All these expressions are a manifestation of the beauty of words, which we refer to as literary devices. Allusion Example 2: He was a real goodguy ball-buster, the Deadpool of his time. Most individuals would rather make a much lighter comment when referring to something as “indecent” as sex, but the same case is made for when someone dies. For instance, let's say you're planning to read (or re-read) The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. This creates a difference between the ways the audience and the characters perceive unfolding events. Tragicomedy helps an audience process darker themes by allowing them to laugh at the situation even when circumstances are bleak. It suggests that he is only interested in his work. The writer can achieve this through description, setting, dialogue, and word choice. Example: "But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door" – The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe. Before she embarks on her (what we know to be unfortunate) plane ride, a friend says to her, "Be safe. Because the more you know, the better your writing will be. Get the latest articles and test prep tips! In this example, the allusion is Pandora’s Box. Here’s an example of imagery from Hannah Lee Kidder’s anthology, Little Birds: Notice how Kidder uses visuals to bring life to her words. It lends a pleasing cadence to prose and poetry both. Who Are The Most Romantic Literary Figures of All Time? Jeffrey Eugenides does this in The Virgin Suicides: “On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide – it was Mary this time, and sleeping pills, like Therese, the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing exactly where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope.”. In this article, we'll help you get familiar with most commonly used literary devices in prose and poetry. You can also use alliteration when choosing the title of your book, as it makes it easier to remember, as you can see in the example of alliterative titles above. Read the passage carefully. Think of when a happy moment in a movie or book is followed by a sad, heart-wrenching scene. We provide informative and helpful articles about the newest fiction and nonfiction books on the market that you can come back to again and again when you have the urge for a new book to dig into. This creates an uneasy atmosphere. Reading The Great Gatsby for class or even just for fun? A List of Commonly Used Literary Devices and Their Explanation. The character in question may be alone or in the company of others, but they’re not speaking for the benefit of other people; the purpose of a soliloquy is for a character to reflect independently. Example: In Lyndon B. Johnson's speech, "The American Promise," he repeats the word "problem" in a use of epistrophe: "There is no Negro problem. This is often why we think of sexual euphemisms when we hear of this literary device. Personification is when a nonhuman figure or other abstract concept or element is described as having human-like qualities or characteristics. Example: "Parting is such sweet sorrow.” — Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare. Example: Basically, literary devices are artistic; rhetorical devices are informative and persuasive. Irony creates a contrast between how things seem and how they really are. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness.” – A Tales of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. ACT Writing: 15 Tips to Raise Your Essay Score, How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League, Is the ACT easier than the SAT? An allegory is a figure of speech where abstract ideas are described using characters, events, or other elements. Example: In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet's speech on the balcony that begins with, "O Romeo, Romeo! Colloquialisms are expressions, words, and phrases that are used in informal, everyday speech, including slang. The English language encompasses a host of literary devices that make it so rich and expressive. Example: For instance, Animal Farm is a text about a farm, which may be taken as an explicit model for thinking about a more abstract, implicit target that has to do with totalitarian politics. A flashback is an interruption in a narrative that depicts events that have already occurred, either before the present time or before the time at which the narration takes place. Find out here! That scene is made even worse by the fact that we just had our emotions on a high. Point of view is, of course, the mode of narration in a story. Here are some literary devices you might find in a text: Device Example Effect; Metaphor ‘His home was his castle.’ His home is presented as a secure and safe place to be. Be careful, though — too much exposition will quickly become boring, thus undercutting the emotional impact of your work. A simile is a type of metaphor in which an object, idea, character, action, etc., is compared to another thing using the words "as" or "like.". This misuse of the word typically results in a statement that is both nonsensical and humorous; as a result, this device is commonly used in comedic writing. However, Wordsworth just fell prey to bathos and made it seem silly and not remotely sad in these lines from the poem “Simon Lee the Old Huntsman”. Teachers and educators often tell classrooms of pupils anecdotes about famous people. In addition, being able to identify literary devices can make a written work's overall meaning or purpose clearer to you. Example: In The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, Kvothe is telling Chronicler the story of his life over the span of three days. Aside from helping you get good grades on your literary analysis homework, there are several benefits to knowing the techniques authors commonly use. Literature is a very fun course to undertake and there are some practices one should undertake to ensure that they are able to write marvelous works of art. . The Penrose stairs = a classic example of a paradox. Knowing what kind of audience an author intended her work to have can help you figure out what types of literary devices might be at play. Alliterations are used to add character to the writing and often add an element of ‘fun’ to the piece. By using an analogy we can convey a new idea by using the blueprint of an old one as a basis for understanding. It is often used for speeches since sentences containing asyndeton can have a powerful, memorable rhythm. You can even use flashbacks as a plot device, like in the example below. Allegory Example: One of the most famous works using allegory is George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Examples: “The crown” representing the monarchy, “Washington” representing the U.S. government. However, because Romeo doesn't use the words "as" or "like," it is not a simile—just a metaphor. The repetition of the ‘s’ sound adds to the discomfort of the room. In short, it's when an author compares one thing to another. I’ll tell you about it later.”. Classics such as “Aesop’s Fables” or John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” and films like “The Matrix” or “Casablanca” are examples of allegorical works. All writing is made up of literary devices whether you realize it or not. Some might work on an intellectual level, while others have a more emotional effect. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. – The Gettysburg Address of Abraham Lincoln. While these are very common types of literary elements, there are many more you can use to make your writing stand out in comparison to others.