Do you know synecdoche from metonymy? Test your knowledge of literary devices with this quiz. Answer: The device is called litotes. Answer: Zeugma or syllepsis, a term with which it sometimes overlaps —the use of a word to modify or govern two or more words usually in such a manner that it applies to each in a different sense, or makes sense with only one—can often startle or amuse.
Answer: Connotation and denotation form the only pair that does not more-or-less represent opposite meanings. Or are you beautiful because I love you?
Answer: The rhetorical device known as chiasmus is demonstrated in an inverted relationship between the syntactic elements of parallel phrases.
Literary Devices Do you know synecdoche from metonymy? The faster you answer, the higher your score. When you're done, try again to beat your best score! Facebook Twitter. Literary Devices. You finished! View Results Play Again. Quiz Results. Log in to save your scores! More Quizzes. Browse All Quizzes. Your results.
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Maryville University Online's Literary Devices Guide
Your Score. Login or Join to track your quiz stats, save your best scores, and compete with the community!Definition: Chiasmus is a figure of speech containing two phrases that are parallel but inverted to each other. Example: You can take the patriot out of the country but you cannot take the country out of the patriot. Definition: Circumlocution is a form of writing where the writer uses exaggeratedly long and complex sentences in order to convey a meaning that could have otherwise been conveyed through a shorter, much simpler sentence.
Circumlocution involves stating an idea or a view in an indirect manner that leaves the reader guessing and grasping at the actual meaning. Definition: It is a literary device used for expressing a resistance the protagonist of the story finds in achieving his aims or dreams. The conflict is a discord that can have external aggressors or can even arise from within the self.
It can occur when the subject is battling his inner discord, at odds with his surroundings or it may be pitted against others in the story. Example: John tried hard to convince himself that his Hollywood dreams were worth the struggle but his parents, and his inner voice of reason, failed to agree. Definition: Connotations are the associations people make with words that go beyond the literal or dictionary definition. Many words have connotations that create emotions or feelings in the reader.
Definition: Consonance refers to repetition of sounds in quick succession produced by consonants within a sentence or phrase. The repetitive sound is often found at the end of a word.
Consonance is the opposite of assonance, which implies repetitive usage of vowel sounds. Definition: Denotation refers to the use of the dictionary definition or literal meaning of a word. In the above sentence, house is meant literally as in a building where a family lives. Definition: Deus ex Machina is a rather debatable and often criticized form of literary device.
It refers to the incidence where an implausible concept or character is brought into the story in order to make the conflict in the story resolve and to bring about a pleasing solution.
The use of Deus ex Machina is not recommended as it is seen to be the mark of a poor plot that the writer needs to resort to random, insupportable and unbelievable twists and turns to reach the end of the story.
Example: If in a suspense novel the protagonist suddenly finds a solution to his dilemmas because of divine intervention.
Diction is usually judged with reference to the prevailing standards of proper writing and speech and is seen as the mark of quality of the writing. It is also understood as the selection of certain words or phrases that become peculiar to a writer. It refers to a character in the story that is actually a counterfeit or a copy of a genuine character.
Doppelgangers of the main characters usually bear the ability to impersonate the original but have vastly different spirits and intentions. The doppelganger usually has a different appearance but an earthly soul and supernatural hoodwinking abilities that allow it to fool other unsuspecting characters. Definition: Ekphrastic refers to a form of writing, mostly poetry, wherein the author describes another work of art, usually visual.
It is used to convey the deeper symbolism of the corporeal art form by means of a separate medium. It has often been found that ekphrastic writing is rhetorical in nature and symbolic of a greater meaning.
Example: A photograph of an empty landscape can convey desolation, abandon and loss. Skip to content. Menu List of Literary Devices What are literary devices? Questions and Answers Literary Genres. Example: And once again, the autumn leaves were falling.This Literary Techniques Toolkit is your essential resource for analysing written texts for English.
