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Literary Devices. Alliteration Allusion Catharsis Consonance Flashback Foil Foreshadowing Hamartia Hyperbole Imagery Irony Metaphor. Onomatopoeia Oxymoron Paradox Pathetic Fallacy Personification Prose Pun Repetition Rhetorical Question Satire Simile Symbolism.

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list of literary devices
Alliteration

Allusion

Catharsis

Consonance

Flashback

Foil

Foreshadowing

Hamartia

Hyperbole

Imagery

Irony

Metaphor

Onomatopoeia

Oxymoron

Paradox

Pathetic Fallacy

Personification

Prose

Pun

Repetition

Rhetorical Question

Satire

Simile

Symbolism

List of Literary Devices
alliteration
Alliteration

The repetition of the initial consonant sound in a series of words. It adds rhythm or emphasizes emotion.

Example: The menacing Miss. Mistry created a monopoly.

allusion
Allusion

A reference to a famous person, place, thing, pop-culture icon, or another work of literature.

catharsis
Catharsis

An event releases these powerful emotions which ultimately provides relief and gives the spectator a deeper, more powerful experience

Example: The feeling one has after successfully writing an exam

consonance
Consonance

The repetition of similar consonants within words. This is sometimes used as a literary technique in poetry.

Eg. "And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain.“ – The Raven

flashback
Flashback

A jump back to an event or scene that took place at an earlier point in a story. Writers use flashback to explain something that is presently occurring in the story. Flashbacks can also explain a character’s motivation and help to clear up any unanswered questions in the plot.

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Foil

Any person that through strong contrast underscores or enhances the distinctive characteristics of another.

foreshadowing
Foreshadowing

Subsequent actions or events that are suggested; a hint of what is to come. The hint, however, should not be too obvious to the reader because it will give the plot away and affect the suspense of the narrative.

hamartia
Hamartia

The tragic flaw of the tragic character. It is the error of judgment that leads to the hero’s destruction.

hyperbole
Hyperbole

The obvious exaggeration of facts to show the intensity of feeling.

Example: My heart is broken

imagery
Imagery

Language that creates pictures in a reader’s mind to bring life to the experiences and feelings described in a poem or a story.

irony
Irony

The use of an idea, word, or phrase to elicit the opposite of its usual meaning. Three common types of irony are dramatic irony, situational irony, and verbal irony.

キDramatic Irony – occurs when the audience knows something that the character does not.

キSituational Irony – takes place when the circumstances turn out differently from what the reader expects or anticipates.

キVerbal Irony – occurs when the intended meaning of a phrase or sentence differs from its actual meaning.

metaphor
Metaphor

A direct comparison between two unlike things. In addition to painting vivid pictures for the reader, metaphors help to make abstract ideas more concrete, add emotion, and show the writer’s feelings.

Eg. All the world’s a stage,And all the men and women merely players;They have their exits and their entrances; -As You Like It

onomatopoeia
Onomatopoeia

The sound of a word resembles its meaning. Hiss, thud, crash, hush, and twitter are examples of onomatopoeic words.

oxymoron
Oxymoron

A figure of speech in which contradictory words or connotations are placed together for effect.

Example: jumbo shrimp is an oxymoronic phrase.

paradox
Paradox

An apparent contradiction or illogical statement but on closer examination, contains some truth.

Example: "If you wish to preserve your secret, wrap it up in frankness.” (Alexander Smith)

pathetic fallacy
Pathetic Fallacy

When man’s actions are reflected in nature.

personification
Personification

Human qualities are attributed to inanimate objects.

Example: The wind whispered through the pine trees.

prose
Prose

Regular, everyday language.

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Pun

A play on words based on the similarity of sound between two words with different meanings.

Example: Opening a new funeral parlor can be quite an undertaking.

repetition
Repetition

The repeating of words or phrases for emphasis.

Example: English class is very, very, very fun!

rhetorical question
Rhetorical Question

A question asked by the writer that the reader is not expected to answer.

satire
Satire

Writing which makes fun of an idea, person, or type, sometimes in order to provoke change.

simile
Simile

A comparison between two unlike things using “like” or “as”.

Example: The fall leaves looked like monarch butterflies dancing on the ground.

symbolism
Symbolism

The use of definite objects to stand for complex ideas.