Literary Terms Page 2

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  1. protagonist
    the main character in a work of fiction - the character readers would like to see succeed
  2. parable
    a simple, brief narrative that teaches a lesson by using characters and events to stand for abstract ideas
  3. irony
    the general term for literary techniques that portray differences between appearance and reality, expectation and result, or meaning and intention
  4. antagonist
    the character who opposes the protagonist
  5. figurative language
    writing or speech not meant to be interpreted literally
  6. imagery
    the descriptive or figurative language used in literature to create word pictures for readers; these pictures are created by details of sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, and movement
  7. narrative
    a story told in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or drama
  8. myth
    a fictional tale that explains the actions of gods or the causes of natural phenomena
  9. allusion
    a reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art
  10. characterization
    the act of creating and developing a character, either direct or indirect
  11. alliteration
    the repetition of initial consonant sounds to give emphasis to words, to imitate sounds, and to create musical effects
  12. conflict
    either external or internal, a struggle between opposing forces
  13. personification
    a type of figurative language in which a nonhuman subject is given human characteristics
  14. theme
    a central message or insight revealed through a literary work
  15. universal theme
    a message about life that can be understood by most cultures
  16. suspense
    the feeling of curiosity or uncertainty about the outcome of events in a literary work
  17. character
    a person, animal, or thing that takes part in the action of a literary work; these include the main, protagonist, antagonist, round, flat and dynamic characters
  18. exposition
    a writing or speech that explains a process or presents information, like the plot of the story that introduces the characters, setting, and situation
  19. free verse
    poetry not written in regular rhythmical pattern or meter
  20. legend
    a widely told story about the past that may or may not have a foundation in fact, generally having more historical truth and less emphasis on the supernatural than does a myth
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Literary Terms Page 2
literary terms
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