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- A recurring object, concept, or structure in a work of literature.
- A motif may also be two contrasting elements in a work, such as good and evil.
- In the Book of Genesis, we see the motif of separation again and again throughout the story. In the very first chapter, God separates the light from the darkness. Abraham and his descendants are separated from the rest of the nation as God's chosen people. Joseph is separated from his brothers in order that life might be preserved. Another motif is water, seen in Genesis as a means of destroying the wicked and in Matthew as a means of remitting sins by the employment of baptism. Other motifs in Genesis and Matthew include blood sacrifices, fire, lambs, and goats. A motif is important because it allows one to see main points and themes that the author is trying to express, in order that one might be able to interpret the work more accurately.
A collection of events that tells a story, which may be true or not, placed in a particular order and recounted through either telling or writing. One example is Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." In this story a madman resolves to kill his landlord because he fears the man's horrible eye. One night he suffocates the landlord and hides the body beneath the floorboards of the bedroom. While fielding questions from the police in the bedroom where the body is hidden, the madman thinks he hears the heart of the victim beating beneath the floorboards. Scared that the police hear the heartbeat too, the madman confesses. This is a narrative because of two things, it has a sequence in which the events are told, beginning with murder and ending with the confession, and it has a narrator, who is the madman, telling the story. By understanding the term "narrative,” one begins to understand that most literary works have a simple outline: the story, the plot, and the storyteller. By studying more closely, most novels and short stories are placed into the categories of first-person and third-person narratives, which are based on who is telling the story and from what perspective. Other important terms that relate to the term "narrative,” are "narrative poetry," poetry that tells a story, and "narrative technique" which means how one tells a story.
3. Point of view
A way the events of a story are conveyed to the reader, it is the “vantage point” from which the narrative is passed from author to the reader. The point of view can vary from work to work. For example, in the Book of Genesis the objective third person point of view is presented, where a “nonparticipant” serves as the narrator and has no insight into the characters' minds. The narrator presents the events using the pronouns he, it, they, and reveals no inner thoughts of the characters. In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Cask of Amontillado” the first person point of view is exhibited. In this instance the main character conveys the incidents he encounters, as well as giving the reader insight into himself as he reveals his thoughts, feelings, and intentions. Many other points of view exist, such as omniscient (or “all knowing”) in which the narrator “moves from one character to another as necessary” to provide those character’s respective motivations and emotions. Understanding the point of view used in a work is critical to understanding literature; it serves as the instrument to relay the events of a story, and in some instances the feelings and motives of the character(s).
A protagonist is considered to be the main character or lead figure in a novel, play, story, or poem. It may also be referred to as the "hero" of a work. Over a period of time the meaning of the term protagonist has changed. The word protagonist originated in ancient Greek drama and referred to the leader of a chorus. Soon the definition was changed to represent the first actor onstage. In some literature today it may be difficult to decide who is playing the role of the protagonist. For instance, in Othello,we could say that Iago is the protagonist because he was at the center of all of the play's controversy. But even if he was a main character, was he the lead character? This ambiguity can lead to multiple interpretations of the same work and different ways of appreciating a single piece of literature
a character in a story or poem who deceives, frustrates, or works again the main character, or protagonist, in some way. The antagonist doesn’t necessarily have to be an person. It could be death, the devil, an illness, or any challenge that prevents the main character from living “happily ever after." In fact, the antagonist could be a character of virtue in a literary work where the protagonist represents evil. An antagonist in the story of Genesis is the serpent. He convinces Eve to disobey God, setting off a chain of events.that leads to Adam and Eve being banished from paradise. In the play Othello by William Shakespeare, the antagonist is Iago. Throughout the play, he instigates conflicts and sows distrust among the main characters, Othello and Desdemona, two lovers who have risked their livelihood in order to elope. Iago is determined to break up their marriage due to his suspicions that Othello has taken certain liberties with his wife.
