Romeo and Juliet Vocabulary and Literary Terms

adversary an enemy, opponent
banishment exile; the state of being banished or ostracized (excluded from society by general consent)
boisterous noisy and lacking in restraint or discipline
dexterity mental skill or quickness
idolatry excessive or blind adoration; worship of an object
lament a cry of sorrow and grief
nuptial related to marriage
peruse To read thoroughly and carefully
reconcile make compatible with; make up
shroud burial garment in which a corpse is wrapped
allusion a reference to another work of literature, person, or event
analogy drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity in some respect
antagonist the character who works against the protagonist in the story
aside a line spoken by an actor to the audience but not intended for others on the stage
blank verse poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter
characterization the personality a character displays; also, the means by which the author reveals that personality
climax the decisive moment in a novel or play
conflict opposition in a work of drama or fiction between characters or forces (especially an opposition that motivates the development of the plot)
couplet two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme
diction word choice
dramatic irony when a reader is aware of something that a character isn’t
dramatic structure the structure of a play
epithet descriptive name
figurative language writing or speech that is not meant to be taken literally
foil a character who sets off another character by contrast
foreshadowing the use of hints and clues to suggest what will happen later in a plot
iambic meter unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable
iambic pentameter a poetic meter that is made up of 5 stressed syllables each followed by an unstressed syllable
imagery language that appeals to the senses
irony incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs
metaphor a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity
motivation the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal
protagonist main character
pun a humorous play on words
repetition repeated use of sounds, words, or ideas for effect and emphasis
monologue a speech by one actor; a long talk by one person
oxymoron conjoining contradictory terms (as in ‘deafening silence’)
personifiction giving human like characteristics to non-human things
simile comparison using like or as
situational irony an outcome that turns out to be very different from what was expected
soliloquy a speech given by a character alone on stage
sonnet a short poem with fourteen lines, usually ten-syllable rhyming lines, divided into two, three, or four sections
symbol something that stands for something else
suspense Uncertainty or anxiety the reader feels about what is going to happen next in a story
theme the central idea of a literary work
verbal irony A figure of speech in which what is said is the opposite of what is meant

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