Romeo and Juliet literary terms

Alliteration Repetition of initial consonant sounds. Usually gives emphasis, imitates sound, or gives musical effect. Ex. “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes; a pair of star cross’d lovers take their life.”
Allusion Reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art. Ex. “But all so soon as the all-cheering sun should in the farthest east begin to draw the shady curtains from Aurora’s bed.”
Apostrophe Speaker addresses someone absent, dead, or inanimate. . .Ex. “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?”
Aside Short speech delivered by an actor in a play, usually directed to an audience and presumed inaudible to the other actors. Ex. “Shall I hear more or shall I speak at this?”
Blank verse Poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter lines. Doesn’t rhyme. Ex. “Put up your swords, you know not what you do.”
Dramatic irony Contradiction between what a character thinks and what the reader/audience knows to be true. Ex.
Flat character Shows only one trait. Ex. Tybalt, Paris
Foil character/dramatic foil Character who provides contrast to another character. Ex. Romeo and Benvolio
Iambic pentameter Foot with one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, as in “again.”Ex.
Metaphor Figure of speech which one thing is spoken as though it were something else. It implies a comparison between them. Ex. “If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine. . .”
Monologue A speech by one character in a play, story, or poem.
Oxymoron Figure of speech which two ideas of opposite meaning are combined to form an expressive phrase. Ex. “Damned saint,an honorable villain!”
Personification Type of figurative language which a nonhuman subject is given human characteristics.
Rhyme scheme Regular pattern of rhyming words in a poem
Round character Shows many different traits – faults and virtues.
Simile Figure of speech which like or as is used to make a comparison between two basically unlike ideas.
Soliloquy Long speech expressing thoughts of a character alone on stage.
Symbolism Anything that stands for/represents something else. An object that serves as a symbol has it’s own meaning but also represents abstract ideas.
Tragedy Work of literature, especially a play, that results in a catastrophe for the main character. Tragedy causes fear and pity.

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