Beowulf Literary Terms

Alliteration The repetition of consonant sounds in words that are close to one another.
Allusion An indirect or passing reference to some event, person, place, or artistic work.
Canon A Greek word that implies rule or law, and is used in literature
Allegory A short moral story (often with animal characters), an extended narrative in prose or verse ;
Epic A long narrative poem that relates the great deeds of a larger-than-life hero who embodies the values of a particular society.
Epic Hero The central figure in a long narrative who possess larger -than-life qualities such as bravery, loyalty, and heroism.
Foil A character who sets off another character by strong contrast.
Kenning In Anglo-Saxon poetry, a metaphorical phrase or compound word used to name a person, place, thing, or event indirectly.
Litotes An understatement for rhetorical effect
Hyperbole An exaggeration
Personification The act of attributing human characteristics to abstract ideas etc.
Simile A figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with ‘like’ or ‘as’)
Metaphor A figure of speech that makes a comparison between two seemingly unlike things without using a connective word such as like, as, than, or resembles.
Caesura A pause or break within a line of poetry, usually indicated by the natural ryhthm of the language.
Didacticism Teaching or intending to teach a moral lesson
Dichotomy A division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different

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