Poetic Devices Poetic devices are tools authors use to create rhythm, meaning, or mood.

Question Answer
alliteration The repetition of initial consonant sounds used especially in poetry. Example: The balmy breeze blew softly.
allusion a reference to a well known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art
characterization the techniques a writer uses to create and develop a character
dialect speech that reflects pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar typical of a geographical region
flashback interruption of the order of events in a story to present something that happened before the beginning of the story
figurative language language that has meaning beyond the literal (obvious) meaning
metaphor comparison of two things essentially different but with some commonalities; does not use "like" or "as" Example: Her smile was ice.
simile comparison of two things using the words "like" or "as" Example: Her smile was as cold as ice.
hyperbole a purposeful exaggeration for emphasis or humor
personification human qualities given to an animal, object, or idea. Example: The wind exhaled.
free verse poetry that does not conform to a regular meter or rhyme scheme
foreshadowing important hings that an author drops to prepare the reader for what is to come
imagery words or phrases that appeal to the reader's senses
humor the quality of a literary or informative work that makes the character and/or situations seem funny, amusing, or ludicrous
irony an event occurs that is opposite of what is expected
onomatopoeia the use of words that imitate soundsExample: hiss, buzz, crunch
point of view the perspective from which the story is told (first person, third person, third person limited, third person omniscient
satire writing that comments humorously on human flaws, ideas, social customs, or institutions in order to change them
style the distinctive way that a writer uses language including such factors as word choice, sentence, arrangement, and complexity, and the use of figurative language and imagery
suspense a feeling of excitement, curiosity, or expectation about what will happen
symbol person, place, or thing that represents something beyond itself most often something concrete or tangible that represents an abstract idea
antagonist the person or force that works against the hero of the story
climax the high point in the action of a story
conflict the problem or struggle between 2 opposing forces in a story
dialogue the conversations that characters have with one another
exposition the beginning of the story in which characters are introduced, background is explained, and setting is described
falling action the action and dialogue following the climax that lead the reader to the story's end
mood the feeling a piece of literature creates in the reader
narrator the person telling the story
plot the action that makes up the story
protagonist the main character in a story, often a good or heroic type
resolution the part of the story in which the problems are solved and the action comes to a satisfying end
rising action the central part of the story during which various problems arise after a conflict is introduced
setting the place and time frame in which a story takes place
theme the message about life or human nature that is the focus of a story
What is the formula for finding the theme? Theme= Subject + what the author is trying to teach you about the subject
allegory a story in which the characters and events are symbols that stand for ideas about human life or for a political or historical situation Example" LOTF is an allegory about the darkness in man's heart
tone the author's attitude toward the subject of a text
motif an object or idea that repeats itself throughout a literary work. Example: (blood, and rain were motifs in Macbeth)
assonance repeated vowel sounds in poetry
consonance repeated consonant sounds in poetry
juxtaposition contrast between 2 things (Ex: light vs dark)
persona when a writer takes on the personality of another

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