literary terms 1

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Last updated: December 2, 2019

allegory
an extended metaphor that runs throughout the course of a narrative.

Simply stated, it is the hidden meaning, or second meaning, a novel that develops alongside the plot

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antagonist
A major character that opposes the efforts of the protagonist or hero.

Anit-hero
also known as the ironic hero that does not display the usual characteristics we have come to identify as being heroic, like strength, courage, fortitude etc.

Assonance
The repetition of a vowel sound within a line of writing, usually within an accented syllable.

Atmosphere
The mood that runs throughout an entire piece of writing. The feeling the author, playwrite, or poet wants the reader to experience while encountering that piece of literature.

Auditor
The person to whom a poem is being addressed.

Auditory imagrey
An author or poet provides sinsory details to a piece of writing that makes the reader recall the way things sound.

Author’s purpose
Each author has a reason for composing a piece of writing. It may be to entertain, to explain or inform, to express an opinion, or to persuade a reader to do or believe something.

Breve
The mark used to desingate an unstressed syllable in a line of poetry.

Character
Any person or thing that plays a part, however large or small, in a plot or drama.

Concrete diction
A poet or author’s choice to describe something using words that can be perceived vividly through the use of senses.

Conflict
In a drama or a work of fiction, it is the opposition of two forces and/or characters that drive the direction of the story.

Connotation
The meanings or images that a word of phrase brings to a reader’s mind when he/she encounters the word.

Couplet
Any two successive lines of a verse that share the same rhythm or rhyme.

Crisis
A point in a story where in a conflict intensifies to the point where a resolution must occur.

Cummulative plot
One of the three basic types of plot, it is composed of events, phrases, or sentences that are repeated over and over again, with one new aspect being added to the end each timethrough.

It is almost as if the plot is continuing on a ever-widening cycle.

Denotation
The literal, or dictionary, meaning of a word.

Destructive character
The mere presence of thie character in a narrative causes some type of conflict for the protagonist.

Diction
The individual choices of words used in a piece of writing. The type of choices the author or poet will make will be dertmined in large part by the purpose of that piece of writing.

Dramatic situation
It is the details crucial to understanding a poem.

These include the poems persona, its auditor, its background information and setting, and the circumstances under which it was written.

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