Literary Analysis

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Alliteration: The repetition of the same consonant sounds in a sequence of words.

Allusion: A brief reference to a person, place, thing, event, or idea in history or literature.

Archetype: Universal symbols that evoke deep and sometimes unconscious responses in a reader.

Caesura: A pause within a line of poetry that contributes to the rhythm of the line.

Comedy: A work intended to interest, involve, and amuse the reader or audience, in which no terrible disaster occurs and that ends happily for the main characters.

Conflict: The struggle within the plot between opposing forces.

Connotation: Associations and implications that go beyond the literal meaning of a word.

Dialogue: The verbal exchanges between characters.

Elegy: A mournful, contemplative lyric poem written to commemorate someone who is dead.

Foil: A character in a work whose behavior and values contrast those of another character.

Foreshadowing: The introduction early in a story of hints that suggest what is to come later.

Form: The overall structure or shape of a work following an established design.

Hyperbole: A boldly exaggerated statement that adds emphasis without intending to be literally true.

Image: A word, phrase, or figure of speech that addresses the senses.

Irony: A literary device that uses contradictory statements or situations to reveal a reality different from what appears to be true.

Metaphor: A device that makes a comparison between two unlike things, without using the word “like” or “as.”

Meter: When a rhythmic pattern of stresses recurs in a poem, it is called meter.

Oxymoron: A condensed form of paradox in which two contradictory words are used together.

Paradox: A statement that initially appears to be contradictory but is nonetheless true.

Parody: A humorous imitation of another, usually serious, work.

Persona: A speaker created by the writer to tell a story or to speak in a poem.

Personification: A form of metaphor in which human characteristics are attributed to nonhuman things.

Pun: A play on words that relies on a word having more than one meaning or sounding like another word.

Satire: Ridiculing a folly or vice in order to expose or correct it.

Scansion: The process of measuring the stresses in a line of verse in order to determine the metrical pattern of the line.

Simile: A figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things y using words such as “like,” “as,” “than,” “appears,” and “seems.”

Soliloquy: A dramatic convention by means of which a character, alone onstage, utters his or her thoughts aloud.

Symbol: A person, object, image, word, or event that evokes a range of additional meaning beyond and usually more abstract than its literal significance.

Tragedy: A story that presents courageous individuals who confront powerful forces within or outside themselves with a dignity that reveals the breadth and depth of the human spirit in the face of failure, defeat, and even death.

Center for Transformative Learning

Peer Consultation

Stephenson Hall CPO 2136 x3404

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