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Students are presented with 3 choices and asked to select one of them that best matches a word or phrase listed below.

Literary Terms Word Game

Literary TermLiterary Definition
allegoryextended metaphor with underlying meaning has moral, social, religious or political implication
versea line of poetry
protagonistleading character in piece of literature
allusiona brief reference to a person, event, or place, real or ficticious
tragedyplay based on hero with fatal flaw falls
plotsequence of events describing the struggle found in fiction
alliterationrepetition of initial sounds in neighboring words
onomatopeiaa word that imitates the sound it represents - buzz
animismgiving non-human entities, like animals, human like qualitied or spiritual essence
oxymoronputting two contradictory words together
parablebiblical instructive - succinct, didactic story, which illustrates lessons or principles
paradoxlogically self-contradictory
anthropomorophismdescribing of gods or goddesses in human forms and characteristics
epiloguespeech at the end of a piece of literature serves as a comment or a conclusion
soliloquyPlay character talking to oneself
stanzaa grouped set of lines within a poem, usually set off from others by a blank line
euphemismsubstitution of an agreeable or less offensive expression in place of one that may offend
foreshadowinguse of hints or clues to suggest what will happen later in literature
motifrecurrent thematic element in an artistic or literary work
amplificationuse of bare expressions, bluntness
archetypegeneric, idealized model of a person, object, or concept from which similar instances are derived
metaphorthe comparison of two UNLIKE things
ironyimplied discrepancy between what is said and what is meant
hypeboleexaggeration or overstatement
nemsisthe agent or deliverer of poetic justice, who exacts vengeance
satireliterary term used to ridicule or make fun of human vice or weakness
prologueseparate introductory section of a literary or musical work
anagramword or phrase made by transposing the letters
aphorisma brief saying embodying a moral, a concise statement of a principle or precept given in pointed words
circumlocationuse of a longer phrasing in place of a shorter form; a roundabout or indirect manner of speaking
connotationassociated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning
epithetadjective or descriptive phrase expressing a quality characteristic of the person or thing mentioned
fablea literary genre. A fable is a succinct fictional story
juxtapositionin literature, when one theme or idea or person or whatever is paralleled to another
metonymysubstituting a word for another word closely associated with it
personificationgiving human qualities to animals or objects.
syntaxin literature refers to the actual way in which words and sentences are placed together in the writing
versisimilitudeappearance of truth; the quality of seeming to be true
similethe comparison of two unlike things using like or as.
cacophonyharsh, discordant sounds
euphonysoothing pleasant sounds
analogythe comparison of two pairs which have the same relationship
consonancerepetition of consonant sounds, but not vowels, as in assonance
assonancerepetition of vowel sounds but not consonant sounds as in consonance
figurative languagefigure of speech in which things that are different are compared by the use of the words like or as
periphrasisAdding in superfluous words to extend the message you are trying to give
denotationthe literal meaning of a word, the dictionary meaning
malapropisman act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, esp. by the confusion of words that are similar in sound
synecdochefigure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa
anastropheInversion of the normal syntactic order of words, ie: To market went she
emulationin literature, writing a passage that is representative of another author's style
syllepsiswhen a word governs or modifies 2+ others must be understood differently with respect to each
pathetic fallacyattribution of human traits to nature or inanimate objects
themea main idea or an underlying meaning of a literary work
periodic structuresentence with main clause withheld to the end; ie, Despite winds and ground fog, the plane landed safely
caesuraa break between words within a metrical foot; any interruption or break
iambic pentameterdefined by its rhythm of pairing ten syllables for each line into five pairs
understatementdevice is used to understate the obvious
settingIn literature, identify and establish the time, place and mood of the events of the story
toneattitude a writer takes towards a subject or character: serious, humorous, sarcastic, etc
imagerylanguage that evokes one or all of the five senses
inversionchanging of the normal syntactic order of words, ie: To market went she
synesthesiaa technique to present ideas, characters or places in a manner that appeals to more than one sense
stream of consciousnessunbroken flow of thought and awareness
spoonerismshuffling first letters of words to make different words and change the actual meaning of the sentence
characterizationa literary device that is used step by step in literature to highlight and explain the details about a character in a story
punthe usually humorous use of a word in such a way as to suggest two or more of its meanings
portmanteaucombination of two or more words to create a new word
flashbackdepicts specific events, which have taken place before the present time in the story
polysyndetonrepetition of conjunctions in close succession for rhetorical effect, ie, here and there and everywhere
conjuctiona word like AND, BUT, WHEN, OR, etc., which connects
moodemotional attitude the author takes towards his or her subject
foila character who contrasts with another (often protagonist) in order to highlight qualities of character
kenningNorse & Anglo-Saxon poetry; 2-word phrase describes an object through metaphor, ie whale-road = sea
faulty parallelismbad grammar; he liked to play ball and riding horses. Verb tenses must be the same, either ride/play or riding/playing
doppelgangerGerman word meaning “look-alike” , twin, shadow or mirror image of a protagonist
interactive word games