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13 Essential Literary Terms

Literary Devices and Terms

❶This compact version helps in creating an immediate impact whereby the reader is instantly attuned to what the writer is trying to convey. A version of the foot in poetry in which the first two syllables of a line are unstressed, followed by a stressed syllable.

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Romeo and Juliet are an archetype of eternal love and a star-crossed love story. Assonance refers to repetition of sounds produced by vowels within a sentence or phrase. In this regard assonance can be understood to be a kind of alliteration. What sets it apart from alliterations is that it is the repetition of only vowel sounds.

Assonance is the opposite of consonance, which implies repetitive usage of consonant sounds. Asyndeton refers to a practice in literature whereby the author purposely leaves out conjunctions in the sentence, while maintaining the grammatical accuracy of the phrase.

Asyndeton as a literary tool helps in shortening up the implied meaning of the entire phrase and presenting it in a succinct form. This compact version helps in creating an immediate impact whereby the reader is instantly attuned to what the writer is trying to convey. Use of this literary device helps in creating a strong impact and such sentences have greater recall worth since the idea is presented in a nutshell.

Authorial Intrusion is an interesting literary device wherein the author penning the story, poem or prose steps away from the text and speaks out to the reader. As the very name itself suggests, this kind of literary device finds its roots in biblical origins.

This term refers to the practice of basing a plot happening or event and anticipating the results it will have on a faction of the Bible. It involves a random selection process wherein the biblical passage is chosen as a founding stone for basing the outcome of the writing.

In an overall context, not limited to just literature, bibliomancy refers to foretelling the future by turning to random portions of the Bible for guidance. This is a very popular form of storytelling whereby the author bases the plot on the overall growth of the central character throughout the timeline of the story. A cacophony in literature refers to the use of words and phrases that imply strong, harsh sounds within the phrase.

These words have jarring and dissonant sounds that create a disturbing, objectionable atmosphere. His fingers rapped and pounded the door, and his foot thumped against the yellowing wood. This literary device involves creating a fracture of sorts within a sentence where the two separate parts are distinguishable from one another yet intrinsically linked to one another. The purpose of using a caesura is to create a dramatic pause, which has a strong impact.

As you can see, both phrases use the same letters. By mixing the letters a bit of humor is created. In the same way as one cannot have the rainbow without the rain, one cannot achieve success and riches without hard work.

Amusing anecdotes many times find their way into wedding receptions, family reunions and any other gathering of people who know each other well. Teachers and educators often tell classrooms of pupils anecdotes about famous people. The anecdotes are not always flattering, but are usually revealing of character and invariably amusing. Here is an example of an anecdote about Winston Churchill:. Winston Churchill was very fond of his pet dog Rufus.

He ate in the dining room with the family on a special cloth and was treated with utmost respect. When enjoying movies, Rufus had the best seat in the house; on Winston Churchill's lap.

Churchill is believed to have said to Rufus: I'll tell you about it later. The raging storm brought with it howling winds and fierce lightning as the residents of the village looked up at the angry skies in alarm.

When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon it might have been one small step for a man but it was one giant leap for mankind. Welcome to the website dedicated to literary devices literary terms. Here you will find a list literary devices literary terms with definitions and examples. Please feel free to post your thoughts and vote on your favorite literary device.

An allegory is a symbolism device where the meaning of a greater, often abstract, concept is conveyed with the aid of a more corporeal object or idea being used as an example. Usually a rhetoric device, an allegory suggests a meaning via metaphoric examples. Faith is like a stony uphill climb: Alliteration is a literary device where words are used in quick succession and begin with letters belonging to the same sound group. Whether it is the consonant sound or a specific vowel group, the alliteration involves creating a repetition of similar sounds in the sentence.

Alliterations are also created when the words all begin with the same letter. The Wicked Witch of the West went her own way. An allusion is a figure of speech whereby the author refers to a subject matter such as a place, event, or literary work by way of a passing reference.

It is up to the reader to make a connection to the subject being mentioned. Amplification refers to a literary practice wherein the writer embellishes the sentence by adding more information to it in order to increase its worth and understandability. When a plain sentence is too abrupt and fails to convey the full implications desired, amplification comes into play when the writer adds more to the structure to give it more meaning.


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Welcome to the website dedicated to literary devices (literary terms). Here you will find a list literary devices with definitions and examples. Please fee free to post your thoughts and vote on your favorite literary .

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Literary terms refer to the technique, style, and formatting used by writers and speakers to masterfully emphasize, embellish, or strengthen their compositions.

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Browse through our list of literary devices and literary terms with definitions, examples, and usage tips. Explore each device in depth through literature. TEACHING AND LEARNING TO STANDARDS Reading and Literature – A Glossary of Literary Terms 1 A GLOSSARY OF LITERARY TERMS LITERARY DEVICES Alliteration: The repetition of initial consonant sounds used especially in poetry to emphasize.

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The following is a list of literary terms; that is, those words used in discussion, classification, criticism, and analysis of poetry, novels, and picture books. This list should include a description and a citation for each entry; you can help by expanding it. Descriptions without a citation may be deleted. Term . Literary Terms; Poetry Lesson. Genre is an important word in the English class. We teach different genres of literature such as poetry, short stories, myths, plays, non-fiction, novels, mysteries, and so on.