Literary Devices

a reference to something
literary, mythological, religious, historical,
or found in pop culture
Patrick Henry urged his listeners not to
be “betrayed with a kiss”
speaker directly addresses a
person who is dead or not physically
present, an imaginary person or entity,
something inhuman, or any other
abstract thing
“O Death, where is thy sting? O grave,
where is thy victory?”
an indirect, less offensive
way of saying something that is
considered unpleasant
In Victorian times, ladies were said to
“glisten” rather than to sweat or perspire.
a word formed from the
imitation of natural sounds
The fire crackled in the fireplace. We
could hear the buzzing of the bees in the
endowing non human
objects or creatures with human qualities
or characteristics
The smiling, friendly sun was about to be
swallowed by the angry clouds moving
in from the south.
something that stands for
something else
Flags, ring, mascot
casual language- similar
to spoken language or informal writing
Huck Finn, All the Pretty Horses
Intentional exaggeration to
create an effect
There were at least a million people at
the mall when I went shopping
repeating a word or phrase
for additional emphasis
Hope has sprung a perfect dive, a
perfect day, a perfect lie
repetition of sounds in a
sequence of words- often the initial
letters of words
Boast your bitter bragging rights
An expression in which two
words that contradict each other are
Jumbo shrimp; sweet sorrow; little giant
An apparently contradictory
statement which actually contains some
Sometimes you have to be cruel to be
a contradiction between
appearance or expectation and reality.
Truth is opposite of appearances.
In King Lear, Lear believes his daughter
Cordelia to be disloyal, when in fact she
is his only faithful daughter
comparison using “like” or “as”
This room is as hot as an oven
comparison, one thing
representing another
School is a prison