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Literary Terms Epigraph-Parallel Structure

epigraph
a brief quotation which appears at the beginning of a literary work

epithet
in literature, a word or phrase preceding or following a name which serves to describe the character

euphemism
a mild word or phrase which substitutes for another which would be undesirable because it is too direct, unpleasant, or offensive

exposition
in drama, the presentation of essential information regarding what has occurred prior to the beginning of a play

fable
a brief tale designed to illustrate a moral lesson

falling action
series of events which take place after the climax

farce
a type of comedy based on a humorous situation such as a bank robber who mistakenly wanders into a police station to hide

figurative language
in literature, a way of saying one thing and meaning something else

figure of speech
an example of figurative language that states that something is not literally true in order to create an effect

flashback
a reference to an event which took place prior to the beginning of a story or play

foil
a character in a play who sets off the main character or other characters by comparison

foot
the basic unit of measurement in a line of poetry

foreshadowing
in drama, a method used to build suspense by providing hints of what is to come

free verse
unrhymed poetry with lines of varying lengths, and containing no specific metrical pattern

genre
a literary type or form

hyperbole
a figure of speech in which an overstatement or exaggeration occurs

imagery
a word or group of words in a literary work which appeal to one or more of the senses

inference
a judgment based on reasoning rather than on direct or explicit

irony
situational: the result of an action is the reverse of what the actor expected; dramatic: the audience knows something that the characters in the drama do not; verbal: the contrast between the literal meaning of what is said and what is meant

local color
a detailed setting forth of the characteristics of a particular locality, enabling the reader to “see” the setting

lyric poem
a short poem wherein the poet expresses an emotion or illuminates some life principle

metaphor
a figure of speech wherein a comparison is made between two unlike quantities without the use of the words “like” or “as”

metonymy
a figure of speech in which a word represents something else which it suggests

mood
the atmosphere or feeling created by a literary work, partly by the description of the objects or by the style of the descriptions

myth
an unverifiable story based on a religious belief

narrative poem
a poem which tells a story

novel
a fictional prose work of substantial length

ode
a poem in praise of something divine or expressing some noble idea

onomatopoeia
a literary device wherein the sound of a word echoes the sound it represents

oxymoron
a combination of contradictory terms

parable
a brief story, told or written in order to teach a moral lesson

paradox
a situation or a statement that seems to contradict itself, but on closer inspection, does not

parallel structure
a repetition of sentences using the same structure

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