Literature based on a journey, a road of trials in which a hero hears a call and leaves his home—alone or in the company of others—to search out a treasure. Along he way he undergoes trials, receives aid, fights enemies and may even die, and, if he succeeds in attaining the treasure sought, may change who and what he is.
the time, place, physical details, and circumstances in which a situation occurs. Settings include the background, atmosphere or environment in which characters live and move, and usually include physical characteristics of the surroundings. Settings enables the reader to better envision how a story unfolds by relating necessary physical details of a piece of literature. A setting may be simple or elaborate, used to create ambiance, lend credibility or realism, emphasize or accentuate, organize, or even distract the reader. Settings in the Bible are simplistic. In the book of Genesis, we read about the creation of the universe and the lives of the descendants of Adam. Great detail is taken in documenting the lineage, actions, and ages of the characters at milestones in their lives, yet remarkably little detail is given about physical characteristics of the landscape and surroundings in which events occurred. In Genesis 20, we learn that because of her beauty, Sarah’s identity is concealed to prevent the death of her husband, Abraham. Yet, we have no description of Sarah or Abraham’s hair, eye or skin color, height, weight, physical appearance, or surroundings. Detailed settings that were infrequent in some ancient writings like the Bible are common in today’s literature. In recent literature, settings are often described in elaborate detail, enabling the reader to vividly envision even imaginary characters and actions like the travels of Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Settings have a way of drawing the reader into a piece of literature while facilitating understanding of the characters and their actions. Understanding the setting is useful because it enables us to see how an author captures the attention of the reader by painting a mental picture using words.
8. Stock character
Stock characters are those types of characters who have become conventional or stereotypical through repeated use in particular types of stories. Stock characters are instantly recognizable to readers or audience members (e.g. the femme fatale, the cynical but moral private eye, the mad scientist, the geeky boy with glasses, and the faithful sidekick).
a symbol is a word or object that stands for another word or object. The object or word can be seen with the eye or not visible. For example a dove stands for Peace. The dove can be seen and peace cannot. The word is from the Greek word symbolom. All language is symbolizing one thing or another. However when we read the book of Genesis it talked about a few symbols. In the story of Adam and Eve when Eve ate the apple, the apple stood for sin. Another reading Cain and Able. The two brothers stood for good and evil, humility and pride. Cain pulled Able to the fields and killed him. In this it is a hidden symbol. It is showing that Cain stands for the bad and Able stands for the good
a literary device that is used when a character reveals his or her innermost thoughts and feelings, those that are hidden throughout the course of the story line, through a poem or a speech. This speech, where only one character speaks, is recited while other characters are present onstage. This monologue often comes during a climactic moment in a work and often reveals hidden truths about a character, their history and their relationships. Also it can further develop a character's personality and also be used to create irony. The most famous examples of this special type of monologue can be found within the poems of Robert Browning, poem such as "My Last Duchess," "The Bishop Orders his Tomb," and "Andrea Del Santo". Browning's use of dramatic monologue has a special effect on his works. The revelations of his characters not only develop themselves, but they also create settings within the monologues with their use of vivid imagery. In Browning's works, the characters almost seem to take control of the story line, creating a poem of their own. Other authors whose works included dramatic monologues are Robert Frost and T.S. Elliot.
The attitude a writer takes toward his or her subject, characters, and readers. Through tone, a writer can amuse, anger, or shock the reader. Tone is created through the choice of words and details.
In literature, mood is a literary element that evokes certain feelings or vibes in readers through words and descriptions.
A speech, usually lengthy, in which a character, alone on stage, expresses his or her thoughts aloud. The soliloquy is a very useful dramatic device, as it allows the dramatist to convey a character’s most intimate thoughts and feelings directly to the audience
14. Oedipal (Oedipus) complex
The attachment of the child to the parent of the opposite sex, accompanied by envious and aggressive feelings toward the parent of the same sex.
Rhetoric is technique of using language effectively and persuasively in spoken or written form. It is an art of discourse, which studies and employs various methods to convince, influence or please an audience.
