Literary Devices

Alliteration

The occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words (e.g. purple pawed parrot).

Allusion

An expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference.

Assonance

The resemblance of sound between syllables of nearby words, arising particularly from the rhyming of two or more stressed vowels, but not consonants (e.g. sonnet, porridge ), but also from the use of identical consonants with different vowels (e.g. killed, cold, culled ).

Antonym

A word opposite in meaning to another (e.g. bad and good ).

Bathos

An effect of anticlimax created by an unintentional lapse in mood from the sublime to the trivial or ridiculous.

Euphemism

A mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.

Hyperbole

Exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

Imagery

Visually descriptive or figurative language

Juxtaposition

The fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect.

Metaphor

A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.

Meter

Meter is a stressed and unstressed syllabic pattern in a verse, or within the lines of a poem. Stressed syllables tend to be longer, and unstressed shorter. In simple language, meter is a poetic device that serves as a linguistic sound pattern for the verses, as it gives poetry a rhythmical and melodious sound.

Onomatopoeia

The formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named (e.g. cuckoo, sizzle, moo ).

Personification

The attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something non-human, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form.

Simile

A figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid (e.g. as brave as a lion ).

Synonym

A word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language (e.g. shut is a synonym of close).


The Five Literary Elements

Character
Setting
Conflict
Plot
Theme

© Copyright Mike Lucas