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The Glossary of Literary Terms

1. Allegory - a comрarison which is protracted and sustained with a double meaning metaphorically implied. Allegory is often used in fables, parables and fiction.

2. Alliteration - a repetition of the same consonant at the beginning of neighbouring words or accented syllables.

"the merry month of May;

"the winnowing wind" (G. Keats)

"welling water's winsome word" (A.Ch. Swinburne)

3. Allusion - a reference to specific places, persons, literary characters or historical events known to the reader that, by some association, have come to stand for a certain thing or an idea.

The Three Graces of Rome (goddesses of beauty, joy and female charm).

"To dress - to dine, and then if to dine, to sleep - to sleep,

to dream. And then what dreams might come." (Galsworthy)

4. Anadiplosis (catch repetition, "doubling") - the repetition of the initial, middle or final word or word-group in a sentence or clause at the beginning of the next with the adjunct idea.

"But Brutus says he was ambitious;

And Brutus is an honorable man..." (W. Shakespeare)

5. Anaphora ("carrying back") - the repetition of the first word or a word-group in several successive sentences, clauses or phrases.

"How many days will finish up the year,

How many years a mortal man may live." (W. Shakespeare)

6. Anticlimax - a slackening of tension in a sentence or longer piece of writing wherein the ideas fall off in dignity, or become less important at the close.

"The wind sung..., and the sailors swore" (G. Byron)

7. Antithesis - the juxtaposition of sharply contrasting ideas in balanced or parallel words, phases or grammatical structures. Antithesis is often based on the use of antonyms and is aimed at emphasizing contrasting features.

"Too brief for our passion, too long for our peace, were these hours..." (G. Byron)

"Immortal, though no more; though fallen, great!" (G. Byron)

8. Antonomasia - the use of a proper name to express a general idea or a substitution of an epithet, or descriptive phrase, or official title for a proper name.

"the Napoleon of crime" (A. Conan Doyle)

"the Gioconda Smile" (A. Huxley)

9. Aposiopesis - (incomplete representation) the sudden intentional breaking off in speech, without completing a thought, as if a speaker was unable or unwilling to speak his mind. What is not finished is implied.

"If you hadn't left your own people, your goddamned old Westberry, Saragota, Palm Beach people to take me on" - (E$. $Hemingway)

10. Assonance - agreement of vowel sounds.

"weak and weary" (E.A. Poe)

11. Asyndeton ("bounding together") - the deliberate avoidance of conjunctions (connectives).

$''$... no units, no flowers, no leaves, no birds..." (Th. Hood)

12. Bathos - a ludicrous descent from the elevated to the commonplace.

13. Burlesque - the comical treatment of a serious subject; often the caricature of the spirit of a serious work.

14. Chiaroscuro ("bright-dark") - a sort of writing in which opposite emotions are mingled.

15. Chiasmus ("cross arrangement") - Inversion in the second phrase of order followed in first.

"Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down" (S.T. Coleridge)

16. Cliché - a stereotyped unoriginal phrase often springing from mental "laziness" (Frank Whitaker); an outworn commonplace phrase that has become hackneyed.

"the Iron Duke"; the iron curtain.

17. Climax (gradation) - an ascending series or scale when the ideas are presented in the order of rising importance.

"Janet Spence's parlour-maid was ugly on purpose..., malignantly, criminally ugly." (A. Huxley)

"She rose - she sprung - she clung to his embrace" (G. Byron)

18. Collision ("shock") - the opposition, struggle of forces or characters in drama, poetry or fiction.

19. Complication ("folding together") - the engagement of contending forces, ideas in a play or narration.

20. Conflict (see collision)

21. Contrast - juxtaposition of unlike characters, ideas or images to heighten the effect; opposed to gradation. "Caesar and Napoleon" (to contrast is to align the two sets of differences and distinctions).

22. Denouement - the solution, clarification or unraveling of the plot of a piece of writing; the unwinding of the action.