For instance, a person gets on your nerves, you start feeling irritated, and you say, “Why don’t you leave me alone?” By posing such a question, you do not ask for a reason. Instead, you simply want him to stop irritating you. Thus, you direct language in a particular way for effective communication or make use of rhetoric
- How does this idiot got elected? – A rhetorical question to convince others that “idiot” does not deserve to be elected.
- I will die if you asked me to sing in front of my parents – A hyperbole to persuade others not to use force in doing something which is not liked
- All blonde-haired people are dumb. – Using a stereotype to develop a general opinion about a group.
- A paradox in literature refers to the use of concepts/ ideas that are contradictory to one another, yet, when placed together they hold significant value on several levels. The uniqueness of paradoxes lies in the fact that a deeper level of meaning and significance is not revealed at first glace, but when it does crystallize, it provides astonishing insight.
- Example: High walls make not a palace; full coffers make not a king.
In writing or in speech, parallelism is the use of components in a sentence that are grammatically same or similar in their construction, sound, meaning or meter.
This method adds balance and rhythm to sentences giving ideas a smoother flow and thus can be persuasive because of the repetition it employs. For example, “Alice ran into the room, into the garden, and into our hearts.” We see the repetition of a phrase that not only gives the sentence a balance but rhythm and flow as well. This repetition can also occur in similar structured clauses e.g. “Whenever you need me, wherever you need me, I will be there for you.”
Diction can be defined as style of speaking or writing determined by the choice of word by a speaker or a writer.
Diction or choice of words separates a good writing from bad writing. It depends on a number of factors. Firstly, the word has to be right and accurate. Secondly, words should be appropriate to the context in which they are used. Lastly, the choice of words should be such that the listener or readers understand easily. Besides, Proper diction or proper choice of words is important to get the message across. On the contrary, the wrong choice of words can easily divert listeners or readers which results in misinterpretation of the message intended to be conveyed.
- Example:“Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
- Your leaves, nor ever bid the spring adieu.”
It is more formal to use “adieu” than to say “goodbye”.
Hamartia is a personal error in a protagonist’s personality that brings about his tragic downfall in a tragedy. This defect in a hero’s personality is also known as a “tragic flaw.
Aristotle used the word in his “Poetics” where it is taken as a mistake or error in judgment. The term envelops wrongdoings which may be accidental or deliberate. For example, a hero wants to achieve something but, while doing so, he commits an intentional or accidental error and he ends up achieving exactly the opposite with disastrous results. Such downfall is often marked by the reversal of fortune.
A literary movement seeking to depict life as accurately as possible, without artificial distortions of emotion, idealism, and literary convention. The school of thought is a product of post-Darwinian biology in the nineteenth century. It asserts that human beings exist entirely in the order of nature. Human beings do not have souls or any mode of participating in a religious or spiritual world beyond the biological realm of nature, and any such attempts to engage in a religious or spiritual world are acts of self-delusion and wish-fulfillment. Humanity is thus a higher order animal whose character and behavior are, as M. H. Abrams summarizes, entirely determined by two kinds of forces, hereditary and environment. The individual's compulsive instincts toward sexuality, hunger, and accumulation of goods are inherited via genetic compulsion and the social and economic forces surrounding his or her upbringing.
The scene in a tragedy which includes the death or moral destruction of the protagonist. In the catastrophe at the end of Sophocles' "Oedipus the King," Oedipus, discovering the tragic truth about his origin and his deeds, plucks out his eyes and is condemned to spend the rest of his days a wandering beggar. The catastrophe in Shakespearean tragedy occurs in Act 5 of each drama, and always includes the death of the protagonist. Consider the fates of Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, King Lear, and Othello.
The turning point of uncertainty and tension resulting from earlier conflict in a plot. At the moment of crisis in a story, it is unclear if the protagonist will succeed or fail in his struggle. The crisis usually leads to or overlaps with the climax of a story, though some critics use the two terms synonymously.
23. Mock heroic
- Mock-heroic is a term used to describe poems which use a very grand and formal style to describe a common or trivial subject for which this style is not appropriate. This leads to a comic effect since the style of the poem is mismatched with the subject.
