Literary Devices Essay Example
Literary Devices Essay Example

Literary Devices Essay Example

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  • Published: September 28, 2017
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A signifier of drawn-out metaphor. in which objects. individuals. and actions in a narrative. are equated with the significances that prevarication outside the narrative itself. The underlying significance has moral. societal. spiritual. or political significance and characters are frequently personifications of abstract thoughts as charity. greed. or enviousness. Thus an fable is a narrative with two significances. a actual significance and a symbolic significance. Alliteration

The repeat of the same sound at the beginning of a word. such as the repeat of B sounds in Keats’s “beaded bubbles winking at the brim” ( “Ode to a Nightingale” ) or Coleridge’s “Five stat mis weaving in a labyrinthine gesture ( “Kubla Khan” ) . A common usage for initial rhyme is accent. It occurs in mundane address in such phrases as “tittle-tattle. ” “bag and luggage. ” “bed and board. ” “primr


ose way. ” and “through midst and thin” and in expressions like “look before you leap. ” Some literary critics call the repeat of any sounds initial rhyme. However. there are specialised footings for other sound-repetitions. Consonance repeats consonants. but non the vowels. as in horror-hearer. Assonance is the repeat of vowel sounds. please-niece-ski-tree. Allusion

A brief mention to a individual. event. topographic point. or phrase. The author assumes readers will acknowledge the mention. For case. most of us would cognize the difference between one being every bit dependable as George Washington or every bit dependable as Benedict Arnold. Allusions that are platitude for readers in one epoch may necessitate footers for readers in a ulterior clip. Ambiguity

A statement that has two or more possible significances ;  a statement whose significance is ill-defined. Depending on the fortunes

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ambiguity can be negative. taking to confusion or even catastrophe ( the equivocal diction of a general’s note led to the deathly charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War ) . On the other manus. authors frequently use it to accomplish particular effects. for case. to reflect the complexness of an issue or to bespeak the trouble. possibly the impossibleness. of finding truth. Many of Hamlet’s statements to the King. to Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern. and to
other characters are intentionally equivocal. to conceal his existent intent from them. Analogy

The comparing of two braces which have the same relationship. The key is to determine the relationship between the first so you can take the right 2nd brace. Part to whole. antonyms and consequences of are types of relationships you should happen. Anecdote

Short narrative narrating an interesting or amusive biographical incident. Anthropomorphism
Used with God or Gods. The act of imputing human signifiers or qualities to entities that are non human. Specifically. theanthropism is the describing of Gods or goddesses in human signifiers and possessing human features such as green-eyed monster. hatred. or love. Mythologies of ancient peoples were about wholly concerned with anthropomorphous Gods. The Grecian Gods such as Zeus and Apollo frequently were depicted in anthropomorphous signifiers. The embodiments of the Hindu God Vishnu possessed human signifiers and qualities. Antihero

A supporter who has the antonym of most of the traditional properties of a hero. He or she may be bewildered. ineffective. deluded. or simply hapless. Often what antiheroes learn. if they learn anything at all. is that the universe isolates them in an being devoid of God and absolute values. Yossarian from Joseph Heller’s Catch-22

is an illustration of an antihero. Aphorism

A brief stating incarnating a moral. a concise statement of a rule or precept given in pointed words.


  • Hippocrates: Life is short. art is long. chance fleeting. experimenting unsafe. concluding hard.
  • Alexander Pope: Some congratulations at forenoon what they blame at dark.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson: Imitation is suicide
  • Benjamin Franklin: Lost clip is ne'er found once more.


A direct reference to a individual. thing. or abstraction. such as “O Western
Wind. ” or “Ah. Sorrow. you consume us. ” Apostrophes are by and large capitalized. Original
A term used to depict cosmopolitan symbols that evoke deep and sometimes unconscious responses in a reader. In literature. characters. images. and subjects that symbolically embody cosmopolitan significances and basic human experiences. regardless of when or where they live. are considered originals. Common literary originals include narratives of pursuits. inductions. whipping boies. descents to the underworld. and acclivities to heaven. See besides fabulous unfavorable judgment. Assonance

The repeat of vowel sounds. please-niece-ski-tree.


The melodious form merely before the terminal of a sentence or phrase – for case an question or an exhortation. More by and large. the natural beat of linguistic communication depending on the place of stressed and unstressed syllables. Cadence is a major constituent of single writers’ manners. A meter group is a consistent group of words spoken as a individual rhythmic unit. such as a prepositional phrase. “of separating day” or a noun phrase. “our unalienable rights. ”


Meaning “purgation. ” katharsis describes the release of the emotions of commiseration and fright by the audience at the terminal of a calamity. In his Poeticss. Aristotle discusses the importance of katharsis. The audience faces the bad lucks

of the supporter. which elicit commiseration and compassion. Simultaneously. the audience besides confronts the failure of the supporter. therefore having a awful reminder of human restrictions and infirmities. Ultimately. nevertheless. both of these emotions are purged because the tragic protagonist’s agony is an avowal of human values instead than a despairing denial of them. See besides calamity.


