• Literary Device Definitions:

    Metaphor – comparing two unlike things without like or as.

              “I am a rock” to make a point about me being strong.

    Simile – comparing two unlike things using like or as.

              “School is like a prison” to make a point about school.

    Alliteration – repeating the first sound or letter. 

    “Peter, Paul, and Pam paid pennies for pencils.”

    Symbol – a thing or icon representing an idea. The flag or the

    dollar bill, for instance – respresenting the USA or value.

    Personification - giving human qualities to non-humans.

              “The sun smiles down on me”

    Anthropomorphism – a special kind of personification, giving human qualities to animals.

    Meter – the rhythm of a poem; the syllable count.

              Ex: Iambic pentameter= 5 feet of unstressed, stressed

    (10 syllables – a horse gallop of “da dum” or “u   /” ):

                  u     /    u    / u      /     u     /    u       /

    “Let me not to the marriage of true minds”

    Free Verse - a poem without a regular rhythm or meter.

    Repetition – repeating a word or phrase for emphasis. Rhyme is a specific form of this.

    Onomatopoeia – sound words; Boom, bang, pow.

    Imagery – painting a picture with words – used to make a mental image or sensory experience.

    Internal Rhyme – rhyme within the line: “The good could

    be understood.”

    External Rhyme – end rhyme at the end of the poetic line (see enjambment).

    Rhyme Scheme - A regular, repeating pattern in the end

    rhyme, usually coded by letter. A Shakespearean sonnet

    has a rhyme scheme of abab, cdcd, efef, gg.

    Hyperbole – exaggeration: “I could eat a horse.”

    Enjambment – continuing the thought or sentence past the end of the poetic line instead of ending the line with a period, and starting over.

    Stanza – a poetic paragraph.

    Couplet –  two lines together, or possibly a two-line stanza, usually rhyming:    

    Without doubt

    You are a lout

    Quatrain – a four-line stanza (used in a ballad).


    Ballad – a story-telling poem in four-line stanzas or quatrains; Narrative poem

    Haiku – A Japanese form using 3 lines: 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables. Two images united in a third, usually about nature or using natural images.

    Mood – the feeling that a literary work creates in the reader

    Tone -- the feeling the author had for a text

    Figurative Language – language not meant to be taken literally (ex: simile, metaphor, personification)

    Literary Devices – all of these terms

    Allusion – referencing another literary work within your own work in order to make a point

    Prose – paragraph writing