Literary Terms Drama Antigone/Julius Caesar 1. Act: one of the main divisions of a play or opera 2. Alliteration: repetition of initial consonant sounds 3. Allusion: reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art 4. Antagonist: character or force in conflict with a main character or protagonist 5. Anticlimax: turning point that is a letdown; point which audience or reader learns the story will not turn out in a way that completely resolves the conflict or satisfies the audience. 6. Aside: short speech delivered by a character in a play in order to express his or her thoughts and feelings; presumed not to be heard by the other characters. 7. Assonance: repetition of vowel sounds followed by different consonants in two or more stressed syllables. Hear the mellow wedding bells 8. Atmosphere: the feeling created in the reader by a literary work or passage. 9. Blank Verse: unrhymed iambic pentameter. Widely used by Shakespeare 10. Characterization: the act of creating and developing a character a. Direct: author states character traits b. Indirect: author gives clues by describing what the character says and does, what other characters say or think about the him or her, how he or she reacts to situations, and how other characters react to him or her. 11. Comedy: literary work that has a happy ending. Often portray ordinary characters in conflict with society. a. Romantic: problems among lovers b. Comedy of manners: satirically challenges the social customs of a sophisticated society. 12. Conflict: struggle between opposing forces; the basis for a story a. External: main character against and outside force b. Internal: character in conflict with him or herself 13. Couplet: a pair of rhyming lines, usually of the same length and meter. 14. Dialogue: conversation between characters that may reveal their traits and advance the action 15. Drama: a story written to be performed by actors, script made up of dialogue and stage directions 16. Figurative language: writing or speech not meant to be interpreted literally, often used to crate vivid impressions by setting up comparisons between dissimilar things. 17. Imagery: descriptive language used in literature to create word pictures, uses details of sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, or movement. 18. Irony: the general term for literary techniques that portray differences between appearance and reality, or expected result. a. Verbal: words used suggest the opposite of what is said b. Dramatic: contradiction between what a character thinks and what the reader or audience knows to be true. c. Situational: event directly contradicts the expectation of the characters, reader, or audience. 19. Monologue: in a play, a long speech by one character that, unlike a soliloquy, is addressed to another character or characters. 20. Oral tradition: the retelling or songs, stories, and poems passed orally, or by spoken word, from generation to generation 21. Oxymoron: a combination of words that contradict each other ex: “deafening silence” “honest thief” “bittersweet” 22. Protagonist: the main character in a literary work that must overcome the conflict 23. Setting: time and place of action, can include historical time period, specific year, season, or time of day. Place can be geographical place ( a region, country, state, or town) and can include social, economic, or cultural environment 24. Simile: figure of speech in which the words like or as are used to compare two apparently dissimilar items. 25. Soliloquy: a long speech expressing the thoughts of a character alone on stage. 26. Stage directions: notes included in a drama to describe how the work is to be performed or staged. Printed in italics and are not spoken aloud. Describe sets, lighting, sound effects, appearance, personalities and movements of characters. 27. Theme: central message or insight into life revealed through a literary work. 28. A work of literature, especially a play, that tells of a catastrophe, a disaster or great misfortune, for the main character.