- For example:
- A poem with a hero who does battle with monsters (such as Beowulf) is heroic, and can also be epic if it is sufficiently long
- A poem in which the central character is not brave or does not have genuine adventures, such as some parts of Byron's Don Juan (1819-24), is mock-heroic.
- A hyperbole is a literary device wherein the author uses specific words and phrases that exaggerate and overemphasize the basic crux of the statement in order to produce a grander, more noticeable effect. The purpose of hyperbole is to create a larger-than-life effect and overly stress a specific point. Such sentences usually convey an action or sentiment that is generally not practically/ realistically possible or plausible but helps emphasize an emotion.
- “I am so tired I cannot walk another inch” or “I’m so sleepy I might fall asleep standing here”.
25. Iambic pentameter
- Iambic pentameter is the name given to a line of verse that consists of five iambs (an iamb being one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed, such as "before"). It has been a fundamental building block of poetry in English, used in many poems by many poets from the English Renaissance to the present day.
- Her vestal livery is but sick and green
- And none but fools do wear it; cast it off. (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)
- a figure of speech in which two opposite ideas are joined to create an effect. The common oxymoron phrase is a combination of an adjective proceeded by a noun with contrasting meanings e.g. “cruel kindness” or “living death”. However, the contrasting are not always glued together. The contrasting ideas may be spaced out in a sentence e.g. “In order to lead, you must walk behind.”
- Open secret
- Tragic comedy
- Seriously funny
- Awfully pretty
- Foolish wisdom
- Original copies
- Liquid gas
A pun is a play on words in which a humorous effect is produced by using a word that suggests two or more meanings or by exploiting similar sounding words having different meanings.
Humorous effect created by puns depends upon the ambiguities words entail. The ambiguities arise mostly in homophones and homonyms. For instance, in a sentence “A happy life depends on a liver” liver can refer to the organ liver or simply the person who lives.
- The life of a patient of hypertension is always at steak.
- A horse is a very stable animal
- Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
- An elephant’s opinion carries a lot of weight
- Style in literature is the literary element that describes the ways that the author uses
- words — the author's word choice, sentence structure, figurative language, and sentence
- arrangement all work together to establish mood, images, and meaning in the text. Style
- describes how the author describes events, objects, and ideas.
- Example (consider the differences in the following sentences):
- He's passed away.
- He's sleeping with the fishes.
- He died.
- He's gone to meet his Maker.
- He kicked the bucket.
- Anthropomorphism can be understood to be the act of lending a human quality, emotion or ambition to a non-human object or being. This act of lending a human element to a non-human subject is often employed in order to endear the latter to the readers or audience and increase the level of relativity between the two while also lending character to the subject.
- The raging storm brought with it howling winds and fierce lightning as the residents of the village looked up at the angry skies in alarm.
- a drop, often sudden and unexpected, from a dignified or important idea or situation to one that is trivial or humorous. Also a sudden descent from something sublime to something ridiculous. In fiction and drama, this refers to action that is disappointing in contrast to the previous moment of intense interest. In rhetoric, the effect is frequently intentional and comic.
- Example: "Usama Bin Laden: Wanted for Crimes of War, Terrorism, Murder, Conspiracy, and Nefarious Parking Practices."
The way an author presents characters. In direct presentation, a character is described by the author, the narrator or the other characters. In indirect presentation, a character's traits are revealed by action and speech.
- In literature, colloquialism is the use of informal words, phrases or even slangs in a piece of writing.
- a bunch of numpties – a group of idiots
- to bamboozle – to deceive
- go Banana – go insane
- wanna – want to
- gonna – going to
- y’all – you all
- go nuts – go insane
- look blue -look sad
- buzz off – go away
In literature, a conflict is a literary element that involves a struggle between two opposing forces usually a protagonist and an antagonist.
a literary species or form, e.g., tragedy, epic, comedy, novel, essay, biography, lyric poem.
Imagery means to use figurative language to represent objects, actions and ideas in such a way that it appeals to our physical senses.
