Supernatural Literacy. A Template.

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Denotation is defined in contrast to connotation, which is A deus ex machina is a plot device whereby an unsolvable conflict or point of tension is suddenly resolved by the unexpected appearance of an implausible character, object, action, ability, or event. For example, if Diacope is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is repeated with a small number of intervening words. Dialogue is the exchange of spoken words between two or more characters in a book, play, or other written work. In prose writing, lines of dialogue are typically identified by the use of quotation marks Diction is a writer's unique style of expression, especially his or her choice and arrangement of words.

A writer's vocabulary, use of language to produce a specific tone or atmosphere, and ability to communicate clearly A writer's vocabulary, Dramatic irony is a plot device often used in theater, literature, film, and television to highlight the difference between a character's understanding of a given situation, and that of the audience. More specifically, in dramatic A dynamic character undergoes substantial internal changes as a result of one or more plot developments. The dynamic character's change can be extreme or subtle, as long as his or her development is important to The dynamic character's change An elegy is a poem of serious reflection, especially one mourning the loss of someone who died.

Elegies are defined by their subject matter, and don't have to follow any specific form in terms of Elegies are defined End rhyme refers to rhymes that occur in the final words of lines of poetry. For instance, these lines from An end-stopped line is a line of poetry in which a sentence or phrase comes to a conclusion at the end of the line.

For example, the poet C. Cavafy uses end-stopped lines in his Enjambment is the continuation of a sentence or clause across a line break. For example, the poet John Donne uses enjambment in his poem "The Good-Morrow" when he continues the opening sentence across the line For example, the poet John Donne uses An envoi is a brief concluding stanza at the end of a poem that can either summarize the preceding poem or serve as its dedication.

The envoi tends to follow the same meter and rhyme Epanalepsis is a figure of speech in which the beginning of a clause or sentence is repeated at the end of that same clause or sentence, with words intervening.

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The sentence "The king is dead, An epigram is a short and witty statement, usually written in verse, that conveys a single thought or observation. Epigrams typically end with a punchline or a satirical twist. For instance, the epigraph of Mary Epistrophe is a figure of speech in which one or more words repeat at the end of successive phrases, clauses, or sentences. Epizeuxis is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is repeated in immediate succession, with no intervening words.

In the play Hamlet, when Hamlet responds to a question about what he's reading Ethos, along with logos and pathos, is one of the three "modes of persuasion" in rhetoric the art of effective speaking or writing. Ethos is an argument that appeals to the audience by emphasizing the Exposition is the description or explanation of background information within a work of literature.

Exposition can cover characters and their relationship to one another, the setting or time and place of events, as well as Exposition can cover characters and their An extended metaphor is a metaphor that unfolds across multiple lines or even paragraphs of a text, making use of multiple interrelated metaphors within an overarching one. So while "life is a highway" is a External conflict Figurative language is language that contains or uses figures of speech.

When people use the term "figurative language," however, they often do so in a slightly narrower way. In this narrower definition, figurative language refers When people use the term "figurative language," however, they A figure of speech is a literary device in which language is used in an unusual—or "figured"—way in order to produce a stylistic effect. Figures of speech can be broken into two main groups: figures Typically, flat characters can be easily Foreshadowing is a literary device in which authors hint at plot developments that don't actually occur until later in the story.

Foreshadowing can be achieved directly or indirectly, by making explicit statements or leaving subtle Formal verse is the name given to rhymed poetry that uses a strict meter a regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. This two-line poem by Emily Dickinson is formal verse because it rhymes and Because it has no set meter, poems written in free verse can have lines of any length, from Because it has Hamartia is a literary term that refers to a tragic flaw or error that leads to a character's downfall.

In the novel Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein's arrogant conviction that he can usurp the roles of God Hubris refers to excessive pride or overconfidence, which drives a person to overstep limits in a way that leads to their downfall. In Greek mythology, the legend of Icarus involves an iconic case of hubris Hyperbole is a figure of speech in which a writer or speaker exaggerates for the sake of emphasis.

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Hyperbolic statements are usually quite obvious exaggerations intended to emphasize a point, rather than be taken literally Hyperbolic statements An iamb is a two-syllable metrical pattern in poetry in which one unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed syllable. The word "define" is an iamb, with the unstressed syllable of "de" followed by the An idiom is a phrase that conveys a figurative meaning that is difficult or impossible to understand based solely on a literal interpretation of the words in the phrase.

