A reference in a work of literature to something outside the work, especially to a well know historical or literary event, person, or work. In Hamlet, when Horatio says, "ere the mightiest Julius fell," the ___________ is to the death of Julius Caesar.
A speaker's, author's or character's disposition toward or opinion of a subject. For example, Jane Austen's _________ toward Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice combines respect for his wit and intelligence with the disapproval of his failure to take sufficient responsibility for the rearing of his daughters.
Details (also choice of details)
_________ are items or parts that make up a larger picture or story. Chaucer's "Prologue" to The Canterbury's Tales is celebrated for its use of a few ______ to bring the characters to life. ______ doesn't involve a word's connotation.
Devices of Sound
The techniques of deploying the sound of words, especially in poetry. Among the _______ are rhyme, alliteration, assonance, consonance, and onomatopoeia. These _______ are used for several reasons, including creating a general effect of pleasant or of discordant sound, imitating another sound or reflecting a meaning.
Word choice. Nearly all essay questions will as you to talk about ____ or about "techniques" that include ____. Any word that affects the meaning of a passage can be used in your essay. Whether to use wept or cried is a question of _____ AND connotation.
Writing that uses figures of speech (as opposed to literal language or that of which is actual or specifically denoted) such as metaphor, simile, and irony. ________ uses words to suggest something other than their meaning. "The black bat night has flown" is a _______ with the metaphor comparing night and bat.
The images of a literary work; the sensory details of a work; the figurative language of a work. _______ has several definitions, but the two that are paramount are the visual, auditory, or tactile images evoked by the words a literary work or the ____ that figurative language evokes. Sensory details and similes/metaphors of a passage.
A figure of speech in which intent and actual meaning differ; a pattern of words that turns away from direct statement of its own obvious meaning. The term _____ implies a discrepancy. In verbal _____ (saying opposite of what one means), the discrepancy is between statement and meaning. Sometimes, ______ may simply understate, as in "Men have died from time to time. . ."
A figurative use of language in which a comparison is expressed without the use of a comparative term like "as," "like," or "than." When Romeo says, "It is east, and Juliet is the sun," his ______ compares her window to the east and Juliet to the sun.
The methods involved in telling a story. ________ is a general term (like "devices" or "resources of language") that asks you to discuss the procedures used in the telling of a story. Examples of this you might use are point of view, manipulation of time, dialogue, or interior monologue.
Point of View
Any of several possible vantage points from which a story is told. Maybe be first person, third-person omniscient, third person limited, third person objective.
First Person (POV)
The narrator is a character in the story in the story and the reader hears and sees everything from that character's experience and nothing more.
Third-Person Omniscient (POV)
The narrator is outside the story and can tell us what all the characters are thinking and feeling.
Third-Person Limited (POV)
The narrator is outside the story but tells it from the vantage point of only one character and cannot tell us what any other character is thinking except direct observation.
Third-Person Objective (POV)
The narrator is outside the story and can only report through direct observation what the characters are saying and doing, NOT what they're thinking.
Resources of Language
A general phrase of linguistic devices or techniques that a writer can use. Such topics as diction, syntax, figurative language, and imagery are all examples of _______
The management of a language for a specific effect. The ____ of a poem is the planned placing of elements to achieve an effect. For example, Shakespeare's sonnet 29, "When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes," spends the first nine lines describing the speaker's discontent, then three describing the happiness of the thought of the love-one brings, all in a single sentence. The effect of this contrast is to intensify the feelings of relief and joy in 10-12.
The devices used in effective or persuasive language. The number of _________ runs from apostrophe to zeugma. The more common examples include devices like contrast, repetitions, paradox, understatement, sarcasm, and rhetorical question.
Writing that seeks to arouse a reader's disapproval of an object by ridicule. _____ is usually comedy that exposes errors with an eye to correct vice and folly. The great ____ subjects are hypocrisy, vanity and greed, especially when those all too common characteristics have become institutionalized in society.
The background to a story; the physical location of a play, story, or novel. ______ of a narrative will normally involve both time and place.
A directly expressed comparison; a figure of speech comparing two objects usually with "like" or "as" or "than".
The arrangement of materials within a work; the relationship of the parts of a work to the whole; the logical divisions of a work. The most common units of ______ in plays are: Scene, Act; Novel: chapter; Poem: line, stanza.