An thought or look that has become tired and banal from overexploitation. its freshness and lucidity holding worn off. Cliches frequently anesthetize readers. and are normally a mark of weak authorship. Colloquial

Refers to a type of informal enunciation that reflects insouciant. colloquial linguistic communication and frequently includes slang. Intension
The emotions. values. or images associated with a word. The strength of emotions or the power of the values and images associated with a word varies. Wordss connected with faith. political relations and sex tend to hold the strongest feelings and images associated with them. For most people. the word female parent calls up really strong positive feelings and associations – loving. self-sacrificing. ever there for you. understanding. etc. ; the denotive significance. on the other manus. is merely “a female animate being who has borne one or more kids. ” Of class connotative significances do non needfully reflect world ; for case. if person said. “His female parent is non really maternally. ” you would instantly understand the difference between maternally ( intension ) and female parent ( indication ) .


Repeats consonants. but non the vowels. as in horror-hearer


An rational spiritual motion nut trend through the late 17th century up to the late 18th century concerned with rational instead than faith-based attacks to faith and understanding God. The motion is

frequently associated with the Enlightenment motion. Neoclassicism. and Free Masonry. In general. Deists prided themselves on free-thinking and logic and tended to reject any specific tenet. so it is hard to specify the beliefs of an single Deist without mentioning to generalizations. Deists were to a great extent influenced by John Locke’s mechanistic doctrine and Newtonian natural philosophies. seeing the existence as a topographic point ruled rationally by cause and consequence. They tended to see God as an impersonal but intelligent force. a first cause that created the existence and put it in gesture. who so allowed life and affair to continue on its ain without farther demand for godly intercession. The logic is that. if God is infallible. omniscient and omnipotent. logically he would pre-establish his design in the universe in such a manner that he would non necessitate to putter invariably with it or set it through supernatural intercession. Deist Hagiographas frequently refer to the Deity utilizing metaphors of the designer. the horologist. the Mason. or some other skilled worker who measures out the existence with geometric and mechanical preciseness. Thus. a common Deist metaphor compares the existence to a
absolutely designed ticker or clock – a concept created with complex cogwheels and traveling parts. so wound up. and eventually released to run on its ain without any more attempt on the creator’s portion.


The actual significance of a word ; there are no emotions. values. or images associated with denotive significance. Scientific and mathematical linguistic communication carries few. if any emotional or connotative significances. Dialect

The linguistic communication of a peculiar territory. category. or group of individuals. The term idiom encompasses the sounds. spelling. grammar.

and enunciation employed by a specific people as distinguished from other individuals either geographically or socially. Dialect is a major technique of word picture that reveals the societal or geographic position of a character. Enunciation

A writer’s pick of words. phrases. sentence constructions. and nonliteral linguistic communication. which combine to assist make significance. Formal enunciation consists of a dignified. impersonal. and elevated usage of linguistic communication ; it follows the regulations of sentence structure precisely and is frequently characterized by complex words and exalted tone. Middle enunciation maintains correct linguistic communication use. but is less elevated than formal enunciation ; it reflects the manner most educated people speak. Informal enunciation represents the apparent linguistic communication of mundane usage. and frequently includes idiomatic looks. slang. contractions. and many simple. common words. Poetic enunciation refers to the manner poets sometimes employ an elevated enunciation that deviates significantly from the common address and authorship of their clip. taking words for their supposedly built-in poetic qualities. Since the 18th century. nevertheless. poets have been integrating all sorts of enunciation in their work and so there is no longer an automatic differentiation between the linguistic communication of a poet and the linguistic communication of mundane address


A line holding no intermission or stop punctuation but holding uninterrupted grammatical significance go oning into the following line – normally applied to poetic formats.


Using a mild or soft phrase alternatively of a blunt. abashing. or painful one. For case. stating “Grandfather has gone to a better place” is a euphemism for “Grandfather has died. ” The thought is to set something bad. upseting. or abashing in an unoffending or impersonal visible radiation. Frequently. words mentioning

straight to decease. unpopular political relations. blasphemy. offense. and sexual or excremental activities are replaced by euphemisms.