For example, saying that something is Imagery, in any sort of writing, refers to descriptive language that engages the human senses. For instance, the following lines from Robert Frost's poem "After Apple-Picking" contain imagery that engages the senses of touch, movement, For instance, the following lines Internal rhyme is rhyme that occurs in the middle of lines of poetry, instead of at the ends of lines. A single line of poetry can contain internal rhyme with multiple words in the same If this seems like a loose definition, don't worry—it is.

Irony is a Juxtaposition occurs when an author places two things side by side as a way of highlighting their differences. Ideas, images, characters, and actions are all things that can be juxtaposed with one another. For example, Ideas, images, A kenning is a figure of speech in which two words are combined in order to form a poetic expression that refers to a person or a thing.

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For example, "whale-road" is a kenning for A line break is the termination of one line of poetry, and the beginning of a new line. Litotes is a figure of speech and a form of understatement in which a sentiment is expressed ironically by negating its contrary. For example, saying "It's not the best weather today" during a hurricane would Logos, along with ethos and pathos, is one of the three "modes of persuasion" in rhetoric the art of effective speaking or writing. Logos is an argument that appeals to an audience's sense of logic A metaphor is a figure of speech that compares two different things by saying that one thing is the other.

The comparison in a metaphor can be stated explicitly, as in the sentence "Love is Meter is a regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables that defines the rhythm of some poetry. These stress patterns are defined in groupings, called feet, of two or three syllables.

A pattern of unstressed-stressed, These stress patterns Metonymy is a type of figurative language in which an object or concept is referred to not by its own name, but instead by the name of something closely associated with it. For example, in A motif is an element or idea that recurs throughout a work of literature. Motifs, which are often collections of related symbols, help develop the central themes of a book or play.

For example, one Motifs, which are often collections of Two writers describing the same set of events might craft very different narratives, Onomatopoeia is a figure of speech in which words evoke the actual sound of the thing they refer to or describe. An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which two contradictory terms or ideas are intentionally paired in order to make a point—particularly to reveal a deeper or hidden truth.

The most recognizable oxymorons are A paradox is a figure of speech that seems to contradict itself, but which, upon further examination, contains some kernel of truth or reason. Parallelism is a figure of speech in which two or more elements of a sentence or series of sentences have the same grammatical structure.

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These "parallel" elements can be used to intensify the rhythm of Parataxis is a figure of speech in which words, phrases, clauses, or sentences are set next to each other so that each element is equally important. Parataxis usually involves simple sentences or phrases whose relationships A parody is a work that mimics the style of another work, artist, or genre in an exaggerated way, usually for comic effect.

Parodies can take many forms, including fiction, poetry, film, visual art, and Pathetic fallacy occurs when a writer attributes human emotions to things that aren't human, such as objects, weather, or animals. It is often used to make the environment reflect the inner experience of a narrator Pathos, along with logos and ethos, is one of the three "modes of persuasion" in rhetoric the art of effective speaking or writing. Pathos is an argument that appeals to an audience's emotions.

When a Personification is a type of figurative language in which non-human things are described as having human attributes, as in the sentence, "The rain poured down on the wedding guests, indifferent to their plans. Plot is the sequence of interconnected events within the story of a play, novel, film, epic, or other narrative literary work.

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Literary Devices & Terms

More than simply an account of what happened, plot reveals the cause-and-effect relationships between Point of view refers to the perspective that the narrator holds in relation to the events of the story. Polyptoton is a figure of speech that involves the repetition of words derived from the same root such as "blood" and "bleed".


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For instance, the question, "Who shall watch the watchmen? Polysyndeton is a figure of speech in which coordinating conjunctions—words such as "and," "or," and "but" that join other words or clauses in a sentence into relationships of equal importance—are used several times in close The protagonist of a story is its main character, who has the sympathy and support of the audience. This character tends to be involved in or affected by most of the choices or conflicts that This character A pun is a figure of speech that plays with words that have multiple meanings, or that plays with words that sound similar but mean different things.

