jumbo shrimp”

Paradox – a statement that seems contradictory but may reveal a truth….. ex. “She was alone in the crowd”.

Parody - A literary or artistic work that imitates the characteristic style of an author or a work for comic effect or ridicule

Personification – figure of speech in which non-human things are given human characteristics

Plot- The sequence of events in a literary work

Point of view- the vantage point or perspective from which a literary work is told…

  • 1st person point of view- the narrator is a character in the story  (use of ‘I’)
  • 2nd person point of view- the speaker addresses the listener or reader directly, using "you"
  • 3rd person point of view- the narrator is outside of the story (use of ‘he’ ‘she’ ‘they’)* may be limited or omniscient

Protagonist- the main character in a literary work

Rhyme – repetition of similar or identical sounds: “look and crook”

Rhyme Scheme – pattern of rhyme among lines of poetry [denoted using letters, as in ABAB CDCD EE]

Satire -A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit.

Setting- The time and place of a literary work

Simile – a direct comparison of dissimilar objects, usually using like or as:       “I wandered lonely as a cloud”

Soliloquy - a dramatic device in which a character is alone and speaks his or her thoughts aloud

Speaker – voice in a poem; the person or thing that is speaking

Stanza – group of lines forming a unit in a poem

Stereotype- standardised, conventional ideas about characters, plots and settings

Suspense – technique that keeps the reader guessing what will happen next 

Symbol / symbolism – one thing (object, person, place) used to represent something else

Theme – the underlying main idea of a literary work.  Theme differs from the subject of a literary work in that it involves a statement or opinion about the subject.

Tone – the author’s attitude toward the subject of a work or toward the audience


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