Literary Devices Project
• By Scott Walraven
• Class 4A
Imagery- Figurative description or illustration; the formation of
mental images, figures, or likeness of things, or of such images
collectively. Hamlet example: “My lord, as I was sewing in my
closet…As if he had been loosed out of hell to speak of horros, --he
comes before me.”(Act 2, Scene 1); Ned Stark is imagery of honorGame of Thrones
• A figure of speech in which two unlike things
are explicitly compared. Hamlet example:
“The knotted and combined locks to part, And
each particular hair to stand an end, like quills
upon the fearful porpentine…”(Act 1, scene 5,
lines 24-26); “…stone dragons on the castle
walls seemed blurred, as if Davos were seeing
them through a veil of tears.” Pg. 111, A Clash
of Kings
• Metaphor- A figure of speech in which a term
or phrase is applied to something to which it is
not literally applicable in order to suggest a
resemblance. Hamlet example: Act 1, scene 5,
lines 64-66: “And in the porches of my ear did
pour the leprous distilment, whose effect
holds such an enmity with blood..”; “it is
burning outside-it is really hot”
• Personification-The attribution of human
nature or character to animals, inanimate
objects, or abstract notions, especially as a
rhetorical figure. Hamlet example: “For
murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
with most miraculous sign”(Act 2, scene 2);
“The winds came roaring down from the sides
of the castle and presented the soldiers with a
deathly kiss…”(GOT)- A Dance with Dragons
• Apostrophe- A sign which is used to indicate
the omission of one or more letters in a word,
whether unpronounced, or pronounced.
Hamlet example: “Frailty thy name is
woman!” (Act 1, Scene 2); "O, pardon me,
thou bleeding piece of earth, / That I am meek
and gentle with these butchers! / Thou art the
ruins of the noblest man / That ever lived in
the tide of times." Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 1
• Symbol- Something used for or regarded as
representing something else; a material object
representing something, often something
immaterial. Hamlet example: poision-evil;
“…Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole with juice
of cursed hebenon in a vial, And in the porches of
my ears did pour The leperous distilment…”(Act
1, Scene 5, Lines 61-64); The three dragons are
symbols for power in a Game of Thrones
• Allegory- A representation of an abstract or
spiritual meaning through concrete or
material forms; figurative treatment of one
subject under the guise of another. ; The
inevitable battle of forces in the North and
forces in the South symbolize a dualistic
nature of the world.(GOT)
• Paradox- Any person, thing, or situation
exhibiting an apparently contradictory nature.
Hamlet example: “I must be cruel to be
kind”(Act 3, scene 4); Schrodinger’s cat
paradox- one in which a cat can be an any
state(dead or alive) until observed.
• Hyperbole- An extravagant statement or figure
of speech not intended to be taken literally.
Hamlet example: “With such dexterity to
incestuous sheets.”(Act 1, Scene 2); “It felt like
my blood was being boiled inside of me…”- A
Clash of Kings
• Understatement- The act or an instance of
understating; or representing in a weak or
restrained way that is not borne out by the facts.
Hamlet example: in context of paragraph--“It is
not nor it cannot come to good: But break, my
heart; for I must hold my tongue” (Act 1, scene 2,
lines 157-158); “The young wolf could see the
battle was going well”- as his army was crushing
that of his opponents- A Clash of Kings
• Irony- A technique indicating, as through
character or plot development, an intention or
attitude opposite to that which is actually or
ostensibly stated. Hamlet example: “Though yet
of Hamlet our dear brother’s death The memory
be green, and that it us befitted To bear our
hearts in gried, and our whole kingdom”(Act 1,
Scene , Lines 1-3); Brienne receives what is left of
the sword “ice” from the Stark family as she is on
a quest to help the Starks- A Dance with Dragons
• Chiasmus- A reversal in the order of words in
two otherwise parallel phrases.
• Metonymy- A figure of speech that consists of
the use of the name of one object or concept
for that of another to which it is related, or of
which it is a part. Hamlet example: “The
serpent that did sting thy father’s life”(Act 1,
Scene 5); the Young wolf is used to refer to
Rob Stark- A Storm of Swords
• Synecdoche- A figure of speech in which a part
is used for the whole or the whole for a part,
the special for the general or the general for
the special. Hamlet example: “There were six
guns out on the moor”(Act 1, scene 5);
Napoleon destroyed the left flank of the
enemy with two thousand horse
• Repartee- A quick, witty reply. Hamlet
example: “Why, right, you are in the
right…”(Act 1, scene 5, line 127); when talking
to Lady Stark about betrayal and friends
Tyrion Lannister replies with “true friends stab
you in the front” –A Storm of Swords
• Stichomythia- Dramatic dialogue characterized by
brief exchanges between two characters, each of
whom usually speaks in one line of verse during a
scene of intense emotion or strong
argumentation. Hamlet example: “Come, come,
you answer with an idle tongue”; “Go, go, you
question with a wicked tongue”(Act 1, scene 4);
The king frowned. “My lady mother said it is not
fitting…Isn’t that so, dog?” The Hound’s mouth
twitched. “Against this lot? Why Not?”- A Clash of
Stock Characters
• Stock Characters- A character in literature,
theater, or film of a type quickly recognized
and accepted by the reader or viewer and
requiring no development by the writer.
