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Literary devices


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Metaphor
figure of speech comparing two different things
simile
n. poetic device of comparison
personification
To describe with human qualities.
oxymoron
The placing together of contrasting and contradictory words
paradox
Contrasting ideas that should be mutually incompatible.
pun
A play on words.
symbolism
The use of objects, places and the weather to represent deeper ideas and experiences.
motif
A recurrent image or idea throughout a text.
hyperbole
n. exaggeration
allusion
The indirect reference to something
biblical allusion
The indirect reference to passages or stories in The Bible.
classical allusion
The indirect reference to the myths and history of ancient Greece and Rome.
historical allusion
The indirect reference to historical figures and events.
metre
The rhythm created in lines of poetry.
iamb
A metric foot where the stress/beat is on the second syllable: e.g. 'da DUM'
iambic pentameter
A line of poetry with five iambs: da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM.
prose
Writing that has no metre or rhyme
blank verse
Lines written in iambic pentameter but without a rhyme scheme.
rhyming couplets
A rhyme scheme where the rhyme are in consecutive paired lines: AABBCCDD
alternate rhyme
A rhyme scheme where the rhyme misses a line each time: ABABCDCD
sonnet
A poem with fourteen lines.
antithesis
Contrasting ideas or images.
Level 3