Romeo and Juliet Literary Devices/Techniques

Alliteration Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds. Writers use alliteration to give emphasis to words, to imitate sounds, and to create musical effects.
Aside An aside is a short speech delivered by an actor in a play, expressing the character’s thoughts. Traditionally, the aside is directed to the audience and is presumed to be inaudible to the other actors.
Blank Verse Blank verse is poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter lines. This verse form was widely used by Elizabethan dramatists like William Shakespeare.
Climax The climax of a story, novel or play is the high point of interest or suspense. The events that make up the rising action lead up to the climax. The events that make up the falling action follow the climax.
Comic Relief Comic relief, is the inclusion of humorous scenes or characters in a serious drama. Writers use comic relief to ease the building emotional intensity.
Conflict A conflict is a struggle between opposing forces. Characters in conflict form the basis of stories, novels, and plays. There are two kinds of conflict: external and internal. In an external conflict, the main character struggles against an outside force. An internal conflict involves a character in conflict with himself or herself.
Couplet A couplet is a pair of rhyming lines, usually of the same length and meter. A couplet generally expresses a single idea
Figurative Language is writing or speech not meant to be interpreted literally. Figurative language is often used to create vivid impressions by setting up comparisons between dissimilar things. Some frequently used figures of speech are metaphors, similes, and personifications.
Foreshadowing is the use in a literary work of clues that suggest events that have yet to occur. Use of this technique helps to create suspense, keeping readers wondering and speculating about what will happen next.
Foil a character who is contrasted with another character.
Imagery Language that appeals to one or more of the five senses.
Dramatic Irony Irony is the general name given to literary techniques that involve differences between appearance and reality, expectation and result, or meaning and intention. In verbal irony words are used to suggest the opposite of what is meant. In dramatic irony there is a contradiction between what a character thinks and what the reader or audience knows to be true. In irony of situation, an event occurs that directly contradicts the expectations of the characters, the reader or the audience.
Meter The meter of a poem is its rhythmical pattern. This pattern is determined by the number and types of stresses, or beats, in each line. To describe the meter of a poem, you must scan its lines. Scanning involves marking the stressed and unstressed syllables.
Oxymoron An oxymoron is a phrase consisting of words that seem the opposite in meaning, such as “sweet sorrow”.
Personification Personification is a type of figurative language in which a nonhuman subject is given human characteristics.
Pun A pun is a play on words based on different meanings of words that sound alike.
Rhyme Scheme A rhyme scheme is a regular pattern of rhyming words in a poem. The rhyme scheme of a poem is indicated by using different letters of the alphabet for each new rhyme. In an aabb stanza, for example, line 1 rhymes with line 2 and line 3 rhymes with line 4.
Simile comparison between two basically unlike ideas. “Claire is as flighty as Roger” is a comparison, not a simile. “Claire is as flighty as a sparrow” is a simile.
Soliloquy A soliloquy is a long speech expressing the thoughts of a character alone or on stage. In ROMEO AND JULIET, Romeo gives a soliloquy after the servant has fled and Paris has died (Act V scene iii).
Sonnet A sonnet is a fourteen-line lyric poem, usually written in rhymed iambic pentameter. The English, or Shakespearean, sonnet consists of three quatrains (four-line stanzas) and a couplet (two lines), usually rhyming abab cdcd efef gg. The couplet usually comments on the ideas contained in the preceding twelve lines.
Tragedy A tragedy is a work of literature, especially a play, that results in a catastrophe for the main character. In ancient Greek drama, the main character was always a significant person, a king or a hero, and the cause of the tragedy was a tragic flaw, or weakness, in his or her character. In modern drama the main character can be an ordinary person, and the cause of the tragedy can be some evil in society itself. The purpose of tragedy is not only to arouse fear and pity in the audience, but also, in some cases, to convey a sense of the grandeur and nobility of the human spirit
Metaphor A metaphor is a figure of speech in which one thing is spoken of as though it were something else. Unlike a simile, which compares two things using like or as, a metaphor states a comparison directly.
Allusion a passing or casual reference; an incidental mention of something, either directly or by implication: an allusion to Shakespeare.
Hyperbole An exaggerated statement, often humorous
Assonance Is the repetition of vowel sounds anywhere in words.
Rhythm Is the pattern of accented and unaccented syllables in a poem. The rhythm of free-verse poetry tends to flow naturally, like speaking. Traditional poetry follows a more regular pattern.
Personification A technique that gives human traits to something that is lifeless.
Metaphor Compares 2 different objects without using like or as.
Simile Comparison of two unlike things with the word like or as
Rhyme noun correspondence of the sound between words or the endings of words, esp. when these are used at the ends of lines of poetry
Consonance is the repetition of constant sounds anywhere in words
Repetition uses the same word or phrase more than once, for emphasis and rhythm
Alliteration It’s the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of a word.
Onomatopoeia The use of words that sound like what they name
Line Breaks Help to control the rhythm of a poem as it is read. Readers naturally tend to pause at the end of t al line. That gives added emphasis to the last word of the line.

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