Literary devices and examples
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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
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
Apostrophe

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
Euphemism

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
Onomatopoeia

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
Personification

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
Symbol

Symbol: something that stands for something else

Flags, ring, mascot


Colloquialism
Colloquialism

Colloquialism: casual language- similar to spoken language or informal writing

Huck Finn, All the Pretty Horses


Hyperbole
Hyperbole

Hyperbole: Intentional exaggeration to create an effect

There were at least a million people at the mall when I went shopping Saturday.


Repetition
Repetition

Repetition: repeating a word or phrase for additional emphasis

Hope has sprung a perfect dive, a perfect day, a perfect lie


Alliteration
Alliteration

Alliteration: repetition of sounds in a sequence of words- often the initial letters of words

Boast your bitter bragging rights


Oxymoron
Oxymoron

Oxymoron: An expression in which two words that contradict each other are joined

Jumbo shrimp; sweet sorrow; little giant


Paradox
Paradox

Paradox: An apparently contradictory statement which actually contains some truth

Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind


Irony
Irony

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
Simile

Simile: comparison using “like” or “as”

This room is as hot as an oven


Metaphor
Metaphor

Metaphor: comparison, one thing representing another

School is a prison


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