23. Detachment ("separation")

1) A separating of a secondary part of a sentence with the aim of emphasizing it.

2) A manner of narration in which the-author stands aloof from and is unaffected by the events and characters he portrays.

24. Discord ("disagreement") - a want of harmony or agreement between persons, or between style and subject-matter of a piece of writing.

25. Dislocation - breach in the word order; the violation of the rule of proximity having a comical effect as its result.

"...Monument to John Smith who was shot as a mark of affection by his brother" (epitaphy)

26. Ellipsis ("defect") - the omission of a word or words necessary for the complete syntactical construction of a sentence but not necessary for understanding it.

Don't know.

Couldn't come.

27. Epithet ("addition") - an attributive characterization of a person, thing or phenomenon. An epithet creates an image and reveals the emotionally coloured individual attitude of the author towards the object spoken of. There are the so-called conversational (standing) epithets, kind of literary cliché: green wood; true love; virgin land.

28. Epistrophe ("over + address") - the repetition of sounds or words in successive clauses or sentences at the end of relatively complete fragments of speech. (Edgar Poe's ``Raven'')

29. Flash-back - turning back to earlier experiences in order to deepen the meaning of present experiences. Modern writers often resort to this device.

30. Framing (``ring repetition'') - a kind of repetition in which the opening word is repeated at the end of a sense-group or a sentence.

"No wonder his father wanted to know what Bosinney meant, no wonder." (G. Galsworthy)

31. Gradation (``step'') - the arrangement of ideas in such a way that each succeeding one rises above its predecessor in impact (impressiveness or force).

"little by little, bit by bit, and day by day, and year by year..." (Ch. Dickens)

32. Grotesque - fantastic exaggeration aimed at representing human beings or their lives as comically distorted, awkward, often implying the confusion (interweaving) of the fantastic and the real.

33. Hyperbole ("transference") - a figure of speech consisting in exaggerating or extravagant statement used to express strong feeling or to produce a strong impression and not intended to be understood literally.

``To cross the world to find you a pin." (A. Coppard)

34. Imagery - figurative language intended to evoke a picture or idea in the mind of the reader; figures of speech collectively. ``An Image is that which presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time''. (Ezra Pound)

35. Intrigue - the plot of a literary work; a complicated (involved, intricate) scheme of actions and events.

36 Irony - the use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning for the purpose of ridicule; an expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meanings.

37. Leitmotif (-iv) ("leading motive") - the theme associated throughout a literary work with a certain character, event or emotion.

38. Litotes ("plain, simple") - a type of ironical understatement made for emphasis; an affirmation expressed by denying its contrary:

He is not half bad... He had not been unhappy the whole day. (E. Hemingway)

39. Local colour - the background stressed so as to suggest a particular place or region with its peculiarities.

40. Malapropism ("not to the purpose") - a grotesque misuse of words based on a blunder in the use of words. The term owes its origin to Sheridan's character, Mrs Malaprop, noted for amusing substitution of one word for another:

illiterate for obliterate.

prostitute for procrastinate

41. Message (idea) - the main idea of a piece of literature carried indirectly through the characters, events and the author's conceptions.

42. Metaphor ("transference") - an implied comparison between two seemingly different things.

Dead (trite) metaphors have entered the language long ago and are commonly used without being noticed:

the leg of the chair; the eye of the needle

Established metaphors add meaning and colour to the expression:

"He is a bull in a china shop", "a wet blanket"

Creative metaphors are coined by the writer to fit a particular situation:

"When Einstein broke ... open the old concept of length

knowledge jumped forward" (Stuart Chase)

43. Metonymy - a figure of speech consisting in the use of one word for another denoting a thing of which it is part or with which it is associated (the effect for the cause; the instrument for the action; the container for the contained).

the vines of France (King of France) (W. Shakespeare)

the milk of Burgundy (the Duke of Burgundy) (W. Shakespeare)

44. Onomatopoeia ("sound imitation") - the use of words in which the sound is suggestive of the object or action designated: crack, jazz, whistle, etc

45. Oxymoron ("sharp + foolish") - a figure of speech consisting in the use of an epithet or attributive phrase (a modifier) in contradiction to the noun it defines.

proud humility (W. Shakespeare)

speaking silence (G. Byron)

46. Paradox ("irregular, wrong opinion") - a statement which though it appears to be self-contradictory, nevertheless involves truth.