Usually it is thought that imagery makes use of particular words that create visual representation of ideas in our minds. The word imagery is associated with mental pictures. However, this idea is but partially correct. Imagery, to be realistic, turns out to be more complex than just a picture. Read the following examples carefully:
- It was dark and dim in the forest. – The words “dark” and “dim” are visual images.
- The children were screaming and shouting in the fields. - “Screaming” and “shouting” appeals to our sense of hearing or auditory sense.
- He whiffed the aroma of brewed coffee. – “whiff” and “aroma” evoke our sense of smell or olfactory sense.
- The girl ran her hands on a soft satin fabric. – The idea of touch in this example appeal to our sense of touch or tactile sense.
- The fresh and juicy orange are very cold and sweet. – “fresh and juicy” and “cold and sweet” when associated with oranges have an effect on our sense of taste or gustatory sense.
36. In medias res
- From the Latin "into the middle of affairs," in medias res refers to a literary technique in which a story begins after the action has already begun and the explanation of plot, character roles, the importance of setting, and so on are left to be revealed via flashback, a character's thoughts or dialogue, or a "reverse chronology" in which the story is told backwards.
- Example: The Bourne movies---the story is not described until after the action starts.
- It is a figure of speech that takes the place of the name of a thing with the name of something else with which it is closely associated.
- Examples: England decides to keep check on immigration. (England refers to the government.)
- The suits were at meeting. (The suits stand for businesspersons.)
- Pen is mightier than sword. (Pen refers to written words and sword to military force.)
- The Oval Office was busy in work. (“The Oval Office” is metonymy as it stands for people at work in the office.)
- Let me give you a hand. (Hand means help.)
- Allusion is a brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance. It does not describe in detail the person or thing to which it refers. It is just a passing comment and the writer expects the reader to possess enough knowledge to spot the allusion and grasp its importance in a text.
- “Don’t act like a Romeo in front of her.” – “Romeo” is a reference to Shakespeare’s Romeo, a passionate lover of Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet”.
- The rise in poverty will unlock the Pandora box of crimes. – “Pandora box” an allusion to Greek Mythology.
- “This place is like a Garden of Eden.” – It is a biblical allusion.
- “Hey! Guess who the new Einstein of our school is?” – “Einstein”, here means a genius student, alludes to a famous scientist.
39. Dramatic monologue
a literary device that is used when a character reveals his or her innermost thoughts and feelings, those that are hidden throughout the course of the story line, through a poem or a speech. This speech, where only one character speaks, is recited while other characters are present onstage. This monologue often comes during a climactic moment in a work and often reveals hidden truths about a character, their history and their relationships. Also it can further develop a character's personality and also be used to create irony.
- (1) a statement which has two or more possible meanings; (2) a statement whose meaning is unclear. Depending on the circumstances, ambiguity can be negative, leading to confusion or even disaster (the ambiguous wording of a general's note led to the deadly charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War). On the other hand, writers often use it to achieve special effects, for instance, to reflect the complexity of an issue or to indicate the difficulty, perhaps the impossibility, of determining truth.
- "We saw her duck is a paraphrase of We saw her lower her head and of We saw the duck belonging to her, and these last two sentences are not paraphrases of each other. Therefore We saw her duck is ambiguous."
"Brave men run in my family."
- The word Enjambment comes from the French word for "to straddle". Enjambment is the
- continuation of a sentence form one line or couplet into the next. An example by Joyce Kilmer 1886–1918 in his poem "Trees" is:
I think that I shall never see A poem as lovely as a tree
Placing an event, person, item, or verbal expression in the wrong historical period. In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Shakespeare writes the following lines:
- Brutus: Peace! Count the clock.
- Cassius: The clock has stricken three (Act II, scene i, lines 193-94).
Of course, there were no household clocks during Roman times, no more than there were Blu-Ray disk players! The reference is an anachronism, either accidental or intentional.
