LITERARY DEVICES - Crestwood Middle School

RY DEVICE S P-S PARABLE SYNESTHES IA PARABLE A story or short narrative designed to reveal allegorically some religious principle, moral lesson, or general truth. Rather than using abstract discussion, a

parable always teaches by comparison with real or literal occurrences-especially "homey" everyday occurrences a wide number of people can relate to. Examples: "The Prodigal Son" and "The Good Samaritan." PARADOX A statement that seems to contradict itself, but reveals a deeper truth through its contradiction. Examples: "where there is no law, there is no freedom

(John Locke) "Cowards die many times before their deaths (Shakespeares Julius Caesar) "And all men kill the thing they love. (Oscar Wilde's "Ballad of Reading Gaol) PARALLELLISM When the writer establishes similar patterns of grammatical structure and length for the purpose of expressing ideas that are related or equal in importance. Example:

"King Alfred tried to make the law clear, precise, and equitable. AS OPPOSED TO "King Alfred tried to make clear laws that had precision and were equitable." PARODY A mocking imitation of another work or type of literature. Parody imitates the serious manner and characteristic features of a particular literary work in order to make fun of those same features.

Examples: Shakespeares Sonnet 130 (My mistress eyes are nothing like the sun) Chaucers Wife of Baths Tale PASTORAL A poem presenting shepherds in a simple, rural existence. It usually idealized shepherds' lives in order to create an image of peaceful and uncorrupted existence. More generally, pastoral describes the simplicity, charm, and serenity attributed to country

life, or any literary convention that places kindly, rural people in nature-centered activities. Popular with Renaissance writers. Examples: The Passionate Shepherd to His Love by Christopher Marlowe PERSONAL ESSAY A type of informal essay. A personal essay allows the writer to express individual viewpoints on subjects by reflecting on

events or incidents in his or her own life. Examples: A Hanging by George Orwell A Laws of Life essay, in which you express your personal belief in a driving value of your life PERSONIFICATION A figure of speech in which animals, ideas, and inanimate objects are given human character, traits, abilities, or reactions/emotions. Examples:

Here rests his head upon the lap of earth Loves not Times fool, though rosy lips and cheeks/Within his bending sickles compass come hardship groaned around my heart Hunger tore at my sea-weary soul PERSUASION A technique used by writers and speakers to convince an audience to adopt a particular opinion, perform an action, or both. Persuasion often makes use of

logical, emotional, and ethical appeal. Examples: Winston Churchills speeches A letter you write to your parents to convince them you should be allowed to go to prom PERSUASIVE ESSAY A piece of writing in which the writer attempts to convince readers to adopt a particular view or perform a specific action. Persuasive essays often present a series of

facts, reasons, or examples to support the position statement. Examples: Of Studies by Sir Francis Bacon Of Marriage and Single Life by Sir Francis Bacon PERSUASIVE SPEECH A speech given to convince an audience to adopt a particular opinion, perform an action, or both. Persuasive speeches often makes use of logical, emotional, and ethical

appeal and can sometimes use loaded languagelanguage that brings up strong connotations for the audience. Examples: Churchills speeches Hitlers speeches PETRARCHAN (ITALIAN) SONNET The Petrarchan sonnet has an eight line stanza (called an octave) followed by a six line stanza (called a sestet). The octave has two quatrains

rhyming abba, abba, the first of which presents the theme, the second further develops it. In the sestet, the first three lines reflect on or exemplify the theme, while the last three bring the poem to a unified end. The sestet may be arranged cdecde, cdcdcd, or cdedce. Examples: All of Francesco Petrarchs sonnets PLOT The sequence of actions and events in a work of fiction. Most literary critics would agree that plot cannot exist without

conflict. Example: POETRY A genre of literature in which the arrangement of lines on the page create a form which, when joined with content, suggest meaning beyond the literal meanings of the words. Examples: Poetic forms: Ballad, elegy, epic, haiku, narrative, sonnet, etc.