Students of all year levels should explore this page for techniques to enhance their discussion of texts and strengthen their repertoire of written techniques. We are constantly adding to this reference to ensure that it is as detailed and comprehensive as possible to help you achieve your best in English.
Rather than writing in plain language, composers give more emphasis to their ideas by utilising literary devices to make them stand out. Below is a list of the most common literary devices used in texts the techniques underlined are clickable links that take you to expanded definitions and step-by-step tutorials on analysis :. If you are analysing this text, you should read extracts as examples of allegories.
For example, Napoleon is an allegorical counterpart of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. For example, in T. This is an allusion. Alliteration Alliteration means the repetition of sounds at the start of a word in two or more words in close proximity. Alliteration is a real technique used in poetry, and, in some traditions, it is a unifying feature of the verse. For the most part, you should be careful identifying alliteration.
Use with caution!
Analogy A comparison of two things for the purpose of explanation or clarification. Anecdote An interesting or unique personal story or account. It was all over the papers, but did Aberforth hide? No, he did not! He held his head high and went about his business as usual! Anthropomorphism The act of attributing human qualities to a non-human figure.
Napoleon the pig in Animal Farm has been anthropomorphised — he speaks and acts like a person — and this allows Orwell to use him in an allegorical way.
Here, the speaker takes a casual colloquial register and mocking tone to chide the sun for interrupting him and his lover in bed. Archetype An archetype is a recurring idea, character, or object.
Throughout literary history, there is a hero archetype, for example.
17 of the Most Common Literary Devices Every Reader and Writer Should Know
Assonance Assonance occurs when similar vowel sounds appear close together. This repetition can occur anywhere in the word, not only at the start. Again, use with caution! Bricolage This is a term usually used to describe modern texts that are constructed from pre-existing material, often belonging to multiple sources and text types.Literary devices and terms are the techniques and elements—from figures of speech to narrative devices to poetic meters—that writers use to create narrative literature, poetry, speeches, or any other form of writing.
Request one! An acrostic is a piece of writing in which a particular set of letters—typically the first letter of each line, word, or paragraph—spells out a word or phrase with special significance to the text.
Literary Devices & Terms
An allegory is a work that conveys a hidden meaning—usually moral, spiritual, or political—through the use of symbolic characters and events. The story of "The Tortoise and The Hare" is a well-known allegory with a In literature, an allusion is an unexplained reference to someone or something outside of the text. Writers commonly allude to other literary works, famous individuals, historical events, or philosophical ideas, and they do so in Writers commonly allude to An anachronism is a person or a thing placed in the wrong time period.
For instance, if a novel set in Medieval England featured a trip to a movie-theater, that would be an anachronism. For instance, if a novel set Anadiplosis is a figure of speech in which a word or group of words located at the end of one clause or sentence is repeated at or near the beginning of the following clause or An analogy is a comparison that aims to explain a thing or idea by likening it to something else. For example, a career coach might say, "Being the successful boss or CEO of a company An anapest is a three-syllable metrical pattern in poetry in which two unstressed syllables are followed by a stressed syllable.
The word "understand" is an anapest, with the unstressed syllables of "un" and "der" followed Anaphora is a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences.
An antagonist is usually a character who opposes the protagonist or main character of a story, but the antagonist can also be a group of characters, institution, or force against which the protagonist must contend Antanaclasis is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is repeated within a sentence, but the word or phrase means something different each time it appears.
A famous example of antanaclasis is Some famous Antimetabole is a figure of speech in which a phrase is repeated, but with the order of words reversed. John F. Kennedy's words, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you Antithesis is a figure of speech that juxtaposes two contrasting or opposing ideas, usually within parallel grammatical structures. For instance, Neil Armstrong used antithesis when he stepped onto the surface of the moon in For instance, An aphorism is a saying that concisely expresses a moral principle or an observation about the world, presenting it as a general or universal truth.
