Literary Devices

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Speaker individual or collective voice of text  
Occasion event or catalyst causing writing of the text to occur  
Audience group of readers to whom text is addressed  
Purpose reason behind the text  
Subject general topic/main idea of the text  
Tone attitude of the author  
Allegory a work in which the characters and events are to be understood as representing other things and symbolically expressing a deeper, often spiritual, moral, or political meaning  
Allusion a reference that is made indirectly, subtly suggested, or implied  
Ambiguity a situation in which something can be understood in more than one way and it is not clear which meaning is intended  
Anadiplosis the rhetorical repetition of the last word or words of one phrase or sentence at the beginning of the next  
Analogy a comparison between two things that are similar in some respects, often used to help explain something or make it easier to understand  
Anaphora the use of the same word of phrase at the beginning of several successive clauses, sentences, lines or verses, usually for emphasis or rhetorical effect  
Antecedent the first part of a conditional proposition, which states the condition and is the p component in a proposition phrased “if p then q”  
Antistrophe the second type of metrical form in a poem that alternates two contrasting metrical forms  
Apostrophe the punctuation mark used to show where letters are omitted from a word, to mark the possessive, and sometimes to form the plural of numbers, letters, and symbols  
Archetype something that served as the model or pattern for other things of the same type  
Assonance the similarity of two or more vowel sounds or the repetition of two or more consonant sounds, especially in words that are close together in a poem  
Asyndeton the leaving out of conjunctions in sentence constructions in which they would usually be used  
Atmosphere a prevailing emotional tone or attitude, especially one associated with a specific place or time  
Cacophony the use of harsh unpleasant sounds in language, for literary effect  
Caesura a pause in a line of poetry, often near the middle of the line  
Caricature a drawing, description, or performance that exaggerates somebody’s or something’s characteristics  
Clause a group of words consisting of a subject and its predicate  
Colloquial appropriate to, used in, or characteristic of spoken language or of writing this used to create the effect of conversation  
Connotation the implying or suggesting of an additional meaning for a word or phrase apart from the explicit meaning  
Denotation the most specific or literal meaning of a word, as opposed to its figurative senses or connotations  
Diction the choice of words to fit their context  
Didactic containing a political or moral message  
Epithet an abusive insulting word or phrase  
Ethos the fudnanmental and distinctive character of a group typically expressed in attitudes, habits, and beliefs  
Euphemism a word or phrase used in place of a term that might be considered too direct, harsh, unpleasant, or offensive  
Genre one of the categroeis that artistic wroks of all kinds can be divied into on the basis of form, style, or subject matter  
Homily a sermon of other piece of writingo n a moral or religious topic  
Hyperbole deliberate and obvious exxageration used for effect  
Imagery the figurative language, especially metaphors and similes, used in poertry, plays, and other literary works  
Inference a conclusion drawn from evidence or reasoning  
Invective using abusive language  
Litotes a deliberate understatement  
Metaphor the application of a word or phrase to somebody or something that is not meant literally but to make a comparison  
Metonymy a figure of speech in which an attribute of something is used to stand for the thing itself  
Mood a state of mind that somebody experiences at a particular time  
Narrative the story or account of a sequence of events in the order in which they happened  
Onomatopoeia the formation or use of words that imitate the sound associated with the thing or action in question  
Paradox a statement, proposition, or situation that seems to be absurd or contradictory  
Parody a piece of writing or music that deliberately copies another work in a comic way  
Pathos the quality in something that makes people feel pity or sadness  
Pedantic twoo concerned with what are thought to be correct rules and details  
Persona a character in a literary work  
Personification the attribution of human qualities to objects  
Pleonasm the use of more words than are necessary to express a meaning  
Polysyndeton the use of multiple conjunctions or coordinate clauses close in succession  
Pun a humorous use of words that involves a word or phrase that has more than one possible meaning  
Prose a writing or speech in its normal continuous form  
Repetition . an act of doing something again  
Rhetoric speech or writing that communicates its point persuasively  
Satire the use of wit, especially irony, sarcasm  
Semantics the study of how meaning in language is created by the use and interrelationships of words, phrases, and sentences  
Solipsism the belief that the only thing somebody can be sure of is that he or she exists  
Syllogism a formal deductive argument made up of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion  
Synecdoche . a figure of speech in which the word of something is used to mean the whole  
Syntax . the ordering of and relationship between the words and other structural elements in phrases and sentences  
Synthesis a new unified whole resulting from the combination of different ideas, influences or objects  
Theme a subject of a discourse, discussion, piece of writing, or artistic composition  
Thesis a proposition advanced as an argument  
Tone a sound with a particular quality  
Transition a process or period in which something undergoes a change and passes from one state, stage, form, or activity to another  
Understatement a statement that undrepresents something  
Verisimilitude . the appearance of being true or real  
Wit speech or writing that shows an apt, clever, and often humorous association of words  
Zeugma a figure of speech in which an adjective or verb is used with two nouns but is appropriate to only one of them or has a different sense with each.  

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