The mode of expression in language; the characteristic manner of expression of an author.
Something that is simultaneously itself and a sign of something else. Winter, darkness, and cold are real things, but in literature they are also likely to be used as _____ of death.
The structure of a sentence; the arrangement of words in a sentence.
The manner in which an author expresses his or her attitude; the intonation of the voice expresses meaning. _____ is described by adjectives and the possibilities are nearly endless.
A story that can be taken on a literal meaning as well as a symbolic level to make a moral, religious, or political point, e.g., George Orwell's Animal Farm.
Multiple meanings a literary work may communicate, especially two meaning that are incompatible.
Something presented out of its actual chronological time in regards to the setting of a literary work, e.g., having a fire alarm go off in Macbeth.
A comparison based on dissimilar things that have something in common.
The belief that natural objects and phenomena possess souls or consciousness.
A short and usually witty saying, such as: "A classic? That's a book that people praise, but don't read."
Direct address, usually to someone or something that is not present. Keats "Bright star! Would I were steadfast" is an _______ to a star.
When the writing of a scene evokes feelings of dignified pity and sympathy, _____ is a work. When writing strains for grandeur it can't support and tries to jerk tears from every little hiccup, that's _______. Think schmaltz!
This is pretentious, exaggeratedly learned language. When one tries to be eloquent by using the largest, most uncommon words, one falls to ______.
A portrait (verbal or otherwise) that exaggerates a facet of personality.
The "cleansing" of emotion an audience member experiences, having lived (vicariously) through the experiences presented on stage.
A word or phrase used in everyday conversational English that isn't a part of accepted "school-book" or formal English, e.g., Step up and take it like a man.
In poetry, a startling or unusual metaphor, or one developed or expanded upon over several lines. When the image dominates or shapes the entire work, it's called a _______.
The implications of a word or phrase, as opposed to its exact meaning (denotation). While "big-boned" and "voluptuous" suggest being overweight, their associations are quite different.
A device of style or subject matter so often used that it becomes a recognized means of expression. For example, a lover observing the literary love ______ cannot eat or sleep and grows pale and lean.
The dictionary meaning of a word, as opposed to connotation.
Explicitly instructive in telling the reader what is correct or how to live. A _____ poem or novel may be good or bad, depending on the skill of the writer.
The use of material unrelated to the subject of a work. The interpolated narrations in the novel of Cervantes or Fielding may be called ________.
A pithy saying, often using contrast. The ______ is also a verse form, usually brief and pointed. It is often witty, paradoxical, and/or satirical in nature, and it is cleverly and neatly phrased. In his _____, Samuel Johnson called remarriage a "triumph of hope over experience."
A figure of speech using indirection to avoid offensive bluntness, such as "deceased" for "dead or "remains" for "corpse".
A character who provides a contrast to another character within a work. Think Homer and Flanders in The Simpsons.
Characterized by distortions or incongruities. _______ refers principally to deformity and deformity and distortion that approach the point of caricature or even absurdity. The fiction of Poe or Flannery O'Connor is often described as _________.
Deliberate exaggeration, over-statement. As a rule, _______ is self-conscious, without the intention, of being accepted literally. "The strongest man in the world" and "a diamond as big as the Ritz" are _______.
Switching the customary order of elements in a sentence or phrase. When done badly, it can give a stilted, artificial, look-at-me-I'm-poetry feel to the verse.
The special language of a profession or group. The term _____ usually has pejorative associations, with the implications that ______ is evasive, tedious, and unintelligible to outsiders.
Not figurative; accurate to the letter; matter of fact or concrete.
Songlike; characterized by emotion, subjectivity, and imagination.
A form of cheesy drama characterized by exaggerated emotions, stereo typical characters, and interpersonal conflicts.
A figure of speech that substitutes something closely related for the thing actually mean (as in Washington for the US Government or big guns for military power).
Objectivity and Subjectivity
An _______ treatment of subject matter is an impersonal or outside view of events. A _______ treatment uses the interior or personal view of a single observer and is typically colored with that observer's emotional responses
A combination of opposites; the union of contradictory terms. Romeo's line,"feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health" has four examples of the device.
