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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
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description literary terms
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