Hertswood GCSE English – Macbeth: Literary Terms

What is dramatic irony? When the audience knows something a character doesn’t.
What is structure? The overall design of the play – how the plot is revealed, what events happen when, which scenes focus on thoughts and feelings, and which scenes build towards a dramatic climax.
What is blank verse? Blank verse is a type of poetry that follows these three rules: The lines usually don’t rhyme Each line has 10 or 11 syllables Each line has 5 big (stressed) beats.
What are rhyming couplets? A pair of lines that rhyme and have metre.
What is a paradox? A statement that contradicts itself or cancels itself out.
What is an oxymoron? Where two words contradict each other.
What is allusion? Reference to a historical event, work of art, mythical/ literary figure, religious text, etc.
What does ‘aside’ mean? A comment made by an actor. It is heard by the audience but not by the other actors.
What is equivocation? A deliberate misleading statement. It is not technically a lie, but it is also not the whole truth.

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