Literary Term Examples (Julius Caesar)

Paradox “Brutus, with himself at war” (I.ii.45)
Dramatic Irony Cassius soliloque about how to trick Brutus with false letters (I.ii.301-315)
Allusion “Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow worldLike a Colossus,…” (I.ii.135-136)
Tragedy The bigger questions is, who is the tragic hero that falls, Caesar or Brutus? “Tis very like. He hath the falling sickness” (I.ii.251)
Alliteration “Shake of their sterile curse” (I.ii.9)
Personification “When could they say (till now) that talked of RomeThat her wide walls encompassed but one man?” (I.ii.154-155)
Allegory Tragedies are allegories but not all allegories are tragedies. Understand what this means.
Metaphor “So well as I by reflection, I, your glass,Will modestly discover to yourself” (I.ii.68-69)
Symbol “Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf” (I.ii.212)
Foreshadowing “They shouted thrice. What was the last cry for?Why for that too.Was the crown offered him thrice?Ay, marry was’t! and he put it by thrice…” (I.ii.225-228)
Tragic Flaw Caesar – doesn’t list to othersCassius – too trusting of othersBrutus – easily duped, gullible
Verbal Irony “I am gladThat my weak words have struck but this much showOf fire from Brutus” (I.ii.175-178)
Soliloquy Cassius explaining his plan to send false letters to Brutus (I.ii.301-315)
Aside BRUTUS [Aside] That every like is not the same, O Caesar,The heart of Brutus yearns to think upon! (II.ii.128-129)
Drama Julius Caesar
Act a subdivision/portion of a play or opera or ballet
Scene a subdivision of an act of a play (“the first act has three scenes”)
Iambic Pentameter Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears! (III.ii.70)
Rhyme “And after this let Caesar seat him sure,For we will shake him, or worse days unsure” (I.ii.314-315)
Couplet two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme:”And after this let Caesar seat him sure,For we will shake him, or worse days unsure” (I.ii.314-315)
Protagonist Julius Caesar (or is it Brutus…)
Foil A character who is in most ways opposite to the main character (protagonist) or one who is nearly the same as the protagonist. The purpose of the foil character is to emphasize the traits of the main character by contrast only (Cassius to Brutus and Brutus to Mark Antony)
Antagonist If Brutus is the protagonist, then Caesar or Mark Antony.
Anaphora “Therein ye gods, you make the weak most strong;Therein ye gods, you tyrants do defeat” (I.ii. 91-92)

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