Literary Devices — Romeo and Juliet — David Arena

Sonnet A poem of fourteen lines using any of a number of formal rhyme schemes, in English typically having ten syllables per line
Quatrain A stanza of four lines, especially one having alternate rhymes
Form The “shape” or organizational mode of a particular poem. In most poems (like sonnets), the form consists of a set number of lines, a set rhyme scheme, and a set meter for each line
Figurative Language Figures of speech that are more effective, persuasive, and impactful. Figures of speech go beyond the literal meanings of the words to give the readers new insights.
Iambic A type of “foot” that is an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (da-DUM)
Pentameter When there are five feet in a line of poetry
Iambic Pentameter A line of poetry that is five iambic feet in a row: da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM. This is what Shakespeare uses in his sonnets
Rhyming Couplet Two lines of poetry that have the same rhyme and meter; specifically the two lines at the end of a sonnet
Extended Metaphor A comparison of two unlike things that continues throughout a series of sentences in a paragraph or lines in a poem. It is often comprised of more than one sentence and sometimes consists of a full paragraph
Allusion An expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference
Alliteration A repetition of sounds at the beginnings of words in sequence
Archetype A pattern of storytelling or character development that is repeated throughout literature
Diction The word choices an author makes
Foreshadowing Suggestions of an action to come
Hyperbole Exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally
Imagery The use of sensory detail to provide rich description
Verbal Irony When what is said is not what is meant
Situational Irony When a situation turns out in a way that is different than what is expected
Dramatic Irony When the audience knows something the characters do not
Metaphor A type of figurative language that involves a comparison between two unlike things
Mood The feeling of a whole work, expressed as an adjective like “dark” or “playful”
Motif An image or concept that is repeated throughout a work of literature
Onomatopoeia When the sounds of words are similar to the things they describe
Oxymoron Apparently contradictory terms placed side by side to create one concept
Personification A type of figurative language that involves giving an object human qualities
Pun A joke exploiting multiple meanings of a word or words that sound alike
Rhyme A word, syllable, or line having or ending with a sound that corresponds to another
Simile A metaphor that uses “like” or “as”
Symbol An object that stands for an idea, belief, or intangible concept
Theme The central idea in a piece of literature. A theme is not a single word, but instead a complete idea

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