The following is a list of terms that you
are required to know and should be able to recognize and discuss. I suggest you print out this list and keep
it in your notebook for easy reference. We will be using these terms frequently throughout the course.
is the practice of beginning several consecutive or neighboring words with the same sound, e.g., The twisting trout twinkled
is the repetition of vowel sounds in a series of words, e.g., the words "cry" and "side" have the same vowel sound and so
are said to be in assonance.
is the repetition of a consonant sound within a series of words to produce a harmonious effect, e.g., And each slow dusk
a drawing-down on blinds. The "d" sound is in consonance. as well, the "s" sound is also in consonance.
is a comparison of two different things or ideas through the use of the words like or as. It is definitely stated comparison,
where the poet says one thing is like another, e.g., The warrior fought like a lion.
is a comparison without the use of like or as. The poet states that one thing is another. It is usually a comparison
between something that is real or concrete and something that is abstract, e.g., Life is but a dream.
is a kind of metaphor which gives inanimate objects or abstract ideas human characteristics, e.g., The wind cried in the dark.
(Imitative Harmony) is the use of words in which the sounds seem to resemble the sounds they describe, e.g., hiss,
buzz, bang. when onomatopoeia is used on an extended scale in a poem, it is called imitative harmony.
is a deliberate, extravagant, and often outrageous exaggeration. It may be used either for serious or comic effect; e.g.,
The shot that was heard 'round the world.
(Meiosis) is the opposite of hyperbole. It is a kind of irony which deliberately represents something as much less than it
really is, e.g., I could probably manage to survive on a salary of two million dollars per year.
10. Paradox is
a statement which contradicts itself. It may seem almost absurd. Although it
may seem to be at odds with ordinary experience, it usually turns out to have a coherent meaning, and reveals a truth which
is normally hidden, e.g., The more you know, the more you know you don't know (Socrates).
11. Oxymoron is
a form of paradox which combines a pair of contrary terms into a single expression. This combination usually serves the purpose
of shocking the reader into awareness, e.g., sweet sorrow, wooden nickel.
12. Pun is a play
on words which are identical or similar in sound but which have sharply diverse meanings. Puns may have serious as well as
humorous uses, e.g., When Mercutio is bleeding to death in Romeo and Juliet, he says to his friends, "Ask for me tomorrow,
and you shall find me a grave man."
13. Irony is the
result of a statement saying one thing while meaning the opposite. Its purpose
is usually to criticize, e.g., It is simple to stop smoking. I've done it many times.
14. Sarcasm is
a type of irony in which a person appears to be praising something while he is actually insulting the thing. Its purpose is
to injure or hurt, e.g., As I fell down the stairs headfirst, I heard her say "Look at that coordination."
15. Antithesis - involves
a direct contrast of structurally parallel word groupings generally for the purpose of contrast, e.g., Sink or swim.
16. Apostrophe is a
form of personification in which the absent or dead are spoken to as if present, and the inanimate as if animate. These
are all addressed directly, e.g., The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.
17. Allusion is a
reference to a mythological, literary, historical, or Biblical person, place, or thing e.g., He met his Waterloo.
18. Synecdoche (Metonymy)
is a form of metaphor. In synecdoche, a part of something is used to
signify the whole, e.g., All hands on deck. Also, the reverse, whereby the whole can represent a part, is synecdoche, e.g.,
Canada played the United
States in the Olympic hockey finals. Another form of synecdoche involves the container representing the thing being contained, e.g., The pot is boiling. One last form of synecdoche involves
the material from which an object is made standing for the object itself, e.g., The quarterback tossed the pigskin. In metonymy,
the name of one thing is applied to another thing with which it is closely associated, e.g. I love Shakespeare.