43. Epic (Homeric) simile
- A Homeric simile is a longer version of a normal simile. It is a direct comparison of two things including characters, actions and nature. Being longer, the Homeric simile may compare one person or action with more than one thing, or may stretch out the comparison. It was first used by Homer in poems such as the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey.” It is also called the epic simile and has been used since by poets such as Virgil and Dante Alighieri.
- “Just as often when in a great crowd a riot has arisen
- and the common throng rages in their souls;
- and now torches and stones fly, and frenzy supplies the arms;
- then, if by chance they have seen some man
- important in loyalty and services, they are silent and stand with ears raised;
- that man rules their minds with words and calms their hearts.”
A moment in a play or other work when a character makes a critical discovery. Anagnorisis originally meant recognition in its Greek context, not only of a person but also of what that person stood for. Anagnorisis was the hero's sudden awareness of a real situation, the realisation of things as they stood, and finally, the hero's insight into a relationship with an often antagonistic character in Aristotelian tragedy.
An epitaph refers literally to an inscription carved on a gravestone, aka, cenotaph. In a more general sense, an epitaph is the final statement spoken by a character before his death.
- In writing or speech, the deliberate repetition of the first part of the sentence in order to achieve an artistic effect.
- “O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
- Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.
- My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long?”
The repetition of the phrase “O Lord,” attempts to create a spiritual sentiment. This is anaphora.
47. Extended metaphor
- A comparison between two unlike things that continues throughout a series of sentences in a paragraph or lines in a poem.
- Example: "Bobby Holloway says my imagination is a three-hundred-ring circus. Currently I was in ring two hundred and ninety-nine, with elephants dancing and clowns cartwheeling and tigers leaping through rings of fire. The time had come to step back, leave the main tent, go buy some popcorn and a Coke, bliss out, cool down."
In literature, apostrophe is a figure of speech sometime represented by exclamation “O”. A writer or a speaker, using an apostrophe, detaches himself from the reality and addresses an imaginary character in his speech.
- It is important not to confuse the apostrophe which is a figure of speech and the apostrophe which is a punctuation mark (‘). Apostrophe used in literature is an arrangement of words addressing a non-existent person or an abstract idea in such a way as if it were present and capable of understanding feelings.
- “Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
- How I wonder what you are.
- Up above the world so high,
- Like a diamond in the sky.”
A foil is another character in a story who contrasts with the main character, usually to highlight one of their attributes.
In the popular book series, Harry Potter, the character of Hogwarts principal Albus Dumbledore, who portrays ‘good’, is constantly shown to believe in the power of true love (of all forms and types) and is portrayed as a strong, benevolent and positive character while the antagonist Lord Voldemort, who depicts the evil and ‘bad’ in the series is constantly shown to mock and disbelieve the sentiment of love and think of it as a foolish indulgence, a trait that is finally his undoing.
Assonance refers to repetition of sounds produced by vowels within a sentence or phrase. In this regard assonance can be understood to be a kind of alliteration. What sets it apart from alliterations is that it is the repetition of only vowel sounds. Assonance is the opposite of consonance, which implies repetitive usage of consonant sounds.
Example: “A long song”. (Where the ‘o’ sound is repeated in the last two words of the sentence)
51. Free verse
- 52. Blank verse
- Unrhymed lines of ten syllables each with the even-numbered syllables bearing the accents.
- The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
- Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
- And, as imagination bodies forth
- The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
- Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
- A local habitation and a name.
53. Heroic couplet
- Two successive rhyming lines of iambic pentameter. The second line is usually end-stopped. It was common practice to string long sequences of heroic couplets together in a pattern of aa, bb, cc, dd, ee, ff (and so on).
- Example: Then share thy pain, allow that sad relief;
- Ah, more than share it, give me all thy grief.
- This literary device involves creating a fracture of sorts within a sentence where the two separate parts are distinguishable from one another yet intrinsically linked to one another. The purpose of using a caesura is to create a dramatic pause, which has a strong impact. The pause helps to add an emotional, often theatrical touch to the sentence and conveys a depth of sentiment in a short phrase.