The Rolling Stones are responsible for penning one of the Aphorismus is a type of figure of speech that calls into question the way a word is used. Aphorismus is used not to question the meaning of a word, but whether it is actually appropriate Aphorismus is Aporia is a rhetorical device in which a speaker expresses uncertainty or doubt—often pretended uncertainty or doubt—about something, usually as a way of proving a point.General Education.
The AP Literature exam is designed to test your ability to analyze literature. That means you'll have to know how to use analytical tools, like literary elements, to uncover the meaning of a text. Because literary elements are present in every piece of literature really! In this article, we'll give you the literary element definition, explain how a literary element is different from a literary device, and look at the top nine literary elements you need to know before taking the AP Literature exam.
Take a minute and imagine building a house. Stick with us, here. What are some of the things that you would absolutely have to include in order to make a house? Some of those non-negotiable elements are a roof, walls, a kitchen, and a bathroom. If you didn't have these elements, you wouldn't have a house. Heck, you might not even have a building! A literary element's definition is pretty similar. Literary elements are the things that all literature—whether it's a news article, a book, or a poem— absolutely have to have.
Just like a house, the elements might be arranged slightly differently Literary elements are the fundamental building blocks of writing, and they play an important role in helping us write, read, and understand literature. But wait! You've also learned about literary device sometimes called literary techniqueswhich writers use to create literature! Let's go back to our house metaphor for a second.
If literary elements are the must-have, cannot-do-without parts of a house, then literary devices are the optional decor. Maybe you like a classic style a trope! Just because you decorate your house like a crazy person doesn't make it any less of a house.
It just means you have a Literary devices are optional techniques that writers pick and choose from to shape the style, genre, tone, meaning, and theme of their works.
They're the non-negotiable things that make both works "literature. Now let's take a more in-depth look at the most common elements in literature.Whether you're a writer, reader, student, or all of the above, it's important to know how literary devices work.
For writers, strong device usage can elevate prose from meager to magnificent. For readers, they can provide a greater understanding of the text. So for those of you who are new to the concept, let's go over the definition of literary devices and how they're typically used in writing.
Literary devices are techniques that writers use to express their ideas and enhance their writing. Literary devices highlight important concepts in a text, strengthen the narrative, and help readers connect to the characters and themes.
These devices serve a wide range of purposes in literature. Some might work on an intellectual level, while others have a more emotional effect. They may also work subtly to improve the flow and pacing of your writing. No matter what, if you're looking to inject something special into your prose, literary devices are a great place to start. Of course, for readers, literary devices can be difficult to identify.
But here's a good rule of thumb: if you're reading a book and you find the author using language or narrative structure in an unusual way, there's probably a literary device at work. Indeed, some devices show up so frequently, you may not even register them as you're reading!
Literary Devices: Most Commonly Used Literary Devices Used In Writing
Click To Tweet. You've probably heard of most if not all of the devices above. Again, they vary in terms of what they do: some of them relate to word usage and description, while others relate to how scenes play out. Some may be characteristic of specific genres — for example, you'll often see flashbacks and foreshadowing in psychological thrillers — while others, like similes and metaphors, can be found in just about any text.
The difference is that literary devices can be used to enhance writing in many different ways, not all of which involve trying to convince readers of something. Basically, literary devices are artistic; rhetorical devices are informative and persuasive. That said, there can still be quite a bit of overlap between the two.
Click here to learn more about rhetorical devices. An allegory is a type of narrative that uses characters and plot to depict abstract ideas and themes. In an allegorical story, things represent more than they appear to on the surface. Many children's fables, such as The Tortoise and the Hareare simple allegories about morality — but allegories can also be dark, complex, and controversial. Example: Animal Farm by George Orwell. A commentary on the events leading up to Stalin's rise and the formation of the Soviet Union, the pigs at the heart of the novel represent figures such as Stalin, Trotsky, and Molotov.
Alliteration describes a series of words in quick succession that all start with the same letter or sound. It lends a pleasing cadence to prose and poetry both. An allusion is a passing or indirect descriptive reference to something. You probably allude to things all the time in everyday speech, without even noticing. Indeed, there are many famous anachronisms in Shakespeare, such as the University of Halle-Wittenberg in Hamlet and the dollar as currency in Macbeth.
