Romeo and Juliet- Act 1 Literary Terms Definition

Aside A dramatic device in which a character speaks his/her thoughts aloud, in words meant to be heard by the audience but not by the other characters.
Blank Verse Unrhymed poetry written in iambic pentameter. That is, each line imitates the natural rhythms of English speech.
External Conflict Involves a character pitted against an outside force, such as nature, a physical obstacle, or another character.
Internal Conflict A conflict that occurs within a character.
Couplet A rhymed pair of lines.
Foreshadowing A writer’s use of hints or clues to indicate events and situations that will occur later in a plot. The use of this technique creates suspense while preparing the reader for what is to come.
Iambic Pentameter A metrical line of five feet, or units, each of which is made up of two syllables, the first unstressed and the second stressed. The most common form of meter used in English poetry; it is the meter used in blank verse and the sonnet.
Metaphor A figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things that are basically unlike but that have something in common. Does not use the word like or as.
Simile A figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things using the word like or as.
Pun A joke that comes from a play on words. Can make use of a word’s multiple meanings or of a word’s rhyme.
Analogy A point by point comparison between two things that are alike in some respect
Foil A character who provides a striking contrast to another character
Imagery Consists of descriptive words and phrases that re-create sensory experiences for the reader
Monologue A lyric poem in which a speaker addresses a silent or absent listener in a moment of high intensity or deep emotion, as if engaged in private conversation
Oxymoron Contradictory/opposite ideas are joined to create an effect
Personification A figure of speech in which human qualities are attributed to an object, animal, or idea
Soliloque A speech in which a character speaks thought aloud
Allusion An indirect reference to another literary work or to a famous person, place, or event
Climax The moment when the reader’s interest and emotional intensity reach the highest point
Symbol A person, a place, an activity, or an object that stands for something beyond itself
Comic Relief a humorous scene, incident, or speech that is included in a serious drama to provide a change from emotional intensity
Irony a special kind of contrast between appearance and reality- usually one in which reality is the opposite form what it seems
Dramatic Irony The reader or viewer knows something the character does not know
Situation Irony the contrast between what a reader or character expects and what actually exists or happens
Verbal Irony Occurs when someone knowingly exaggerates or says one thing and means another
Protagonist the central character or hero in a narrative or drama
Antagonist the principal character in opposition to the protagonist
Tragedy a dramatic work that represents the downfall of a dignified character or characters who are involved in historically or socially significant events
Theme the main idea in a work of literature
Motif any recurring element that has symbolic significance in a story

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