"Wine costs money; blood costs nothing." (B. Shaw)

47. Parallelism - the similarity of the syntactical structure of successive phrases, clauses or sentences. Parallel constructions are often accompanied by the repetition of one or more words. This device usually implies comparison.

"She was a good servant, she walked softly, she was a determined woman, she walked precisely." (G. Greene)

48. Periphrasis ("all round + speaking") - the use of a longer phrasing with descriptive epithets, abstract terms etc in place of a possible shorter and plainer form of expression, aimed at representing the author's idea in a roundabout way.

the better sex - women

the seven-hilled city - Rome

organs of vision - eyes

49. Personification - a kind of metaphor; endows a thing, a phenomenon or an abstract notion with features peculiar to a human being. The attribution of personal form, nature or characteristic; the representation of a thing or abstraction as a person.

"Confusion spoke"; "Vice is a monster"

50. Pleonasm (redundancy) - an over-fullness of words in speaking or writing. More words than necessary are used to express the idea, either as a fault of style or a device purposely used for special force or clearness. (B. Shaw's plays)

51. Polysyndeton - repetition of conjunction(s) in close succession as one of the homogeneous parts, or clauses, or sentences, opposed to asyndeton.

"They were all three from Milan and one of them was to be a lawyer, and one was to be a painter, and one had intended to be a soldier..." (E. Hemingway)

52. Redundance, -cy ("to rise in waves") see pleonasm.

53. Repetition - a reiteration of the same word or phrase with the view of expressiveness. Repetition of all kinds is widely used in poetry and prose.

54. Retardation (delayed utterance) - an intentional delay in the completion of the phrases or clauses expressing modality of thought, time and the like to detain the conclusion of the utterance.

55. Rhythm - the measured flow of words and phrases in an utterance.

56. Sarcasm - bitter, socially or politically aimed irony.

57. Satire ("medley") - use of ridicule, irony, sarcasm in writing or speech for the purpose of exposing some moral or social vice.

58. Simile - a figure of speech in which two objects are compared, one of them being likened to the other; a kind of comparison introduced with the help of special grammatical means (conjunctions: as if, like) or suggested by such verbs as resemble, remind and seem.

plain as the nose on your face;

different as chalk from cheese;

run like a hare

59. Stock character - a stereotyped character recognized as belonging to the established class:

Sherlock Holmes - a masterly detective

Bill Sykes - a heavy villain

Soames Forsyte - the man of property

60. Suspense - a device to produce a state of uncertainty, usually with anxiety or expectation. The deliberate sustaining of anticipation by means of postponing; the retarding of the satisfaction of knowing how it all comes out.

61. Symploce ("interweaving") - a syntactic stylistic device consisting in the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning and of another at the end of successive clauses; a device combining anaphora and epistrophe.

62. Synecdoche - a figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole, or the whole for a part, or an individual for a class, etc.

"Тhe Goth, the Christian - Time-War-Flood and Fire; have dealt upon the seven-hilled City's pride.'' (G. Byron)

63. Synonymic repetition - the repetition of the same notion by means of different synonyms.

64. Understatement - a statement which deliberately errs on the side of moderation which does not represent with completeness all the aspects of a case thus avoiding the truth. Numerous instances are found in ``Alice in Wonderland" by L. Carroll.

It's rather a nuisance. I dislike that woman.

65. Zeugma ("yoke") - use of a word in the same grammatical relation to two apparent words in the context, one metaphorical and the other literal in sense.

"Either you or your head must be of." (L. Carroll)

"Juan was a bachelor of arts, and parts, and hearts." (G. Byron)

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