- Example: Mozart- oh how your music makes me soar!
55. Historical novel
A novel in which fictional characters take part in, influence, or witness real historical events and interact with historical figures from the past. Examples include Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, Lloyd C. Douglas's The Robe, and James Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans.
An emotional discharge through which, one can achieve a state of moral or spiritual renewal or achieves a state of liberation from anxiety and stress. Catharsis is a Greek word and it means cleansing. In literature it is used for the cleansing of emotions by characters particularly by expressing fear and pity through art. It can also be any other radical change that leads to emotional rejuvenation of a person.
Hubris, in this day and age, is another way of saying overly arrogant. You can tell the difference of hubris and just regular arrogance or pride by the fact that the character has seemed to allow reality slip away from them. The character portraying hubris, also commonly referred to as hybris, may have just gained a huge amount of power and the false belief that they are “untouchable”. This term hubris used to have a slightly different meaning and was a very negative subject back in ancient Greek. It used to be closely related to a crime in Athens. In writing and literature hubris is generally considered a “tragic flaw” and it is saved for the protagonist. The reason for this is because at the end of the story you should be able to see that it is this flaw that brings the “bad guy” down.
- Connotations are the associations people make with words that go beyond the literal or dictionary definition. Many words have connotations that create emotions or feelings in the reader.
- Example: And once again, the autumn leaves were falling.
This phrase uses ‘autumn’ to signify something coming to an end.
59. Interior monologue
A type of stream of consciousness in which the author depicts the interior thoughts of a single individual in the same order these thoughts occur inside that character's head. The author does not attempt to provide (or provides minimally) any commentary, description, or guiding discussion to help the reader untangle the complex web of thoughts, nor does the writer clean up the vague surge of thoughts into grammatically correct sentences or a logical order. Indeed, it is as if the authorial voice ceases to exist, and the reader directly "overhears" the thought pouring forth randomly from a character's mind.
- Consonance refers to repetition of sounds produced by consonants within a sentence or phrase. In this regard consonance can be understood to be a kind of alliteration. What sets it apart from alliterations is that it is the repetition of only consonant sounds. Consonance is the opposite of assonance, which implies repetitive usage of vowel sounds.
- Example: Sing sweet songs for suzy.
- The use of irony in literature refers to playing around with words such that the meaning implied by a sentence/word is actually different from the literal meaning derived. Often, irony is used to suggest the stark contrast of the literal meaning being put forth. The deeper, real layer of significance is revealed not by the words themselves but the situation and the context in which they are placed.
- Example: Writing a sentence such as, “Oh! What fine luck I have!”. The sentence on the surface conveys that the speaker is happy with their luck but actually what they mean is that they are extremely unhappy and dissatisfied with their (bad) luck.
- An allegory is a symbolism device where the meaning of a greater, often abstract, concept is conveyed with the aid of a more corporeal object or idea being used as an example. Usually a rhetoric device, an allegory suggests a meaning via metaphoric examples.
- Example: Faith is like a stony uphill climb: a single stumble might send you sprawling but belief and steadfastness will see you to the very top.
- Alliteration is a literary device where words are used in quick succession and begin with letters belonging to the same sound group. Whether it is the consonant sound or a specific vowel group, the alliteration involves creating a repetition of similar sounds in the sentence. Alliterations are also created when the words all begin with the same letter. Alliterations are used to add character to the writing and often add an element of ‘fun’ to the piece..
- Example: The Wicked Witch of the West went her own way. (The ‘W’ sound is highlighted and repeated throughout the sentence.)
67. Deus ex machina
- Deus ex Machina is a rather debatable and often criticized form of literary device. It refers to the incidence where an implausible concept or character is brought into the story in order to make the conflict in the story resolve and to bring about a pleasing solution. The use of Deus ex Machina is not recommended as it is seen to be the mark of a poor plot that the writer needs to resort to random, insupportable and unbelievable twists and turns to reach the end of the story.
- Example: If in a suspense novel the protagonist suddenly finds a solution to his dilemmas because of divine intervention.