A story designed to suggest a principle, illustrate a moral or answer a question. _______ are allegorical stories.
A statement that seems to be self-contradicting, but in fact is true. The figure in Donne's holy sonnet that concludes I never shall be "chaste except you ravish me" is a good example of the device.
A good composition that imitates the style of another composition normally for the comic effect. A contest for _________ of Hemingway draws hundreds of entries each year.
The persona was the mask worn by an actor in Greek drama. In a literary context, the persona is the character of the first-person narrator in verse or prose narratives, the the speaker in lyric poetry. The therm stresses that the speaker is part of the fictional creation, invented for the author's particular purposes in a given literary work.
A figurative use of language that endows the nonhuman with human characteristics. Keats personifies the nightingale, the Gercian urn, and the autumn in his major poems.
of or involving clever rogues or adventures; of or relating to a genre of usu, satiric, fiction that originated in Spain and depicts the adventures of a roguish hero in a corrupt society.
A quality of some fictional narrators whose word the reader can trust. There are both reliable and unreliable narrators, that is, tellers of a story who should or should not be trusted.
A question asked for effect, not in expression of a reply. No reply is expected because the question presupposes only one possible answer.
A speech in which a character who is alone speaks his or her thoughts aloud. A monologue also has a single speaker, but the monologuist speaks to others who do no interrupt. Hamlet's "To be, or not to be" is a soliloquy.
A conventional pattern, expression, character or idea. In literature, a stereotype could apply to the unvarying plot and characters of some works of popular fiction or to the stock characters (e.g., the drunk, the miser, the foolish girl) and plots of many of the greatest stage comedies.
Stream of Consciousness
A form of narration similar to first person except that instead of the character telling the story, the author places the reader inside the main character;s head and makes the reader privy to all the character's thought and they scroll through her consciousness.
A from of deductive reasoning in which two statements are made and a conclusion is drawn from them, e.g., if A=B and B=C, then A=C. A syllogism begins with a major premise ("All tragedies end unhappily.") followed by a minor premise ("Hamlet is a tragedy.") and a conclusion (Therefore, "Hamlet ends unhappily.")
A figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole (as hand for sailor), the whole for a part (as the law for police officer) the specific for the general (as cutthroat for assassin), the general for the specific (as thief for pickpocket), or the material for the thing made from it (as steel for sword).
The theme, meaning, or position that a writer undertakes to prove or support.
In a tragedy, this is the weakness of character in an otherwise good (or even great) individual that ultimately leads to demise. In Macbeth, it is his ambition.
Restraint or intentional lack or emphasis in expression for rhetorical effect, e.g., Saying that you're feeling a bit under the weather when you have a terminal illness.
The repetition of identical or similar consonant sounds, normally at the beginning of words. "Gnats never know pneumonia."
The repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds. "A land laid waste with all its young men slain" repeats the same long "a" sound in "laid," "waste," and "slain."
A simple narrative poem written in quatrains, originally meant to be sung.
A four-line stanza rhymed avac with four feet in lines 1 and 3 & three feet in lines 2 and 4.
Unrhymed iambic pentameter. Blank verse in the meter of most of Shakespeare's plays, as well as Milton's Paradise Lost. Some poets used this form to get close and close to colloquial speech.
A natural pause or break in the middle of a line of poetry. A poet can draw attention to a word by placing it just before or just after a caesura.
The repetition of two or more consonant sounds in stressed syllables containing dissimilar vowel sounds, usually within the same line. A snake came in to my water-through
When used at the ends of lines, consonance cn create approximate or slant rhyme.
A metrical foot of three syllables, an accented syllable followed by two unaccented syllables. "Half a League, Half a League, Half a League, onward."
A lyric poem in which the speaker tells the silent reader about a dramatic moment in his life (usually at a moment of crisis) and reveals his character in the process.
A solemn and fromal lyric poem about death. It may mourn a particular person or reflect on a serious or tragic theme, such as the passing of youth, beauty, or a way of life.
A line with a pause at the end that concludes with a break in the meter and in the meaning. It is often signified by a period, comma, dash, colon, semicolon, exclamation point, or question mark.
The breaking of a syntactic unit (a phrase, clause, or sentence) by the end of a line or between two verses. Its opposite is end-stopping, where each linguistic unit corresponds with a single line.
