Literary devices


The repetition of initial sounds in neighboring words.


A reference to a person, event, or place, real or fictional.. It may be drawn from history, geography, literature, religion, etc.


A contrast or opposition between two words, images or ideas.

Dramatic irony

A literary technique where the full ironic significance of a character's words or actions are clear to the audience or reader but unknown to the character.


The use of hints or clues to suggest what will happen later. If an outcome is explicitly revealed early on (such as in the prologue of R&J), it doesn't count.


A ?figure of speech that uses extreme exaggeration to make a point or show emphasis


A figure of speech in which two unlike things are compared without using "like" or "as.


A recurring feature or dominant idea in a piece of literature. *A motif differs from a theme in that it can be expressed as a single word or fragmentary phrase.


A combination of two contradictory words that make a striking expression. (e.g. jumbo shrimp, bittersweet)


The attribution of human characteristics to something nonhuman.


A pun is a play on words where the same sound has different meanings.


A figure of speech involving the comparison of two things with "like" or "as.


The use of symbols (tangible visible things that stand for something else, esp. a material object representing something abstract) to represent ideas.


An important idea that recurs in or pervades a work of literature.


A play dealing with tragic events that go from order to chaos, usually with the downfall of the main character(s).

Verbal irony

The expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect (e.g. sarcasm)