Vocabulary in Literature

Trope: Use of figurative language for artistic effect; high exaggeration.

Alliteration: Repetition of sound; It is the use of the same letters or sound in a sequence of nearby words. The sound is mostly consonant. Eg: Tip top Tim took to tasks tenuously.

Euphemism: It is the technique of substituting an inoffensive expression in place of a blunt one that is felt to be disagreeable or embarrassing. Eg: Pass away instead of die.

Hyperbole: The figure of speech or trope, called hyperbole is bold overstatement, or the extravagant exaggeration of fact or possibility. It may be used for serious, comic or ironic effect. Eg: My books are more precious to me than all the wealth in the world.

Understatement: It is the opposite of hyperbole. It deliberately presents something as negligible in terms of magnitude or intensity. It is normally used or ironic effect. Eg: He is frailer than a breadth of hair.

Irony: There is a gap between the intended meaning and the perceived meaning.

Sarcasm: It is used to refer to all forms of irony. It is mostly used for crude and taunting statements.

Metonymy: A word or expression used as a substitute for something with which it is closely associated. Eg: “The Crown” refers to the king.

Onomatopoeia: It denotes a sound or word which closely resembles the sense it denotes; Replicates sound. Eg: Hiss, Buzz, Rattle, Bang.

Oxymoron: Two contradictory terms appear in conjunction. Eg: Falsely true, deadly life etc.

Anaphora: It is a technique where several phrases or clauses begin with the same word. Eg: I came, I saw, I conquered.

Metaphor: A word or phrase applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. It can also be used for a word which is representative or symbolic of something else. Eg: He is the tiger of the class.

Simile: In a simile, a comparison between two distinctly different things is explicitly indicated by the word “like” or “as”. Eg: “O my love’s like a red, red rose.”

Sonnet: A lyric poem consisting of fourteen lines. It deals with one theme.

Ballad: A song, which is transmitted orally, which tells a story, usually a mythological one. These were primarily folk songs.

Lyric: Refers to a fairly short poem. It was originally written to accompany a lyre, a musical instrument. It is normally rhythmic in nature.

Elegy: It normally refers to a long poem written to mourn the death of someone. Eg: “Oh, captain! My captain!” by Walt Whitman to mourn the death of Abraham Lincoln.

Dirge: A short poem mourning the death of someone. It is usually sung at funerals.

Ode: Along lyric poem that is serious in subject and treatment, elevated in style, and elaborate in stanza structure. It is normally in a form addressing the subject to which it is dedicated. Keats is famous for his odes.




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