Literary Devices and Examples. Allusion. Allusion: a reference to something literary, mythological, religious, historical, or found in pop culture Patrick Henry urged his listeners not to be “betrayed with a kiss”. Apostrophe.
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Allusion: a reference to something literary, mythological, religious, historical, or found in pop culture
Patrick Henry urged his listeners not to be “betrayed with a kiss”
Apostrophe: speaker directly addresses a person who is dead or not physically present, an imaginary person or entity, something inhuman, or any other abstract thing
“O Death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”
Euphemism: an indirect, less offensive way of saying something that is considered unpleasant
In Victorian times, ladies were said to “glisten” rather than to sweat or perspire.
Onomatopoeia: a word formed from the imitation of natural sounds
The fire crackled in the fireplace. We could hear the buzzing of the bees in the hive.
Personification: endowing non human objects or creatures with human qualities or characteristics
The smiling, friendly sun was about to be swallowed by the angry clouds moving in from the south.
Symbol: something that stands for something else
Flags, ring, mascot
Colloquialism: casual language- similar to spoken language or informal writing
Huck Finn, All the Pretty Horses
Hyperbole: Intentional exaggeration to create an effect
There were at least a million people at the mall when I went shopping Saturday.
Repetition: repeating a word or phrase for additional emphasis
Hope has sprung a perfect dive, a perfect day, a perfect lie
Alliteration: repetition of sounds in a sequence of words- often the initial letters of words
Boast your bitter bragging rights
Oxymoron: An expression in which two words that contradict each other are joined
Jumbo shrimp; sweet sorrow; little giant
Paradox: An apparently contradictory statement which actually contains some truth
Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind
Irony: a contradiction between appearance or expectation and reality. Truth is opposite of appearances.
In King Lear, Lear believes his daughter Cordelia to be disloyal, when in fact she is his only faithful daughter
Simile: comparison using “like” or “as”
This room is as hot as an oven
Metaphor: comparison, one thing representing another
School is a prison