Category Literary Terms

What is Iambic Pentameter?

A line of iambic pentameter is where there are five sets of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.  The term is derived from “iamb”, meaning a metrical foot used in poetry (a rhythmic unit), with the prefix “penta”… Continue Reading →

What is Ambiguity?

Ambiguity is an idea or situation that can be understood or interpreted in multiple ways.   This concept includes ambiguous sentences, and ambiguous storylines and arguments – teachers may even have written that your essay points are ‘too ambiguous’!  It is often… Continue Reading →

What is Sibilance?

Sibilance is a device in which a hissing “s” sound is created as a result of using repeated soft consonants.  It is a specific type of alliteration.  While most frequently created by the use of ‘s’, it is also effective… Continue Reading →

What is Personification?

Personification is a technique in which human characteristics are applied to inanimate, non-living objects. This is typically achieved through the use of a metaphor. These characteristics often include specific feelings or emotions. Why use Personification? Creating Empathy: The use of personification… Continue Reading →

What is Onomatopoeia?

Onomatopoeia is where a word’s pronunciation is used to imitate sounds, specifically the sound that it describes (e.g. “bang”). This technique can sometimes be confused with interjections. An interjection, as the name suggests, is when speech is inserted as a a… Continue Reading →

What is Bathos?

Bathos is the effect created when a considered or serious subject matter descends into the trivial or silly. These sudden transitions are often very anti-climactic, and often are used to progress or transition into a more humorous subject matter. The… Continue Reading →

What is a Caesura?

A Caesura is a break in the normal flow of a sentence, phrase or metrical line.  It is normally as a result of a piece of punctuation such as a comma or full stop. Types of Caesura There are a… Continue Reading →

What is a Semantic Field?

Semantic Field is a term used to describe a group of words, all of which share a similar concept, theme or subject. Associated Terminology Semantics This is the study of meaning in language, both in a philosophical and linguistic sense…. Continue Reading →

What is Alliteration?

Alliteration is the repetition of the same or similar sounds at the beginning of words. Most cases will have a series of words directly following each other, but even if there are occasional breaks in the pattern it is still… Continue Reading →

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