Poetry Terms & Drama Terms Poetry Terms Alliteration Allusion

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Poetry Terms & Drama Terms Poetry Terms Alliteration

: repetition of consonant sounds in words that are close to one another.

Allusion

: a reference to a statement, person, place, event, or thing that is known from literature, history, religion, mythology, politics, sports, or pop culture.

Assonance

: repetition of vowel sounds.

Couplet

: two lines, usually in the same meter and joined by rhyme, that form a unit.

Free verse

: poetry that has no regular meter or rhyme scheme.

Hyperbole

: exaggeration.

Iamb

: a unit in poetry consisting of one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.

Iambic pentameter

: a poetic line containing five iambs, or ten syllables.

Imagery

: language that evokes the senses, especially visual description.

Line

: element of a verse or stanza; a phrase or sentence.

Metaphor

: a comparison not using “like” or “as,” usually of two unlike things.

Meter

: the rhythm of the poem; regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in poetry.

Motif

: a theme or idea repeated in design or pattern in a work of literature.

Onomatopoeia

: the use of a word whose sound imitates or suggests its meaning; ex. buzz, knock, splash, bark, crash.

Oxymoron

: a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear together.

Personification

: giving human characteristics to a non-human thing.

Pun

: a joke exploiting the difference possible meanings of a word

Refrain

: a repeated line or number of lines in a poem, typically at the end of each verse.

Rhyme scheme

: the pattern of rhymed lines; ex. AABBCC.

Setting

: the time and place of the poem; it establishes atmosphere, contributes to the emotional effect.

Simile

: a comparison using “like” or “as.”

Sonnet

: a poem of fourteen lines, with a formal rhyme scheme, and typically ten syllables per line.

Speaker

: the voice that is talking to us in the poem.

Symbol

: a thing that stands for itself and something else.

Theme

: the subject or message conveyed in a work of literature.

Tone

: feeling.

Verse

or

stanza

: a group of lines forming a unit in a poem.

Drama terms Act

: a main division in a play.

Aside

: words spoken by a character in a play, usually in an undertone, not intended to be heard by other characters on stage.

Blank verse

: verses written in iambic pentameter with no rhyme scheme.

Comedy

: a literary work that is amusing and/or ends happily.

Dialogue

: conversations held by characters.

Drama

: a story acted out by actors who take parts of specific characters.

Dramatic irony

: a device whereby the audience is given information regarding a situation that the characters involved do not have.

Epilogue

: a short speech at the end of the play which provides further comment or information.

Foil

: a character who sets off another character by contrast.

Prologue

: a short speech at the beginning of a play which introduces the action.

Scene

: a division in a play which marks a change in the time or place of the play’s action.

Soliloquy

: a speech in which a character, alone on stage, expresses his or her thoughts aloud.

Tragedy

: a serious play in which the central characters meet an unhappy or disastrous end.

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