POINT OF VIEW The way a story gets told and who tells it; the method of narrating a short story, novel, narrative poem, or work of nonfiction. Examples: first-person third-person omniscient third-person limited PRIMARY SOURCE

A book, document, or person that provides original, first-hand information about a topic. Examples: Letters, wills, diaries, recordings, government records. The Paston Letters Shakespeares baptism record PROP (Abbreviation of property) Any physical object that is used in a stage

production. Examples: In Macbeth: Macbeth and Macduffs swords, Banquos torch, the candle carried by Lady Macbeth PROSE Any material that is not written in a regular meter like poetry. Genres such as short stories, novels, letters, essays, and treatises are typically written in prose. Examples:

Samuel Johnsons essays; Elizabeth Gaskells fiction; Mary Shelleys gothic novel; T.C. Boyles short stories PROTAGONIST The main character in a work, on whom the author focuses most of the narrative attention Examples: Macbeth Federigo Beowulf

Victor Frankenstein QUATRAIN A quatrain is a stanza of four lines, often rhyming in an ABAB pattern. Examples: Gather ye rosebuds while ye may Old time is still a-flying And this same flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be dying Robert Herricks To the Virgins to Make Much of Time

REALISM Any artistic or literary portrayal of life in a faithful, accurate manner, unclouded by false ideals, literary conventions, or misplaced aesthetic glorification and beautification of the world. It is a theory or tendency in writing to depict events in human life in a matter-offact, straightforward manner. Realism also refers to a literary movement in America, Europe, and England that developed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Examples: Charles Dickens portrayal of orphan life in Oliver Twist

James Joyces short story Araby based on real life experiences of his childhood in Dublin, Ireland REPETITION A technique in which a sound, word, line or phrase is repeated for emphasis or effect. Examples: Little Lamb, who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? Little Lamb, I'll tell thee, Little Lamb, I'll tell thee. William Blakes The Lamb

The Tyger by William Blake Sonnet 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning RESOLUTION The outcome or result of a complex situation or sequence of events; an aftermath or resolution that usually occurs near the final stages of the plot; the denouement Examples: Victors death and the Creatures discussion with Robert Walton in Frankenstein;

Macbeths death and Malcolms speech to restore order in the kingdom RHYME A matching similarity of sounds in two or more words, especially when their accented vowels and all succeeding consonants are identical. Examples: skating/dating emotion/demotion fascinate/deracinate

plain/stain RHYME SCHEME The pattern of rhyme. The traditional way to mark these patterns of rhyme is to assign a letter of the alphabet to each rhyming sound at the end of each line. Examples: The glories of our blood and state ---------------A Are shadows, not substantial things; -------------B There is no armor against fate; -------------------A Death lays his icy hand on kings: ----------------B Scepter and crown --------------------------------C

Must tumble down, --------------------------------C And in the dust be equal made ------------------D With the poor crooked scythe and spade. ------D From "Of Death" By James Shirley RHYTHM The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in poetry. This pattern is usually notated by marking the meter of the line putting a diagonal line ( ) or a macron ( - ) over stressed

syllables. A small curving loop ( ) or a small x ( x ) goes over the unstressed syllables. This process is called scansion. Examples: "The crfew tlls the knll of prting dy." RISING ACTION The action in a play or work of fiction that happens just before the climax. During the rising action, complications arise for the main characters that make the conflict more difficult to resolve.

Examples: Portion B-C ROMANCE Any imaginative adventure concerned with noble heroes, gallant love, a chivalric code of honor, daring deeds, and supernatural events; often contain faraway settings and idealize heroes. writers. Examples: Le Morte dArthur by Thomas Mallory

A Knights Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer ROMANTICISM A literary movement of the 19th century that emphasized nature, an idealized past, imagination, and the celebration of the individual. Romanticism rejected the earlier philosophy of the Enlighten-ment, which stressed that logic and reason were the best response humans had in the face of cruelty. Instead, Romantics emphasized emotion and natural passions as a means of knowing and

a reliable guide to ethics and living. Examples: Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge SARCASM A type of verbal irony; saying one thing that sounds complimentary but meaning the statement as an insult or criticism Examples: You have clearly proved that ignorance, idleness, and vice are the proper

ingredients for qualifying a legislator. From Gullivers Travels By Jonathan Swift SATIRE When a writer uses humor to point out the flaws of society by ridiculing a person, idea, custom, behavior, institution, or class in society. Examples: Chaucers mocking of the clergy in the medieval church