Anastrophe is a figure of speech wherein the traditional sentence structure is reversed. To anthropomorphize is to apply human traits or qualities to a non-human thing such as objects, animals, or the weather.
But unlike personification, in which this is done through figurative description, anthropomorphism is literal: a sun with a smiling face, for example, or talking dogs in a cartoon.
Aphorisms are typically witty and memorable, often becoming adages or proverbs as people repeat them over and over. It can be a character, a setting, a theme, or an action. Archetypes represent feelings and situations that are shared across cultures and time periods, and are therefore instantly recognizable to any audience — for instance, the innocent child character, or the theme of the inevitability of death.
Example: Superman is a heroic archetype: noble, self-sacrificing, and drawn to righting injustice whenever he sees it. Chiasmus is when two or more parallel clauses are inverted. Well, a chiasmus might sound confusing and unnecessary in theory, but it's much more convincing in practice — and in fact, you've likely already come across it before.You have probably heard the term literary device when studying then English language especially if you are studying English literature.
But the term covers a wide range of things so what exactly does it mean? In this article, we are going to be looking at the definition of the term literary device.
We will then dive deeper into the subject and find out what some of the most commonly used literary devices are and how they work.
We will do this by looking at some examples of them in action. A literary device is essentially a technique used by a writer which adds substance or an effect to the text they are writing.
It is used to help the reader create a more detailed image of what is happening within the writing and is employed often in various types of written work. These can include works of fiction, poetry, song and non fiction pieces amongst others. There are many different types of literary devices, some are used more often than others but each one has its own effect on the writing and is used in a specific way. As we mentioned previously, a literary device is used to paint a picture for the reader.
They can add an effect such as sarcasm, rhythm or detail to a piece of writing as well as creating many other effects which further pull the reader in. They are a great way to assist the reader in gaining a deeper understanding of what is being said in the writing and are also used as a way to emphasise a point or to make it more clear.
Many literary devices are put in place in order to convey certain information, especially if the writer wishes to do so in a more creative fashion, therefore making the text much more appealing and interesting to the reader.
Literary devices are an excellent way for writers to make their readers connect with the character within a story on a much more profound level and they can create a deeper meaning to these characters and their situations. When thinking about literary devices in the English language, you are confronted with a lot of them, all offering different ways to influence the text. However, there are some that are used more often than others, and in this section, we will be looking at some of the most commonly used literary devices, what they are used for and how we can apply them in writing.
One of the literary devices that you will see very frequently in writing is alliteration. This literary device is used to add rhythm by the use of repeated sounds at the beginning of adjacent words or words which are very close to one another in a sentence.
A simile is a form of literary device which is used for comparison. They use the words like or as in order to make the comparison and are a very popular form of literary device, most famously used by William Shakespeare. Similar to the simile, a metaphor is used to make a comparison but rather than making a direct comparison, it does so indirectly. The metaphor makes a non literal comparison between two things which are not directly related.
This type of literary device is used to talk about something that may be construed as offensive and so the writer will use a variant on the wording in order to make what is being referred to, more palatable. Euphemism is another one of the literary devices which is closely associated with Shakespeare but is also used by many other writers.
Anaphora is a form of literary device in which the writer uses a repeated phrase at the beginning of consecutive sentences. The reason for doing this is to make a stronger point by using the repetition to almost drill the point into the readers mind. This form of literary device is often used in the writing of speeches, especially those designed to motivate or convince the audience. We are now going to look at some examples of how anaphora is used.
This is a very commonly used literary device which you are likely to come across in many texts when reading. Hyperbole is the used of a statement which is not meant to be seen as literal by the reader.
It is used to emphasise something and to exaggerate something in order to stress the importance. Here are some examples of sentences which feature the use of hyperbole.
Irony comes in various forms and is often used in literature to express a meaning opposite to the one which is being construed.