Hamlet example: Horatio; he is a static
character. Tywin Lannister is a static character
in a Game of Thrones
Animal Farm
• Alliteration- The commencement of two or
more stressed syllables of a word group either
with the same consonant sound or ground.
Hamlet example: “In equal scarle weighing
delight and dole”(Act 1, Scene 2); "May men
of merit be motivated to act"- Animal Farm
• Assonance- A rhyme in which the same vowel
sounds are used with different consonants in
the stressed syllables of the rhyming words.
Hamlet example: “…O wicked wit and
gifts”(Act 1 scene 5, lines 50-51); "For the race
and radiant maiden, whom the angels name
Lenore” The Raven
• Consonance- The correspondence of
consonants, especially those at the end of a
word, in a passage of prose or verse. Hamlet
example: “Thou wretched, rash, intruding
fool, farewell.”(Act 3, scene 4, line 38); “And
the silken sad uncertain rustling of each
purple curtain”- the Raven
• Rhyme- A word agreeing with another in terminal
sound. Hamlet example: “But I have that within
which passeth show; these but the trappings and
the suits of woe.”(Act 1, scene 2, Lines 85-86);
“Over many a quaint and curious volume of
forgotten lore —
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there
came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my
chamber door.”- The Raven
• Rhythm- The effect produced in a play by the
combination or arrangement of formal
elements, as length of scenes, speech and
description, timing, or recurrent themes, to
create movement, tension, and emotional
value in the development of the plot. Hamlet
example: Iambic pentameter. The raven has a
trochaic octameter
• Meter- Poetic measure; arrangement of words
in regularly measured, patterned, or rhythmic
lines or verses. Hamlet example: “Come,
come, you answer with an idle tongue”; “Go,
go, you question with a wicked tongue”(Act 1,
scene 4); “Once upon a midnight dreary, as I
pondered weak and weary” –The Raven
End-stopped line
• End-stopped line-A metrical line ending at a
grammatical boundary or break, or with
punctuation. A line is considered end-stopped,
too, if it contains a complete phrase. Hamlet
example: “Why seems it so particular with
thee?” (Act 1, Scene 2, Line 75); “And each
separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon
the floor.”- The Raven
• Run-on line- A metrical line that does not end
in a grammatical boundary, break, or with
punctuation. Hamlet example: “To reason
most absurd, whose common theme…”(Act 1,
Scene 2, line 103); “Eagerly I wished the
morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow…” –
The raven
• Caesura- A break, especially a sense pause,
usually near the middle of a verse, and
marked in scansion by a double vertical line.
Hamlet example: “To be,// or not to be, //that
is the question:”(Act 3, scene 1); “Once upon a
midnight dreary// while I pondered// weak
and weary- The Raven
Free verse
• Free verse- A verse that does not follow a
fixed metrical pattern. Hamlet example: “We
do it wrong, being so majestical, to offer it the
show of violence, for it is, as the air,
invulnerable.”(Act 1, scene 1, lines 142-145);
“She hit him. Hard, right between his little
eyes”- A clash of Kings
Iambic Pentameter
• Iambic pentameter- A common meter in poetry
consisting of an unrhymed line with five feet or
accents, each foot containing an unaccented
syllable and an accented syllable. Hamlet
example: “And by opposing end them? To die to
sleep; no more; and by a sleep to say we end.”
(Act 3, Scene 1); “Batter my heart three-personed
God, for you As yet but knock, breathe, shine and
seek to mend.”- Sonnet by John Donne
Grammatical/rhetorical pauses
• Grammatical/rhetorical pauses- A natural
pause, unmarked by punctuation, introduced
into the reading of a line by its phrasing and
syntax. Hamlet example: “To be, or not to
be—that is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler
in the mind to suffer”(Act 3, Scene 1) ;
“They’re hiding by the pebbles, they’re
running round the rocks”- Sea Faries by Eillen
Concluding Couplet
• Concluding couplet- Two ending lines which are a
pair of successive lines of verse, especially a pair
that rhyme and are of the same length. “But I
have that within which passeth show; these but
the trappings and the suits of woe.”(Act 1, scene
2, Lines 85-86); “As of some one gently rapping,
rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visiter," I muttered, "tapping at my
chamber door”- The Raven
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