Dave Barrys Year in Review that provides a humorous overview of the past year SCRIPTURE Literature that is considered sacred and is used in religious rituals of worship, celebration, and mourning. Examples: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want Psalm 23 To every thing there is a season, and a

time to every purpose under the heaven Ecclesiastes SESTET Any six-line stanza or a six-line unit of poetry; the last part of an Italian or Petrarchan sonnet, consisting of six lines that rhyme with a varying pattern. Examples: Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea: Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,

So didst thou travel on life's common way, In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart The lowliest duties on herself did lay. Wordsworth SETTING The general locale, historical time, and social circumstances in which the action of a fictional or dramatic work occurs; the particular physical location in which it takes place Examples:

London, Scrooges past, present, and future in A Christmas Carol; the arctic, Geneva Switzerland, and Victors lab in Frankenstein; Sweden, Denmark, and Herot in Beowulf; Scotland during the Anglo-Saxon and early Medieval period in Macbeth SHAKESPEAREA N (ENGLISH) SONNET A poem made up of 14 lines in the form of three quatrains and a final couplet. Its rhyme scheme is abab, cdcd, efef, gg

Example: That time of year thou mayst in me behold, When yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang In me thou seest the twilight of such day, As after sunset fadeth in the west, Which by and by black night doth take away, Death's second self that seals up all in rest. In me thou seest the glowing of such fire, That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the deathbed, whereon it must expire,

Consumed by that which it was nourished by. This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well, which thou must leave ere long. SHORT STORY A brief prose tale that can be read in one sitting; usually plot functions as the driving force. Examples: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson The Rocking-Horse Winner by D.H. Lawrence

The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster SIMILE A type of figurative language that makes a comparison between two things, using the words like or as. Examples: The worlds honor ages and shrinks, bent like the men who mold it as a peacock with many feathersfolds its feathers, so she subsided and shut herself as she sank down in the leather

armchair SITUATIONAL IRONY When a character or the reader expects one thing to happen but something else happens instead Examples: In O Henry's The Gift of the Magi, the wife cuts off and sells her beautiful long hair to a wigmaker for money to buy a chain for her husbands heirloom pocket watch. Meanwhile, the husband sells his heirloom watch to buy his wife pretty combs for her long and beautiful hair.

SLANT RHYME Also called inexact rhyme or approximate rhyme, slant rhymes are rhymes created out of words with similar but not identical sounds. In most of these instances, either the vowel segments are different while the consonants are identical, or vice versa. Examples: Heart-smitten with emotion I sink down My heart recovering with covered eyes; Wherever I had looked I had looked upon

My permanent or impermanent images SOLILOQUY A monologue spoken by an actor at a point in the play when the character believes himself to be alone. The soliloquy reveals a character's innermost thoughts, including his feelings, state of mind, motives or intentions. Examples: To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. SONNET A poem of fourteen lines, usually in iambic pentameter, with rhymes arranged according to certain definite patterns. It usually expresses a single, complete idea or

thought in the first 8 lines with a reversal, twist, or change of direction in the concluding 6 lines or in the remaining couplet. Examples: The poetic works of Shakespeare, Petrarch, and Spenser SOUND DEVICES Also known as musical devices, sound devices are elements of literature and poetry that emphasize sound, often for a

specific effect or emphasis. Examples: The most common sound devices are assonance, consonance, alliteration, rhyme and onomatopoeia fastened those claws / In his fists till they cracked, clutched Grendel / Closer (alliteration, onomatopoeia, consonance) SPEAKER The narrative or voice in a poem (such as a sonnet, ode, or lyric) that speaks of his or her

situation or feelings. It is a convention in poetry that the speaker is not the same individual as the historical author of the poem. The speaker/voice may be distant and objective, or intimate and involved with the subject of the poem. Examples: The speaker of The Wifes Lament is passionately emotional about the loss of a husband; the speaker of Tennysons Lady of Shalott seems to be neutral and objective

SPENSERIAN STANZA A nine-line stanza rhyming in an ababbcbcc pattern in which the first eight lines are pentameter and the last line is an alexandrine, or six-foot line. The name spenserian comes from the form's most famous user, Edmund Spenser, who used it in The Fairie Queene Examples: ababbcbcc SPRUNG RHYTHM

