Romeo and Juliet Literary and Dramatic Terms

Aside Words spoken by a character to the audience or to another character that are not supposed to be overheard by others on the stage
Aside (Act I, Scene 1) Sampson. (aside to Gregory). Is the law on our side if I say ay?Abram. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?Gregory. (aside to Sampson). No. Sampson. No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir; but I bite my thumb, sir.
Act A main division of a drama. Shakespeare’s plays consist of five acts with each act subdivided into scenes
Alliteration The repetition of the same initial sound in two or more consecutive or closely associated words.
Alliteration “Now old desires doth in his deathbed lie”
Allusion A reference to a literary or historical person or event to explain a situation
Comic Relief A humorous scenery speech in a serious dracma which is meant to provide relief from emotional intensity and, by contrast, to heighten the seriousness of the story
Foil Any person or sometimes an object that through strong contrast underscores or enhances the distinctive characteristics of another
Foreshadowing A hint of what is to come in the story
Hyperbole A figure of speech in which conscious exaggeration is used without the intent of literal persuasion. It is used to heighten effect, or it may be used to produce comic effect.
Irony A contrast between what is and what appears to be. One type of irony is verbal irony in which a character says one thing and means another. Another is Dramatic irony in which the audience knows something the characters do not
Metaphor A figure of speech that implies or states a comparison between two unlike things which are similar in some way
Paradox A phrase or statement that while seemingly contradictory or absurd may actually be well founded or true. Paradox is a rhetorical device used to attract attention, to secure emphasis
Personification A figure of speech in which human qualities are attributed in inanimate objects, animals, or ideas
Similie A figure of speech that states a comparison between two essentially unalike things which are similar in one aspect, using like or as
Tragedy A type of drama of human conflict which ends in defeat and suffering. Often the main character (dignified, noble) has a TRAGIC FLAW (weakness of character, wrong judgment) which leads to his or her destruction. Sometimes the conflict is with forces beyond the control of the character ͆ fate , evil in the world.
Iambic Pentameter Line of poetry that contains five unstressed and five stressed syllables
Blank verse Poetry written in us rhymed iambic pentameter
Couplet Two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme
Dialogue Conversation between characters in a story or play
Imagery Language that appeals to the senses
Dramatic Monologue A long speech directed at other characters on stage
Onomatopoeia Use of a word whose sound imitates or suggest it’s meaning
Soliloquy Long speech in which a character who is alone onstage expressed his or her thoughts aloud
Sonnet Fourteen Line poem-usually written in pentameter- having a specific rhyme scheme
Oxymoron Combination of two contradicting elements
Pun Play on the multiple meaning of a word OR words that sound alike but have different meanings

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