A travesty is a signifier of low comedy designed to arouse laughter through extremely overdone imitations of people in unlikely or cockamamie state of affairss. Traits of travesty include ( 1 ) physical hustle such as slapstick. ( 2 ) sexual misinterpretations and confusions. and ( 3 ) wide verbal wit such as wordplaies. Many literary critics ( particularly in the Victorian period ) have tended to see travesty as inferior to “high comedy” that involves superb duologue. Many of Shakespeare’s early plants. such as The Taming of the Shrew. are considered travesties. Flashback

Action that interrupts to demo an event that happened at an earlier clip which is necessary to better understanding. Foil
A secondary character who contrasts with a major character ; in Hamlet. Laertes and Fortinbras. whose male parents have been killed. are foils for Hamlet. Boding
Where the writer drops elusive intimations about the secret plan development to come subsequently in the narrative. Hyperbole
Hyperbole. frequently excessive ; it may be used for serious or for amusing consequence. Parlance
In its loosest sense. the word parlance is frequently used as a equivalent word for idiom or idiolect. In its more scholarly and narrow sense. an parlance or idiomatic look refers to a building or look in one linguistic communication that can non be matched or straight translated word-for-word in another linguistic communication. For case. the English look. “She has a bee in her bonnet. ” significance “she is obsessed. ” can non be literally translated into another linguistic communication word for word. It is a non-literal idiomatic look. kindred to

“She is green with enviousness. ” In the same manner. the Spanish phrase. “Me gustan los arboles. ” is normally translated as. “I like the trees. ” but if we were to draw the phrase apart and read it word for word. it would do no sense in analytical English ( i. e. . “To me pleases the trees” ) .


  • Tactile imagination stimulates the sense of touch.
  • Visual imagination stimulates the sense of sight.
  • Auditory imagination stimulates the sense of hearing.
  • Gustatory imagination stimulates the sense of gustatory sensation.
  • Kinesthesia is imagery that recreates a feeling of physical action or natural bodily map ( like a pulsation. a pulse. or take a breathing ) .
  • Synaesthesia is imagery that involves the usage of one sense to arouse another ( Ex-husband: loud colour ; warm gesture ) .


The disagreement ( incongruousness ) between what is said and what is meant. what is said and what is done. what is expected or intended and what happens. what is meant or said and what others understand. Sometimes sarcasm is classified into types: in situational sarcasm. outlooks aroused by a state of affairs are reversed ; in cosmic sarcasm or the sarcasm of destiny. bad luck is the consequence of destiny. opportunity or God ; in dramatic sarcasm. the audience knows more than the characters in the drama. so that words and action have extra significance for the audience ; Socractic sarcasm is named after Socrates’ learning method. whereby he assumes ignorance and openness to opposing points of position which turn out to be ( he shows them to be ) foolish.


A comparing of two dissimilar things. which

does non utilize “like” or “as. ” Metonymy
Substituting a word for another word closely associated with it. Queen Elizabeth controlled the Crown for old ages. The crown = the monarchy He has ever loved the phase. The phase = the theatre
He will follow the cross. The cross = Christianity


A perennial thematic component in an artistic or literary work. A dominant subject or cardinal thought. Temper
The emotional attitude the writer takes towards the topic.


The voice of the individual stating the narrative. non to be confused with the author’s voice. With a first-person storyteller. the I in the narrative presents the point of position of merely one character. The reader is restricted to the perceptual experiences. ideas and feelings of that individual character. First-person storytellers can play either a major or a minor function in the narrative they are stating. An undependable storyteller reveals an reading of events that is someway different from the author’s ain reading of those events. Often. the undependable narrator’s perceptual experience of secret plan. characters. and puting becomes the existent topic of the narrative. Narrators can be undependable for a figure of grounds: they might miss self-knowledge. they might be inexperienced. or they might even be insane. Naive storytellers are normally characterized by vernal artlessness. such as Mark Twain’s Huck Finn or J. D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield. An all-knowing storyteller is an omniscient storyteller who is non a character in the narrative and who can travel from topographic point to topographic point and base on balls back and Forth through clip. stealing into and out of characters as no human being perchance could in existent life. All-knowing storytellers can describe the ideas

and feelings of the characters. every bit good as their words and actions. The storyteller of The Scarlet Letter is an all-knowing storyteller. Editorial omniscience refers to an invasion by the storyteller in order to measure a character for a reader. as when the storyteller of The Scarlet Letter describes Hester’s relationship to the Puritan community. Narrative that allows the characters’ actions and ideas to talk for themselves is called impersonal omniscience. Most modern authors use impersonal omniscience so that readers can make their ain decisions. Limited omniscience occurs when an writer restricts a storyteller to the individual position of either a major or minor character. The manner people. topographic points. and events appear to that character is the manner they appear to the reader. Sometimes a limited omniscient storyteller can see into more than one character. peculiarly in a work that focuses on two characters alternately from one chapter to the following. Short narratives. nevertheless. are often limited to a individual character’s point of position.