Also called "accentual rhythm," sprung rhythm is a term invented by the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins to describe the metrical system in which the major stresses are "sprung" from each line of poetry. The accent falls on the first syllable of every foot and a varying number of unaccented syllables following the accented one, but all feet last an equal amount of time when being pronounced. Examples: Landscape plotted and pieced fold, fallow, and plough; And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

From Hopkins Pied Beauty STAGE DIRECTIONS Sometimes abbreviated "s.d.," the term in drama refers to part of the printed text in a play that is not actually spoken by actors on stage, but which instead indicates actions or activity for the actors to engage in. In Shakespeare's day, these instructions were often given in Latin. Examples: Exit / Exeunt

STANZA An arrangement of lines of verse in a pattern usually repeated throughout the poem. Typically, each stanza has a fixed number of verses or lines, a prevailing meter, and a consistent rhyme scheme. A stanza may be a subdivision of a poem, or it may constitute the entire poem; stave. Examples: A quatrain, an octave, or a sestet, especially within a longer poetic work

STEREOTYPE A character who is so ordinary or unoriginal that the character seems like an oversimplified representation of a type, gender, class, religious group, or occupation; a stock character Examples: the absent-minded professor; the merciless villain; the rejected lover STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Writing in which a character's perceptions, thoughts, and memories are presented in an apparently random form, without regard for logical sequence, chronology, or syntax. Often such writing makes no distinction between various levels of reality--such as dreams, memories, imaginative thoughts or real sensory perception. Examples: James Joyce and Virginia Wolff are known for their stream of consciousness style of writing

STRUCTURE The way in which the parts of a work of literature are put together. The structure may be made up of paragraphs, chapters, acts, scenes, lines, and stanzas, depending upon the genre; form Examples: The numbering of T.S. Eliots sections to his poem Preludes, which allows him to shift time and place

STYLE The author's words and the characteristic way that writer uses language to achieve certain effects Examples: Emily Dickinsons distinctive use of the emdash (long dash) at the end of her poetic lines; Charles Dickens distinctively long descriptions of various scenes throughout his novels. SUPERNATURAL ELEMENTS Traits that make up a supernatural tale;

ghostly beings, power, or phenomena that go beyond the realm of reality Examples: The Green Knight who picks up his head after it is chopped off; the Ghost of Christmas Future who takes Scrooge on a journey to his potential future SUPERNATURAL TALE A story that goes beyond the bounds of reality, known forces, or laws of nature. Examples:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, with the emphasis that Dickens wanted to create a ghost story Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, with the emphasis that Shelley wanted to create a blood-curdling tale about a monster SURPRISE ENDING A totally unexpected and unprepared-for turn of events, one which alters the action in a narrative and occurs at the end of the story Examples:

In Sixth Sense, when Bruce Willis finds out that he is one of the dead people that Haley Joel Osmend sees; In The Others, when Nicole Kidman finds out that the strange noises and incidents have not been caused by ghosts, but by the live people living in the same house she and her children occupy in the spiritual realm. SUSPENSE The tension or excitement readers feel as they are drawn into a story and become

increasingly eager to know the outcome of the plot. Suspense is created when a writer purposes leaves readers uncertain or apprehensive about what will happen. Examples: The feeling that the Creatures threat was not meant for Victor; a scene in a movie when the audience is uncertain about whether a train will go off the end of a bridge or not SYMBOL

A word, place, character, or object that means something beyond what it is on a literal level Examples: The falcon in Federigos Falcon, with the idea that it comes to represent the love between Mona and Federigo; Herot in Beowulf, with the idea that it means heart and stands for the brotherhood and loyalty of the warriors SYNECDOCHE

A figure of speech in which the name of a part is used to refer to a whole Examples: The use of wheels to refer to a car Eliots use of muddy feet to refer to early-morning crowds of people heading to work The use of Twenty eyes watched our every move to mean that ten people were watching SYNESTHESIA

The use of one sensory image to describe another Examples: the cold smell of potato mold a heavy silence fell across the crowd the scent of roses rang clearly throughout the garden

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