Poetry that is not written in a traditional meter but is still rhythmical, seeking to capture the rhythms of modern speech. The poetry of Walt Whitman is perhaps the best known example of free verse.
Two end-stopped iambic pentameter lined rhymed aa, bb, cc, with the thought usually completed in the two-line unit.
A two-syllable foot with an unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable. The _____ is the most common foot in English poetry.
Rhyme that occurs within a line, rather than at the end.
A poem that expresses the observations and feelings of a single speaker. Unlike a narrative, it presents an experience or a single effect, but it does not tell a full story. Types of ______ include the elegy, the ode, and the sonnet.
Poetry's rhythm, or its pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. ______ is measured in units of feet (usually two syllable, one stressed and the other unstressed). Metrical units are building blocks of lines of verse; lines are named according to the number of feet they contain.
Trimeter - a line of three feet, Tetrameter - a line of four feet, Pentameter - a line containing five feet, Hexameter - a line containing six feet.
A lyric poem of some length, usually of a serious or meditative nature and having an elevated style and formal stanzaic structure. _______ often honor people, commemorate events, respond to natural scenes, or consider serious human problems.
The use of words whose sound suggests their meaning, eg., "buzz," "hiss," or "honk."
A parallel arrangement of parts of speech in successive lines of verse (or prose) to build rhythm and momentum. This repetition of a grammatical pattern emphasizes and links related ideas.
A poem set in a tranquil, natural environment that deals with the pleasures of a simple rural life (even more specifically, one about shepherds).
A recurring phrase, stanza, or chorus in a poem.
A verse form consisting of six six-line stanzas and a three-line envoy (a short closing stanza). The end words of the first stanza are repeated in varied order as end words in the other stanzas, and they also recur in the envoy.
Nearly rhyming words that have similar vowel sounds or similar consonants but not both, eg., prove and glove.
Normally a fourteen-line iambic pentameter poem.
The grouping of lines in a poem comparable to a paragraph in a narrative. _______ are identified by the number of lines they contain:
Tercet - three lines
Quatrain - four lines
Cinquain - five lines
Sestet - six lines
Septet - seven lines
Octet/Octave - eight lines
A 19-line poem composed of five three-line stanzas and concluding with a quatrain. Each stanza has a rhyme scheme of aba, with the last stanza rhyming abaa. The poem has two refrains formed by the repeating of line 1 in lines 6, 12, and 18 and by the repeating of line 3 in lines 9, 15, 19.
That which goes before, especially the word, phrase, or clause to which a pronoun refers. In the sentence "The witches cast their spells," the ________ of the pronoun "their" is the noun, "witches."
A group of words containing a subject and its verb that may or may not be a complete sentence. In the sentence "When you are old, you will be beautiful" is an independent clause and could stand by itself.
The omission of a word or several words necessary for a complete construction that is still understandable. "If rainy, bring an umbrella" is clear through the words "it is" and "you" have been left out. When leaving part of a quote, you need to insert an _______ (. . .) to make this omission clear to the reader.
The mood of a verb that gives an order or command. "Eat your spinach" uses an ______ verb.
Loose & Periodic Sentences
A _________ is complete before its end and puts the important idea first. A ________ is not grammatically complete until it has reached its final phrase because it completes the important idea at the end.
To restrict or limit in meaning. In the phrases, "large, shaggy dog." the two adjectives _____ the noun; in the phrase, "very shaggy dog," the adverb "very" modifies the adjective "shaggy," which modifies the noun "dog."
Writers use ______ _______ - of various types, including simple repetition - to create emphasis, contrast, and coherence within sentences, paragraphs, and an entire text.
The repetition of the same word or group of words at the beginning of successive clauses. "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields. . ."
The juxtaposition of contrasting or paradoxical ideas presented in parallel form. "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
A phrase reversal in which the second half of a sentence reverses the order of the first. "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."
The use of a word that is grammatically or idiomatically linked with another member or pair. Often, the words are grammatically parallel but strikingly different idiomatically, which creates the desired effect.
". . . stain her honour or her new brocade." - Alexander Pope
I can always count on Aunt Myrtle to offer me her strong tea and even stronger opinions.
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