The comic novelist Douglas Adams uses both types A quatrain is a four-line stanza of poetry. It can be a single four-line stanza, meaning that it is a stand-alone poem of four lines, or it can be a four-line stanza that makes up It can be a single four-line stanza, meaning that it is a Most often, the term red herring is used to refer In a poem or song, a refrain is a line or group of lines that regularly repeat, usually at the end of a stanza in a poem or at the end of a verse in Repetition is a literary device in which a word or phrase is repeated two or more times.

Repetition occurs in so many different forms that it is usually not thought of as a single figure Repetition occurs in A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in which a question is asked for a reason other than to get an answer—most commonly, it's asked to make a persuasive point. For example, if a A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds in two or more words. Rhyming is particularly common in many types of poetry, especially at the ends of lines, and is a requirement in formal verse Rhyming is particularly common in many types A rhyme scheme is the pattern according to which end rhymes rhymes located at the end of lines are repeated in works poetry.

Rhyme schemes are described using letters of the alphabet, such that all For example, in the story of "Little A character is said to be "round" if they are lifelike or complex. Round characters typically have fully fleshed-out and multi-faceted personalities, backgrounds, desires, and motivations. Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby Round characters typically have fully fleshed-out and Satire is the use of humor, irony, sarcasm, or ridicule to criticize something or someone.

Public figures, such as politicians, are often the subject of satire, but satirists can take aim at other targets as Public figures, such as politicians, A sestet is a six-line stanza of poetry. It can be any six-line stanza—one that is, itself, a whole poem, or one that makes up a part of a longer poem. Most commonly, the term It can be any six-line stanza—one that is, itself, a whole poem, Setting is where and when a story or scene takes place. The where can be a real place like the city of New York, or it can be an imagined location, like Middle Earth in The where can be a real place like the A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two unlike things.

To make the comparison, similes most often use the connecting words "like" or "as," but can also use other words that indicate To make the comparison, similes most often Traditionally, slant rhyme referred to a type of rhyme in which two words located at the end of a line of poetry themselves end in similar—but not identical—consonant sounds. For instance, the words "pact" and A soliloquy is a literary device, most often found in dramas, in which a character speaks to him or herself, relating his or her innermost thoughts and feelings as if thinking aloud.

In some cases, A sonnet is a type of fourteen-line poem. Traditionally, the fourteen lines of a sonnet consist of an octave or two quatrains making up a stanza of 8 lines and a sestet a stanza of Traditionally, the fourteen lines of a sonnet consist of an octave or A spondee is a two-syllable metrical pattern in poetry in which both syllables are stressed.

The word "downtown" is a A stanza is a group of lines form a smaller unit within a poem. A single stanza is usually set apart from other lines or stanza within a poem by a double line break or A single stanza is usually set A character is said to be "static" if they do not undergo any substantial internal changes as a result of the story's major plot developments. Antagonists are often static characters, but any character in a A syllogism is a three-part logical argument, based on deductive reasoning, in which two premises are combined to arrive at a conclusion.

So long as the premises of the syllogism are true and the syllogism Symbolism is a literary device in which a writer uses one thing—usually a physical object or phenomenon—to represent something more abstract. A strong symbol usually shares a set of key characteristics with whatever it is Synecdoche is a figure of speech in which, most often, a part of something is used to refer to its whole. For example, "The captain commands one hundred sails" is a synecdoche that uses "sails" A theme is a universal idea, lesson, or message explored throughout a work of literature.

One key characteristic of literary themes is their universality, which is to say that themes are ideas that not only One key characteristic of literary For instance, an editorial in a newspaper A tragic hero is a type of character in a tragedy, and is usually the protagonist.


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Tragic heroes typically have heroic traits that earn them the sympathy of the audience, but also have flaws or Tragic heroes typically have A trochee is a two-syllable metrical pattern in poetry in which a stressed syllable is followed by an unstressed syllable. The word "poet" is a trochee, with the stressed syllable of "po" followed by the Typically, understatement is Verbal irony occurs when the literal meaning of what someone says is different from—and often opposite to—what they actually mean.

When there's a hurricane raging outside and someone remarks "what lovely weather we're having," this A villanelle is a poem of nineteen lines, and which follows a strict form that consists of five tercets three-line stanzas followed by one quatrain four-line stanza. Villanelles use a specific rhyme scheme of ABA A zeugma is a figure of speech in which one "governing" word or phrase modifies two distinct parts of a sentence.

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Often, the governing word will mean something different when applied to each part, as LitCharts Teacher Editions. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of every Shakespeare play.

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