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Literary Terms Vocabulary List

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allegory a story in which the secondary meaning teaches a lesson
alliteration a series of words beginning with the same sound
allusion a literary reference to a person, place, event, or another work of art
antagonist the hero's opponent
cacophony unharmonious sounds or speech
characterization the creation of convincing representation of fictitious characters
climax a major turning pooint in a story
complication a situation, event, or condition that frustrates
conflict a problem in the story (internal, external)
connotation the associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression
denotation the explicit or direct meaning or set of meaning of a word or expression
dialogue two or more people talking
diction the choice and use of words in writing or speech
euphony a pleasant sounding or harmonious combination of words
exaggeration to represent as greater than is true
exposition to represent as greater than is truethe part of a play, novel, etc, in which the theme and main characters are introduced
flashback details from the past to enhance a story
flashforward a future event or scene inserted into the chronological structure of the work
hyperbole obvious and intentional exaggeration
imagery figurative or descriptive language in a literary work
irony inconsistency between what is expected to be and what actually is (dramatic, situational, verbal)
metaphor a comparison using a form of ""is""
monologue one person speaking
motif a recurring idea or theme
narrator a person who tells a story or gives an account of something
onomatopoeia using words to represent sounds
oxymoron using opposites to describe one thing
paradox a statement or opposition that seems to self-contradict or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth
personification to give a non-human object human traits
plot the main story of a literary or dramatic work
point of view the position of the narrator in relation to the story
protagonist the ""good guy"" or hero
pseudonym false nanme
resolution a solution or settling of a problem, controversy, etc.
setting the locale or period in which the action of a novel, play, or film, etc., takes place
simile a comparison using ""like"" or ""as""
stanza a paragraph of a poem
superfluous more than is necessary
symbol an object that represents deeper meaning
theme an unifying or dominant idea, motif, etc., as in a work of art
repetition a basic unifying device in poetry wherein a sound, word, or phrase is repeated for effect
tone writer's attitude toward his subject or audience, the emotional meaning the writer brings to their work
tags literary terms vocabulary english
description literary terms
author gWhiz
copyright gWhiz LLC
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