A word whose sounds seem to double the sounds they describe–hiss. bombilation. knock. mutter. mew. growl.


A statement with two parts that seem contradictory ; illustrations: sad joy. a wise sap. the sound of silence. or Hamlet’s stating. “I must be cruel merely to be sort. ”


A narrative or short narrative designed to allegorically uncover some spiritual rule. moral lesson. psychological world. or general truth. Rather than utilizing abstract treatment. a parable ever Teachs by comparing with existent or actual happenings. particularly mundane occurrences a broad figure of people can associate to. Well known illustrations of fables include those found in the Gospels. such as “The Prodigal Son” and “The Good

Samaritan. ”


A statement whose two parts seem contradictory yet make sense with more idea. Christ used paradox in his instruction: “They have ears but hear non. ” Or in ordinary conversation. we might utilize a paradox. “Deep down he’s truly really shallow. ” Paradox attracts the reader’s or the listener’s attending and gives accent.


A lampoon imitates the serious mode and characteristic characteristics of a peculiar literary work in order to do merriment of those same characteristics. The humourist achieves lampoon by overstating certain traits common to the work. much as a caricaturist creates a humourous word picture of a individual by amplifying and naming attending to the person’s most noticeable characteristics. The term lampoon is frequently used synonymously with the more general term parody. which makes merriment of the general traits of a genre instead than one peculiar work or writer. Often the capable affair of a lampoon is comically inappropriate. such as utilizing the elaborate. formal enunciation of an heroic poem to depict something fiddling like rinsing socks or cleaning a dust-covered loft.


A mask for the writer to talk through. In literature. a character is a talker created by a author to state a narrative or to talk in a verse form. A character is non a character in a narrative or narrative. nor does a character needfully straight reflect the author’s personal voice. A character is a separate ego. created by and distinct from the writer. through which he or she speaks.


Treating abstractions or inanimate objects as homo. that is. giving them human properties. powers. or feelings. e. g. . “nature wept” or “the air current whispered many truths to me. ” Point

of position

Refers to who tells us a narrative and how it is told. What we know and how we feel about the events in a work are shaped by the author’s pick of point of position. The Teller of the narrative. the storyteller. necessarily affects our apprehension of the characters’ actions by filtrating what is told through his or her ain position. The assorted points of position that authors draw upon can be grouped into two wide classs: ( 1 ) the third-person storyteller uses he. she. or they to state the narrative and does non take part in the action ; and ( 2 ) the first-person storyteller uses I and is a major or minor participant in the action. In add-on. a second-person storyteller. you. is besides possible. but is seldom used because of the clumsiness of thrusting the reader into the narrative. as in “You are minding your ain concern on a park bench when a rummy steps out and demands your tiffin bag. ” An nonsubjective point of position employs a third-person storyteller who does non see into the head of any character. From this detached and impersonal position. the storyteller studies action and duologue without stating us straight what the characters think and feel. Since no analysis or reading is provided by the storyteller. this point of position topographic points a premium on duologue. actions and inside informations to uncover character to the reader.


The normally humourous usage of a word in such a manner as to propose two or more of its significances or the significance of another word similar in sound. It consists of a calculated confusion of similar

words or phrases for rhetorical consequence. whether humourous or serious. It can trust on the false equivalency of multiple similar words ( homonymy ) . of different sunglassess of significance of one word ( lexical ambiguity ) . or of a actual significance with a metaphor. Bad wordplaies are frequently considered to be cheesy. * A katzenjammer is the wrath of grapes.

  • Without geometry. life is unpointed.
  • Reading while sunbathing makes you well-red.


The return of a word. phrase. stanza signifier. or consequence in any signifier of literature. Repetition is an effectual literary device that may convey
comfort. suggest order. or add particular significance to a piece of literature.


A literary tone used to roast or do merriment of human frailty or failing. frequently with the purpose of rectifying. or altering. the topic of the satiric onslaught.


A comparing of two dissimilar things utilizing “like” or “as” Stereotype
A simplified and/or standardized construct or image with specific significance. frequently held in common by members of a group. A stereotype can be a conventional and oversimplified construct. sentiment or image. Stereotypes can run from those that are wildly inaccurate and negative to those that are more than a small spot true and may even cast positive visible radiation upon the group of persons. They are typically generalisations based on minimum or limited cognition about a group to which the individual making the stereotyping does non belong. Style

Manner of look ; how a talker or author says what he says.


