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Saturday, 18 October 2014

Literary Devices



Allegory: It is an attempt through which abstract or symbol is used to portray evils and ills common in our society. In an allegorical narrative, the author generally uses symbolic objects in order to vividly portray abstract ideas or events that are not directly mentioned in the text.
Allusion: It is a direct or indirect reference made to other pieces of art, events, literary work, places, people or myths to enrich the content of the immediate text.
Stream of consciousness: This is a definite line of thoughts, emotions and feelings, which focus on the writer’s mind. It is a narrative method that produces a character’s random thought and association, which makes the readers to appreciate the work better, based on the writer’s impressions as amplified in the text.
Fatalism: This is a belief that events are decided by fate. In fatalism, people accept all that happen to them as inevitable or predestined. It is a philosophical doctrine that what will be, will be.
Aesthetics: It is the study or appreciation of beauty in a work of literature.

Antonomasia: This refers to the use of a person’s name of honour as his real name.
Archaic expression: These are old fashioned speech or writing. They are still used in poetry. Such expressions occur in many forms as ‘thou’, ‘thee’, ‘ye’, ‘thine’ etc. These kinds of dictions are very popular the works of Shakespeare, John Donne and the likes.
Cliché: A word or expression which has lost its vitality and to some extent its original meaning.
Parody: This is the indirect imitation of another popular writer with the primary aim of mocking him.
Burlesque: This is a story, essay, or play that treats a serious subject as if it were not serious and treated an unserious one as if it were serious. The aim is to imitate the real issue and make fun of it.

Complex plot: This is also known as Double Plot. This is a story in which there are two plots in one, one plot subordinate to the other.
Premiere: The first performance or showing of a new play. It is the maiden edition of any work of creativity. It is also the first public performance.
Satire:It is the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticise the ills of the society,human flaws, ideas, social customs, or institutions with the aim of correcting them.

Foyer: A large room created for the audience in a theatre.
Epithet: This is a descriptive remark or phrase used to rebuke somebody.
Eulogy: It is a piece of writing praising a person or thing.
Lampoon: Quite synonymous to satire, it is a piece of writing or remark that attacks or makes fun of a person in an insulting way.
Anthology: It’s a collection of poetry or verse.
Dilemma: It is a situation whereby a character, usually a hero is faced or confronted with two conflicting dangerous situations, between which he has to make an inevitable choice.
Jeremaid: The word is coined from Jeremiah. It is a lamentation over a bad situation.
Pathetic Fallacy: This is the attributing of human psychological traits, characteristics and qualities to nature.
Catastrophe: It is usually the climax of a tragic play or narrative. It usually ends on a melancholic note. In this regard, the conflict is resolved in favour of the antagonist.
Reverie: It is a mental state in which one finds oneself when one has lost consciousness of immediate surroundings or environment.
Verisimilitude: This is something that has the appearance of truth or close to reality or truth.
Synopsis: This is a summary of a literary work.
Juxtaposition: This is the placing of a thing side by side with another thing, to check for difference or similarities between them.
Nemesis: it is a re-bounce of an evil deed committed by a particular character mainly exemplified by highly placed characters in a tragedy. Nemesis is a mythical Greek goddess of retributive justice that apportions what is due to a character according to his deeds.
Aesthetic distance: This is when a writer makes his story so objective that the emotions expressed cannot be directly linked to his person.
Malapropism: This is the misapplication, but not mispronunciation of words.
Tautology: This is an unnecessary repetition of something or same idea in different words.
Ballet: It is a form of dance that tells a story as the dancing is on.
Epiphany: It is a literary work or poem on the appearance or manifestation of a thing especially a deity.
Bard: A poet whose work has won a competition or who is regarded by a country as its national poet.
Oedipus complex: It’s a strong feeling or ego where a person attaches himself strongly to one person but develops hatred, fear, and hostility for the other or towards another person, who also exhibits similarities with him.
Proverb: It is a popular but short saying containing wisdom and warning.
Anecdote: It is an amusing short but interesting account of a particular event.
Epigram: It’s a short witty saying.
Sarcasm: It’s a bitter remark intended to wound someone’s feelings.
Symbolism:It is the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities. This literary device involves using a person, object, or action to stand for something else—often an abstract idea.

In Media Res:A Latin expression that means that the story actually starts in the middle of the action.

Invective: It is a harsh or abusive language.

Black Humour:Grotesque or morbid humour which is used to express the absurdity, cruelty, and insensitivity of the modern world. Ordinary characters or situations are exaggerated far beyond the limits of normal satire or irony. Black humour uses devices often associated with tragedy and it is sometimes equated with tragic farce.

Aphorism:It is a short, wise saying that portrays a general truth or idea held by many people. For example,One man’s meat is another man’s poison.”

Rhetorical question: It is a question posed to provoke thought rather than to generate an answer. This type of question may have an implied or obvious answer that the audience already knows.

Apostrophe:It is a form of direct address spoken by a character to an inanimate object or a person as if they are present.

Motif: It’s a recurring important idea or image in a literary work. A motif is different from a theme.

Narrator: It is the person or character who actually tells the story, filling in the background information and bridging the gaps between dialogues.

Moral: It is the lesson a story teaches.

Innuendo:It is an act of passing an unpleasant remark without saying it directly.


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