Fiction- stories that include (1) characters, (2) settings and/or (3) events that have been created in the imagination of the writer. If any of these three are invented, the entire story is deemed fiction.
Figurative language- language employing one or more figures of speech (simile, metaphor, imagery, etc.)
Flashback- the insertion of an earlier event into the normal chronological order of a narrative
Flat character- a character who embodies a single quality and who does not develop in the course of a story
Foil - A character who contrasts with another character in order to highlight various features of the characters' personalities, throwing these characteristics into focus.
Foreshadowing- hints or clues that give subtle hints or clues about what may happen later in the plot. This can be achieved through symbolism, dialogue, imagery or other literary devices.
Frame tale- a story within a story. An example is Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, in which the primary tales are told within the “frame story” of the pilgrimage to Canterbury.
Genre- a major category or type of literature
Hubris- excessive pride or arrogance that results in the downfall of the protagonist of a tragedy
Hyperbole- intentional exaggeration to create an effect
Idiom- an expression in a given language that cannot be understood from the literal meaning of the words in the expression. EX: “It’s raining cats and dogs.”
Imagery- the use of figures of speech to create vivid images that appeal to one of the senses
Prose – non-poetry, most writing falls into this category (short stories, novels, nonfiction, etc.)
Protagonist- A main character of the plot who is usually considered the hero or positive individual
Pun- a play on words, often achieved through the use of words with similar sounds but different meanings EX: In Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio uses the following pun: “Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man.” (Grave means serious/sad as well as dead.)
Resolution- the part of the story's plot line in which the problem of the story is resolved or worked out. This occurs after the falling action and is typically where the story ends.
Rhyme scheme- a set pattern of rhyming words found at the ends of lines of poetry. The rhyme scheme is indicated by assigning capital letters to pinpoint the pattern.
Round character – a character that, like a real person, has many different character traits that sometimes contradict each other.
Satire: ridicule intended to expose truth
Setting- the location, time period, season, holiday during which the events of a plot take place
Simile- the comparison of two or more related objects or events using the words "like' or "as" in the phrasing.
Situational irony - a mismatch between what the reader thinks may happen and how the event or story actually is resolved; a surprise ending with a real twist.
Soliloquy- when a character is ALONE (solo) on stage, speaking aloud their thoughts or emotions. Soliloquies often reveal motivation and/or foreshadowing.
Sonnet – a 14-line poem with a specific rhyme scheme.
Speaker – the “narrator” of a poem; in poetry, we use the term “speaker” instead of “narrator”
Stanza – the division of a poem similar to a “paragraph” in a work of prose
Static character – a character that does not change through the course of a story
Suspense- a building or rising sense of concern or interest in what will happen in a plot.
Symbol- an object that is used to represent something else
Symbolism- the use of objects, animals (especially birds), colors, etc. that have a greater or universal meaning beyond their simple existence. The symbols can offer information and even create foreshadowing if the reader understands or notes their meaning.
Theme- the message, advice or warning about life and/or relationships the author shares through their characters' experiences. This message is often inferred; it is more than just a simple "moral to the story".
Thesis- the primary position taken by a writer or speaker
Tone- the attitude of a writer, usually implied, toward the subject or audience
Tragedy- a work in which the protagonist, a person of high degree, is engaged in a significant struggle and which ends in ruin or destruction.
Turning point- the point in a work in which a very significant change occurs
Unreliable narrator – a narrator (often first person) who cannot be trusted or lacks believability for some reason
Verbal irony- a type of dialogue in which what is being said has a hidden or secondary meaning to what is meant. This can be a device used to achieve foreshadowing.