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Literary Terms

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  1. Literary Terms

  2. Alliteration • The same sound repeated within a phrase • Example: Billy Buys Bugs from Baltimore

  3. Allusion • Text or phrases that refers to another piece of text, which engages the reader’s background knowledge • Example: If John tells Jennifer that she is his Juliet, he is making an allusion to Shakespeare’s play

  4. Analogy • Comparing two opposites to another pair of opposites to show the relation • Example – Hot is to cold as Up is to ???? • Hot is the opposite of Cold, so the opposite of Up is ________.

  5. Antagonist • The person or thing causing problems in the story • “The Bad Guy” • Example – The antagonist in The Lion King is Scar

  6. Assonance • When the middle of words make the same sound • Examples: Get, Bit, Fit, Hit, Mitt, Lit, Knit, Pit, Sit, Wit, Zit

  7. Autobiography • A life story about someone written by that someone • Example: When celebrity write their life story, they are writing autobiographies

  8. Biography • When someone writes a life story about someone else • Example – If the child of a celebrity wrote the life story of their parent, they would be writing a biography about their parent

  9. Blank Verse • Poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter • Example – “You stars thatreign'dat my nativity…”

  10. Climax • Where the story catches the reader’s or watcher’s attention the most or where the story is the most interesting • Example: In The Lion King, the climax of the story is when Simba comes back to Fight Scar for his family’s kingdom

  11. Conflict • The problem in the story • Example: The conflict in The Lion King is that Simba believes, and so do the rest of the lions, that he killed his father, when Scar actually killed his brother, and framed Simba

  12. Connotation • When an emotion or preconceived thought is associated with a word • Example: When people hear the word skunk, they think of a stinky animal or the Loony Toons character, PepeL’Peu

  13. Consonance • When the ends of words make the same sound • Example: think, wink, mink, sink, link, pink, rink

  14. Couplet • Two lines that rhyme at the end of each line • Example: Frogs are green And girls are mean

  15. Denotation • When the definition of a word is associated with the word • Example: When people hear the word skunk, they think of a black and white mammal that sprays to protect itself from its enemies

  16. Foil Characters • Two characters that show how opposite each other are in the story • Usually the protagonist and the antagonist • Example: In The Lion King, Scar and Mufasa would be foil characters

  17. Foreshadowing • When a previous event in a story relates to a later event in the story • Example: In The Lion King, when Mufasa is ruling the kingdom, it is always sunny. When Simba returns and there is no sunshine, foreshadows that the kingdom has gone downhill.

  18. Free Verse • Poetry that does not rhyme • Example: Hamburgers are nice Tacos are great Pasta is the best And BBQ is wonderful.

  19. Hyperbole • Extreme Exaggeration • Example: When Romeo tells Juliet that he feels like it has been 300 years since he has seen her, he is obviously exaggerating, as it has only been hours.

  20. Imagery • Imagination or being able to close your eyes and see the image of what one is talking about • Example: When someone says “greenbus”, you can imagine a greenbus, and sketch it, without ever seeing the exact reference

  21. Metaphor • Comparing two unlike things without using the words like, as, than • Example: My mother is married to a Santa Clause. This would compare your mother’s husband to a very old man with a white beard.

  22. Narrative • Telling a story from your point of view • Narrative meaning narrator, which is the person writing the story • Written using the pronoun “I” • Example: Writing a friend a note / letter

  23. Onomatopoeia • Words that mimic real world sound • Example: Ding-Dong = doorbell Boom = bomb Tick-Tock = clock

  24. Paradox • When the opposite happens of what is expected • Example: In Steel Magnolias, when commenting on a character’s confusion, it is said, “He doesn’t know whether to wind his butt, or scratch his clock.”

  25. Personification • When human characteristics are given to non-human things • Example: The window is whistling. The clock is staring at me. The chair hugged me.

  26. Plot • What happens in the story from beginning to end • 5 elements: conflict, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution • Plot of The Lion King: A prince is framed for his father’s murder by his uncle, and returns to reign the kingdom, after restoring his uncle’s effects.

  27. Protagonist • The main character in the story • “The Good Guy” • Example: The protagonist in The Lion King is Simba

  28. Quatrain • Four line poem • The prefix qua- meaning four • Example: Flowers are nice I don’t like mice I gamble when I roll dice I smile when I eat rice 4

  29. Setting • Where the story takes place • Example: The Lion King takes place in Africa, more specifically Pride Rock

  30. Simile • Comparing two unlike things using like as than • Example: Your mother looks like a dinosaur. This implies that your mother is as old as the dinosaurs.

  31. Soliloquy • One person, on stage, speaking their innermost thoughts, out loud, to the “invisible” audience • Example: Romeo speaking his thoughts about Juliet out loud, but no one is supposed to hear him

  32. Sonnet • A fourteen line poem • Example: Click on URL to see an example of a sonnet:

  33. Stanza • A piece of a poem or song • Example: The verse or chorus of a song is a stanza of that song An excerpt of a poem, written in complettion is a stanza

  34. Symbol • A graphic that is related to an idea • Example: A tree with ornaments A rectangle with 16 red and white stripes, and 50 stars in the upper left hand corner A circle with two hands, pointing to two of twelve numbers

  35. Theme • The main idea of a text or idea • Example: The theme of July The theme of February The theme of December

  36. Tone • An author’s attitude or emotion in a text • Example: What tone is represented? I hate my sister. I want to punch her. She’s so stupid.

  37. Shakespearean Plays • Comedy • Midsummer Night’s Dream • Twelfth Night • Tragedy • Romeo and Juliet • Julius Caesar • History • Richard II • Richard III

  38. Types of Writing • Expository • Writing to inform • “Exposing” info • Expressive • Writing to entertain • Persuasive • Writing to persuade

  39. Types of Rhyme • True rhyme • Day, Say, May • Approximate rhyme • End rhyme that is not exact • Ex: down  loud • Internal Rhyme • Rhyme that occurs in the middle and end of a line • Ex: dreary  weary • End Rhyme • Rhyme that occurs at the end of lines

  40. Types of Irony • Verbal • When someone speaks an ironic statement • Usually a smart-alleck statement • Situational • When an event is ironic • iPod breaking day after warranty ends • Dramatic • When the audience knows what the characters do not • Audience knows that Juliet isn’t dead when Romeo drinks the posion