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Literary Terminology

Alliteration: the repetition of beginning consonant sounds e.g. 'My mother had more magic…'

Anaphora: repetition of a word at the beginning of a line or sentence e.g. Talk to me Huracan, Talk to me Shango, Talk to me Oyd.

Antithesis: a figure of speech involving the bringing out of a contrast in the ideas by an obvious contrast in the words, clauses, or sentences, within a parallel grammatical structure, as in the following: “Listen, young men, to an old man to whom old men were glad to listen when he was young.”

Assonance: the repetition of vowel sounds within words e.g. The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain.' Creates a soothing effect.

Consonance: often used in poetry characterized by the repetition of two or more consonants using different vowels, for example the “tter” sound in “pitter patter.” It repeats the consonant sounds but not vowel sounds.

Declarative: a statement.

End-stopped line: a line that is ended by punctuation.

Enjambment: the continuation of a sentence onto the next line without end punctuation, often to highlight an alternative interpretation. Euphemism: The substitution of an inoffensive term for one considered offensively explicit e.g. 'she lay silenced' (to describe death).

Foreshadowing: hinting at events to occur later, giving an idea to what's going to happen in the upcoming events.

Hyperbole: an exaggerated statement used for effect and not meant to be taken literally e.g. T had to wait an eternity for the file to download.

Imperative: an order or command.

Interrogative: a question.

Metaphor: describes a first subject as being or equal to a second object in some way without using 'like' or 'as'. “John was a record-setting runner. That speeding bullet could zip past you without you even knowing he was there.”

Onomatopoeia: a word that sounds the same as, or similar to what the word means e.g. 'bang', 'crash', ’whisper'.

Oxymoron: two opposite terms used together for effect e.g. bittersweet.

Personification: the use of metaphors and similes to give living characteristics to non-living objects e.g. time stood still; love enfolded us in her arms.

Simile: a figure of speech comparing two unlike things, often introduced with the word “like” or “as”. “The mist on the marshes was like a gauzy and radiant mist.”

Literature


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