The feeling of uncertainness and involvement about the result of certain actions. most frequently mentioning to an audience’s perceptual experiences in a dramatic work.


When an writer uses an object or thought to propose

more than its actual significance. A individual. topographic point. or event bases for something other than it is. normally something broader or deeper than it is.


In general footings. anything that stands for something else. Obvious illustrations are flags. which symbolize a state ; the cross is a symbol for Christianity ; Uncle Sam a symbol for the United States. In literature. a symbol is expected to hold significance. Keats starts his ode with a existent Luscinia megarhynchos. but rapidly it becomes a symbol. standing for a life of pure. plain joy ; so before the terminal of the verse form it becomes merely a bird once more. Synecdoche

When one uses a portion to stand for the whole.
“Lend me your ears. ” ( give me your attending )


The manner in which lingual elements ( as words ) are put together Subject
( 1 ) The abstract construct explored in a literary work ; ( 2 ) often repeating thoughts. such as enjoy life while you can ; ( 3 ) repeat of a meaningful component in a work. such as mentions to spy. vision and sightlessness in Oedipus Rex. Sometimes the subject is besides called the motive. Subjects in Hamlet include the nature of filial responsibility and the quandary of the dreamer in a non-ideal state of affairs. A subject in Keats’s “Ode to a Nightingale” is the trouble of correlating the ideal and the existent.


The writer’s attitude toward the stuff and/or readers. Tone may be playful. formal. confidant. angry. serious. dry. outraged. baffled. stamp. serene. depressed. etc.


A narrative that presents brave persons who confront powerful forces within or outside themselves with a self-respect that reveals the

comprehensiveness and deepness of the human spirit in the face of failure. licking. and even decease. Tragedies recount an individual’s ruin ; they normally begin high and end depression. Shakespeare is known for his calamities. including Macbeth. King Lear. Othello. and Hamlet. The retaliation calamity is a well-established type of play that can be traced back to Greek and Roman plays. peculiarly through the Roman dramatist Seneca ( c. 3 b. c. –a. d. 63 ) . Revenge tragedies fundamentally consist of a slaying that has to be avenged by a relation of the victim. Typically. the victim’s shade appears to demand retaliation and. constantly. lunacy of some kind is worked into subsequent events. which finally end in the deceases of the liquidator. the retaliator and a figure of other characters. Shakespeare’s Hamlet subscribes to the basic ingredients of retaliation calamity. It besides transcends these conventions because Hamlet contemplates retaliation. self-destruction and the significance of life itself. The tragic sarcasm is found in calamities such as Oedipus Rex. in which Oedipus ironically ends up runing himself. A narrative that presents brave persons who confront powerful forces within or outside themselves with a self-respect that reveals the comprehensiveness and deepness of the human spirit in the face of failure. licking. and even decease. Tragic sarcasm is a signifier of dramatic sarcasm found in calamities such as Oedipus Rex. in which Oedipus ironically ends up runing himself. .

Tragic defect

An mistake or defect in the tragic hero that leads to his ruin. such as greed. pride. or aspiration. This defect may be a consequence of bad character. bad judgement. an familial failing. or any other defect of character.



type of play that combines certain elements of calamity and comedy. The play’s secret plan tends to be serious. taking to a awful calamity. until an unexpected bend of events leads to a reversal of circumstance. and the narrative ends merrily. Tragicomedy frequently employs a romantic. fast-moving secret plan covering with love. green-eyed monster. camouflages. perfidy. machination. and surprises. all traveling toward a melodramatic declaration. Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice is a tragicomedy. Understatement ( besides known as meiosiss and miosis )

Casual or light intervention of the topic. it has two effects: ( 1 ) shows that the writer does non take a topic earnestly. ( 2 ) calls upon the moral outrage of the reader because the topic does non look to be taken earnestly. * Example: “I’m truly glad that you have come to see. ” said the spider to the fly.


Something that has the visual aspect of being true or existent.


The mundane or common linguistic communication of a geographic country or the native linguistic communication of common mans in a state as opposed to a esteemed dead linguistic communication maintained unnaturally in schools or in literary texts. Latin. for case. has non been a common linguistic communication for about 1250 old ages. Sanskrit has non been a common linguistic communication in India for more than 2000 old ages. However. Latin in medieval Europe and Sanskrit in ancient India were considered much more suited for art. scholarship. poesy. and spiritual texts than the common lingua of mundane people even though ( or possibly because ) merely a little per centum of the learned could read the older linguistic communications.

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